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“This is why producers need R-CALF

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HAY MAKER

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Cattle Industry Leaders Discuss Issues in Kentucky

Copy By: Candace Bullard, Administrative Assistant
Phone: 406-252-2516; e-mail: [email protected]

Media Contact: Shae Dodson, Communications Coordinator
Phone: 406-672-8969; e-mail: [email protected]

LOUISVILLE, KY. (November 29, 2005) Cattle producers from across the country gathered here recently for the fourth R-CALF USA regional meeting conducted this year. A full house listened to R-CALF USA President and Co-Founder Leo McDonnell and R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard speak about matters such as captive cattle supplies, Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL), the National Animal Identification System (NAIS), and international trade, among other important issues that U.S. cattle producers face today.

R-CALF USA Region VIII Director Gene Barber hosted the event, which R-CALF USA Volunteer Dave Hutchins of West Mansfield, Ohio, helped to organize. After a brief introduction, Barber gave reasons why cattle producers need to support R-CALF USA.

“The captive supply issue we have to deal with in the cattle business is really serious,” he said.

Barber expressed his concern about captive supplies and how about 20 years ago the problem began to impact the once flourishing hog industry, and how, all of a sudden, there was no longer a cash market for hogs. Hog producers had more dollars going into their pigs than what their pigs were selling for in the open market, while at that same time, packers were busy building farrowing barns and finishing pens for hogs.

“So, they (meatpackers) got rid of the private, independent hog feeders completely,” noted Barber. “That same thing can happen to our cattle business with captive supply, and I’m worried to death about it.”

McDonnell then spoke on how R-CALF USA was founded.

“We formed R-CALF USA in 1998 and filed the largest trade case in the history of this country,” he said, referring to both the live cattle and anti-dumping case against Canada and Mexico, and a countervailing duty case against Canada.

“Commerce (U.S. Department of Commerce) found that Canada was dumping and placed tariffs on them,” continued McDonnell. “We had more U.S. Senators testify at the U.S. Senate hearing on this cattle case than in any other case in this country’s history.”

He explained that these particular cases revealed a significant level of opposition against the interests of U.S. cattle producers, and because of this opposition, R-CALF USA was transformed into a membership organization.

Then, McDonnell began a discussion on the history of Mandatory Country-of-Origin Labeling (M-COOL), a law passed in the 2002 Farm Bill, which required a label on all domestic and imported beef products sold at the retail level to take effect Sept. 30, 2004.

“R-CALF USA formed the largest coalition in the history of this country to pass mandatory country-of-origin labeling legislation and did it through the right process,” McDonnell said.

Opponents of M-COOL soon were successful in delaying M-COOL until Sept. 30, 2006. And a more recent effort by the FY06 Agriculture Appropriations Conference Committee – without any public debate or vote – delayed implementation until September 2008. McDonnell emphasized that R-CALF USA will continue to work on behalf of producers for the timely implementation of Mandatory COOL.

McDonnell then went on to discuss the National Animal Identification System (NAIS), a program proposed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) with a scheduled implementation date of 2009.

“I think electronic identification’s a great thing, but I don’t think you should mandate it,” he said “The little guys can’t afford it so they will get out of the business, and we need all those little guys. That’s what makes competition.”

McDonnell wrapped up his talk with comments about the beef checkoff.

“You’ll find me criticizing it,” he acknowledged. “That doesn’t mean that I’m against it. It means I’m critical of certain aspects just like we criticize our own business.

“We criticize our own children, our families, our churches, our school system and we criticize them in a manner to make them better, don’t we,” he asked the crowd.

“We’re going to start a check-off committee in R-CALF – not to get rid of it, but to put the control back in the producer’s hands – to make it better,” McDonnell continued. “So we can actually promote country-of-origin labeling, because under the act and order of the check-off, you are forbidden from promoting U.S. products.”

Bullard then spoke after McDonnell and soon had the audience seriously examining the multi-segmented beef supply chain they are involved – but from meatpacker’s perspective, explaining that, “Sometimes, it’s helpful for us to better understand our industry by taking a step back from our own particular industry segment.”

He said that in order to determine what live cattle producers need to do to advance their interests, producers need to understand the goals of major meatpackers. He explained that one of their goals is to minimize the financial risk associated with the cyclical U.S. cattle industry and that when U.S. supplies tighten, cattle prices increase, which in turn increases meatpackers’ risk and reduces profits.

“An effective strategy to reduce this risk is for meatpackers to expand their supplies of cattle beyond their immediate needs,” Bullard said. “They can do this by melding together the herds of Canada, the United States and Mexico into one seamless herd.”

Packers also want to downwardly harmonize the animal health and food safety standards of the United States to match the lower standards in other countries, such as the standards in Canada and Mexico, Bullard outlined. The reason, he said, is that meatpackers don’t want consumers to perceive any difference in beef, no matter what country the cattle come from. Thus, you have meatpackers’ consistent, and expensive, efforts to integrate the cattle of the U.S., Canada and Mexico into one giant North American herd.

The third goal of the packers, Bullard explained, is to label their products with a house brand, but they certainly do not want those products marked with a country-of-origin label because that would defeat the packers’ first two objectives. Packers want consumers to seek out products with their house label, regardless of where the cattle originated to produce those beef products.

The final step of the packers’ strategy is to lobby Congress to restrict producer access to trade-remedy laws because packers do not want independent cattle producers to restrict or otherwise interfere with their access to their newfound inventories that are less costly than U.S. cattle, commented Bullard.

These past three years, producers have received historically high cattle prices, triggered not only by tight supplies, but also increased demand, a reduction in imports, and the packers’ reduced access to their captive-supply cattle held in Canada, Bullard continued. The dramatic increase in prices revealed that packers were not keeping their promise to pass profits back to U.S. producers when beef demand increased. Bullard also emphasized that beef demand had actually been on the rise for a full six years before live cattle prices were finally able to respond without the interferences from Canadian captive supplies and Canadian imports.

“What if we competed to obtain our fair share of the available profits within the beef supply chain, all of which are generated at the end of the supply chain and determined by how much beef consumers purchase and at what price they are willing to pay?” Bullard asked the audience.

Bullard said that producers are involved in a highly competitive, profitable, and multi-segmented beef supply chain and that the U.S. live-cattle segment is annually a $48 billion industry – the single largest segment of American agriculture.

“Only live cattle producers share the desire to maximize the profitability of the live-cattle segment of our industry,” Bullard said. “If producers won’t step up to compete to maximize their profitability, no one else in the industry will either.

“This is why producers need R-CALF – the only national organization that represents only the interests of independent cattle producers,” he concluded.

# # #

R-CALF USA (Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund, United Stockgrowers of America) represents thousands of U.S. cattle producers on domestic and international trade and marketing issues. R-CALF USA, a national, non-profit organization, is dedicated to ensuring the continued profitability and viability of the U.S. cattle industry. R-CALF USA's membership consists primarily of cow/calf operators, cattle backgrounders, and feedlot owners. Its members - over 18,000 strong - are located in 47 states, and the organization has over 60 local and state association affiliates, from both cattle and farm organizations. Various main street businesses are associate members of R-CALF USA. For more information, visit www.r-calfusa.com or, call 406-252-2516.
 

Manitoba_Rancher

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I thought the reason the US cattleman needed R-calf was so they would get a good laugh when they read their news releases... :lol: :lol:
 

Big Muddy rancher

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Packers also want to downwardly harmonize the animal health and food safety standards of the United States to match the lower standards in other countries, such as the standards in Canada and Mexico, Bullard outlined. The reason, he said, is that meatpackers don’t want consumers to perceive any difference in beef, no matter what country the cattle come from. Thus, you have meatpackers’ consistent, and expensive, efforts to integrate the cattle of the U.S., Canada and Mexico into one giant North American herd.


How can Bullard say this with a straight face. Must of had a lot of practice lying. All we here is that Canada's standards are to high for some diseases and to low for others. Bullshit. :!: :cowboy:
 
A

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Big Muddy rancher said:
Packers also want to downwardly harmonize the animal health and food safety standards of the United States to match the lower standards in other countries, such as the standards in Canada and Mexico, Bullard outlined. The reason, he said, is that meatpackers don’t want consumers to perceive any difference in beef, no matter what country the cattle come from. Thus, you have meatpackers’ consistent, and expensive, efforts to integrate the cattle of the U.S., Canada and Mexico into one giant North American herd.


How can Bullard say this with a straight face. Must of had a lot of practice lying. All we here is that Canada's standards are to high for some diseases and to low for others. BS. :!: :cowboy:

But you still refuse to ask that your beef be merchandised as "Product of Canada".... Canadians know that no-one has knowledge that they ever ate Canadian beef, since it was all marked with a USDA label and passed off as US beef-- but you still push to have it marked that way-and fight any legislation changing that, so you can ride on the shirtails of an industry built by the US producer......

Does it not bother Canadians that their industry survives only thru FRAUD? Riding on the backs of what the US producer built--Talk about cowardly and lying!!!!!!
 

Bill

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Oldtimer said:
Big Muddy rancher said:
Packers also want to downwardly harmonize the animal health and food safety standards of the United States to match the lower standards in other countries, such as the standards in Canada and Mexico, Bullard outlined. The reason, he said, is that meatpackers don’t want consumers to perceive any difference in beef, no matter what country the cattle come from. Thus, you have meatpackers’ consistent, and expensive, efforts to integrate the cattle of the U.S., Canada and Mexico into one giant North American herd.


How can Bullard say this with a straight face. Must of had a lot of practice lying. All we here is that Canada's standards are to high for some diseases and to low for others. BS. :!: :cowboy:

But you still refuse to ask that your beef be merchandised as "Product of Canada".... Canadians know that no-one has knowledge that they ever ate Canadian beef, since it was all marked with a USDA label and passed off as US beef-- but you still push to have it marked that way-and fight any legislation changing that, so you can ride on the shirtails of an industry built by the US producer......

Does it not bother Canadians that their industry survives only thru FRAUD? Riding on the backs of what the US producer built--Talk about cowardly and lying!!!!!!
There you go confusing the beef industry with the cattle industry again. :lol: :lol: :lol:
 

HAY MAKER

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The Canadian rancher will never support M Cool,they are afraid of making their packer partners mad.
They know their very existense depends on packers,"what packers want packers get"
The packers have told the Canadians in no uncertain terms "play ball or else".........................good luck

PS must be a terrible thing having people like that control your destiny.
 

Big Muddy rancher

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HAY MAKER said:
The Canadian rancher will never support M Cool,they are afraid of making their packer partners mad.
They know their very existense depends on packers,"what packers want packers get"
The packers have told the Canadians in no uncertain terms "play ball or else".........................good luck

PS must be a terrible thing having people like that control your destiny.


It must be even worse to be represented by people that say what ever they think their memberships wants to hear. Truth or fiction.
 

HAY MAKER

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Big Muddy rancher said:
HAY MAKER said:
The Canadian rancher will never support M Cool,they are afraid of making their packer partners mad.
They know their very existense depends on packers,"what packers want packers get"
The packers have told the Canadians in no uncertain terms "play ball or else".........................good luck

PS must be a terrible thing having people like that control your destiny.


It must be even worse to be represented by people that say what ever they think their memberships wants to hear. Truth or fiction.


The only fiction IM aware of is Miss TAM's adding to /subtracting from to create an illusion of R CALF being the problem.
R CALF is not the problem,R CALF is the cure,the sooner you canuckle heads realize this and quit allowing yourselves to become packer employees the better you will fare....................good luck

PS Did you get my email?
 

Big Muddy rancher

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HAY MAKER said:
Big Muddy rancher said:
HAY MAKER said:
The Canadian rancher will never support M Cool,they are afraid of making their packer partners mad.
They know their very existense depends on packers,"what packers want packers get"
The packers have told the Canadians in no uncertain terms "play ball or else".........................good luck

PS must be a terrible thing having people like that control your destiny.


It must be even worse to be represented by people that say what ever they think their memberships wants to hear. Truth or fiction.


The only fiction IM aware of is Miss TAM's adding to /subtracting from to create an illusion of R CALF being the problem.
R CALF is not the problem,R CALF is the cure,the sooner you canuckle heads realize this and quit allowing yourselves to become packer employees the better you will fare....................good luck

PS Did you get my email?


No I didbn't get your E-MAIL. But then again our server filters out the junk mail. It might have got held up or the pony has gone lame. :cowboy:
 

HAY MAKER

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Big Muddy rancher said:
HAY MAKER said:
Big Muddy rancher said:
It must be even worse to be represented by people that say what ever they think their memberships wants to hear. Truth or fiction.


The only fiction IM aware of is Miss TAM's adding to /subtracting from to create an illusion of R CALF being the problem.
R CALF is not the problem,R CALF is the cure,the sooner you canuckle heads realize this and quit allowing yourselves to become packer employees the better you will fare....................good luck

PS Did you get my email?


No I didbn't get your E-MAIL. But then again our server filters out the junk mail. It might have got held up or the pony has gone lame. :cowboy:

Truth be known you probably dont check your email,who would email an ole canuckle head except me :D :D ...........good luck
 

pointrider

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What producers really need:

1. Know where you rank in the cow-calf industry in terms of bottom line profitability. Are you in the Top Third, the Middle Third or the Bottom Third? Only one-third of you are in the Top Third.

2. Know why you rank where you rank.

3. A business plan to get you in the Top Third if you are not already there. If you are already there, a business plan to keep you there as the industry evolves.

Even if there are enough producers and R-CALF's out there to get laws passed against packer ownership, and eventually, more vertical integration, the packers will just increase their processing capability in other countries like Canada and Brazil. Either way, all producers in the world are competing against each other, and Bottom Third producers will continue to drop out. You need to benchmark, and you need to have a good business plan more than anything, R-CALF included.

Believe it or not! Your choice. Guess what! Most will not believe it, and the bottom thirders will continue to go out of business. You top thirders get ready to expand more. Your calves will be needed. We are adding one net person in the U.S. every 10 seconds! How fast is the cow herd expanding?
 

Kato

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That's true.

One big problem with that is that as the bottom third gets smaller, then the bar gets raised higher for those remaining to be able to stay in the top third. :shock: How long can that go on? Until there are only three producers left? :???: :???:

As for the country of origin thing. It's got nothing to do with standards and quality. It is just another little cog in the great wheel called non-tarrif trade barriers. The more little fences get in the way of trade, the higher the cost of trade, and the more likely someone will finally say it's just not worth it. When that happens with cattle, the packers will simply send it over as beef that they processed here, after buying it cheaper because it's not worth sending it over on the hoof any more. They'll just label it here, and it won't cost them an extra dime. The cost will come out of our pockets in the form of lower live prices, and it will come out of the pockets of American ranchers in the form of less packing plants on American soil to bid on their live cattle.

When beef leaves here it has Canada stamped on it. When feeders and fats leave here they are labelled Canadian. Don't blame us for not identifiying it because it's Americans that take the label off. We'd love to see the maple leaf still on it when it hits the stores. With only five percent of the market being Canadian beef, that would make it a niche market wouldn't it? Maybe even a premium market especially due to the fine quality of the product. :wink:
 

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Oldtimer Wrote "Does it not bother Canadians that their industry survives only thru FRAUD? Riding on the backs of what the US producer built--Talk about cowardly and lying!!!!!!"

I don't loose any sleep over it because I know all the Green tractors and Combines sitting in our farm yard were made in the U.S.A. Knowing that these farm implements supported the US economy and provided Jobs to US workers. Perhaps these employees at John Deere should be bothered that they are working and surviving through fraud. Riding on the industry Versatile tractors has built in Canada even though I know the green ones were made in the US.

Bullard “An effective strategy to reduce this risk is for meatpackers to expand their supplies of cattle beyond their immediate needs,” Bullard said. “They can do this by melding together the herds of Canada, the United States and Mexico into one seamless herd.”

I don't disagree with the Concept of R-Calf but their arguement against Canadian cattle imports comes about 15 years too late. Somebody in there office must have forgot to take the 1989 callender of the wall. Thier is a thing called the North American Free Trade Agreement it is not called the North American tariff and Quota Agreement. This is no different than a contract signed with your local feed dealer or grain buyer. If R-Calf would look forward for once and spend more of thier resources trying to find more export markets and fighting CAFTA I would be the first person to join their Membership.
 

Sandhusker

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Young Farmer, OT claims fraud because the customer is being misled on where the product came from. You clearly have not been a victim of fraud as you state, "... I know all the Green tractors and Combines sitting in our farm yard were made in the U.S.A. ..."
 

Econ101

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YoungFarmer said:
Oldtimer Wrote "Does it not bother Canadians that their industry survives only thru FRAUD? Riding on the backs of what the US producer built--Talk about cowardly and lying!!!!!!"

I don't loose any sleep over it because I know all the Green tractors and Combines sitting in our farm yard were made in the U.S.A. Knowing that these farm implements supported the US economy and provided Jobs to US workers. Perhaps these employees at John Deere should be bothered that they are working and surviving through fraud. Riding on the industry Versatile tractors has built in Canada even though I know the green ones were made in the US.

Bullard “An effective strategy to reduce this risk is for meatpackers to expand their supplies of cattle beyond their immediate needs,” Bullard said. “They can do this by melding together the herds of Canada, the United States and Mexico into one seamless herd.”

I don't disagree with the Concept of R-Calf but their arguement against Canadian cattle imports comes about 15 years too late. Somebody in there office must have forgot to take the 1989 callender of the wall. Thier is a thing called the North American Free Trade Agreement it is not called the North American tariff and Quota Agreement. This is no different than a contract signed with your local feed dealer or grain buyer. If R-Calf would look forward for once and spend more of thier resources trying to find more export markets and fighting CAFTA I would be the first person to join their Membership.

Young Farmer, from what I heard, there was a big fight against CAFTA. It was a case of corporate agribusiness and money winning over the argument on specious grounds. Cargill was probably the biggest force behind that one. Cargill is the main company in Brazil. Central American countries are thought to be Brazil's door into the U.S.
 

pointrider

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See what I mean, Kato? Over 150 people have read this thread since I made my comments about producers knowing where they rank and having a business plan based on facts gleaned from benchmarking, and you are the only one who has said anything so far. (It's going to take me a little while to type this. So, I apologize in advance if someone else has posted on the subject of benchmarking before I get this posted.)

Don't get me wrong. I commend you for at least thinking about it a little. But I have a couple of questions for you and some more thoughts to throw out. You stated, "That's true. One big problem with that is that as the bottom third gets smaller, then the bar gets raised higher for those remaining to be able to stay in the Top Third. How long can that go on? Until there are only three producers left?"

You kinda made it sound like you have a choice when it comes to participating in the economic realities of Top Third - Middle Third - Bottom Third. As long as cow-calf producers are independent producers who operate in a capitalist, free enterprise system of production and sales, you are subject to the forces at work whether you want to be or not. Are you an independent producer operating in a free enterprise system?

Actually, the thirds are constantly changing a little as producers drop out, sell out, develop out, have drought or disease problems all of a sudden, etc. And yes, technically, it could come down to just 3 producers as long as the system is maintained. Not very likely though even though in the U.S. it pretty much came down to the big 3 auto makers for a while. (But what has happened to the big 3 since then?)

We have a long way to go in the world of cow-calf production to worry about having too few producers at level one, but the challenge is just as real with a million producers as it is with 50,000 or so. You need to know what you are doing and develop a business plan based on facts instead of flying by the seat of your pants - in the dark. If a producer insists on doing that (as most - like 98% - do today), he is rolling some mighty big dice, and it is unnecessary.

You are probably the only one who made a comment because others just don't want to "open that can of worms" yet. "Why, heck, we have border wars to fight first instead of worrying about my business plan." Why do you think they are afraid to even ask a question about what I am talking about? There's a lot of independence, ego, illusion, delusion and procrastination at work among other things (such as not having a computerized accounting system and a good Internet connection). I realize that this is the way it is, and the cow-calf industry probably has a long way to go before it wakes up and realizes that it has a big investment to protect and needs to look for all the help it can get. But we can hope.

Now do you think we will get questions and comments? I doubt it, but I'll do my best if we do. Thanks again for your comments.
 

Jason

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Not many posted because you are dead right Pointrider.

Competition, not always direct with other producers, will force change.

As costs climb, commodity producers like cattle/beef or copper, or oil have to increase efficiency just to stay in business.

Commodity producers have no way to raise their prices on their own. The market demand is what raises prices.

If beef is affordable and tasty to more consumers than there is supply, the market gets signals to produce more because the price can be raised at the consumer level.

This is where Canadian producers got into trouble, the market kept signaling for more production, then BSE artificially inturrupted that market. The producers that were too highly leveraged were the ones that took the biggest hit. Anyone that had some equity built, a rainy day plan you might say, survived.

It could be argued that those who were leveraged the highest were going to topple BSE or not.

The business plan you speak of is great to start with, but it needs to be reviewed and updated each time there is a significant change in the market.

Producers need to understand every aspect of the industry to make a soild business plan.

I have learned a lot from Agman and others on this board, but still have much to learn.

This is one area I can see eventually developing in the cattle business, having larger operations with a specialist in different areas. Professional cowboys, a risk manager/marketer/accountant etc.

Most places already use professional accounting services, these services might be brought "in house" when operations get big enough and/or combine the accounting with risk management.
 

mrj

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HAY MAKER said:
Cattle Industry Leaders Discuss Issues in Kentucky

Copy By: Candace Bullard, Administrative Assistant
Phone: 406-252-2516; e-mail: [email protected]

Media Contact: Shae Dodson, Communications Coordinator
Phone: 406-672-8969; e-mail: [email protected]

LOUISVILLE, KY. (November 29, 2005) Cattle producers from across the country gathered here recently for the fourth R-CALF USA regional meeting conducted this year. A full house listened to R-CALF USA President and Co-Founder Leo McDonnell and R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard speak about matters such as captive cattle supplies, Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL), the National Animal Identification System (NAIS), and international trade, among other important issues that U.S. cattle producers face today.

R-CALF USA Region VIII Director Gene Barber hosted the event, which R-CALF USA Volunteer Dave Hutchins of West Mansfield, Ohio, helped to organize. After a brief introduction, Barber gave reasons why cattle producers need to support R-CALF USA.

“The captive supply issue we have to deal with in the cattle business is really serious,” he said.

Barber expressed his concern about captive supplies and how about 20 years ago the problem began to impact the once flourishing hog industry, and how, all of a sudden, there was no longer a cash market for hogs. Hog producers had more dollars going into their pigs than what their pigs were selling for in the open market, while at that same time, packers were busy building farrowing barns and finishing pens for hogs.

“So, they (meatpackers) got rid of the private, independent hog feeders completely,” noted Barber. “That same thing can happen to our cattle business with captive supply, and I’m worried to death about it.”

McDonnell then spoke on how R-CALF USA was founded.

“We formed R-CALF USA in 1998 and filed the largest trade case in the history of this country,” he said, referring to both the live cattle and anti-dumping case against Canada and Mexico, and a countervailing duty case against Canada.

“Commerce (U.S. Department of Commerce) found that Canada was dumping and placed tariffs on them,” continued McDonnell. “We had more U.S. Senators testify at the U.S. Senate hearing on this cattle case than in any other case in this country’s history.”

He explained that these particular cases revealed a significant level of opposition against the interests of U.S. cattle producers, and because of this opposition, R-CALF USA was transformed into a membership organization.

Then, McDonnell began a discussion on the history of Mandatory Country-of-Origin Labeling (M-COOL), a law passed in the 2002 Farm Bill, which required a label on all domestic and imported beef products sold at the retail level to take effect Sept. 30, 2004.

“R-CALF USA formed the largest coalition in the history of this country to pass mandatory country-of-origin labeling legislation and did it through the right process,” McDonnell said.

Opponents of M-COOL soon were successful in delaying M-COOL until Sept. 30, 2006. And a more recent effort by the FY06 Agriculture Appropriations Conference Committee – without any public debate or vote – delayed implementation until September 2008. McDonnell emphasized that R-CALF USA will continue to work on behalf of producers for the timely implementation of Mandatory COOL.

McDonnell then went on to discuss the National Animal Identification System (NAIS), a program proposed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) with a scheduled implementation date of 2009.

“I think electronic identification’s a great thing, but I don’t think you should mandate it,” he said “The little guys can’t afford it so they will get out of the business, and we need all those little guys. That’s what makes competition.”

McDonnell wrapped up his talk with comments about the beef checkoff.

“You’ll find me criticizing it,” he acknowledged. “That doesn’t mean that I’m against it. It means I’m critical of certain aspects just like we criticize our own business.

“We criticize our own children, our families, our churches, our school system and we criticize them in a manner to make them better, don’t we,” he asked the crowd.

“We’re going to start a check-off committee in R-CALF – not to get rid of it, but to put the control back in the producer’s hands – to make it better,” McDonnell continued. “So we can actually promote country-of-origin labeling, because under the act and order of the check-off, you are forbidden from promoting U.S. products.”

Bullard then spoke after McDonnell and soon had the audience seriously examining the multi-segmented beef supply chain they are involved – but from meatpacker’s perspective, explaining that, “Sometimes, it’s helpful for us to better understand our industry by taking a step back from our own particular industry segment.”

He said that in order to determine what live cattle producers need to do to advance their interests, producers need to understand the goals of major meatpackers. He explained that one of their goals is to minimize the financial risk associated with the cyclical U.S. cattle industry and that when U.S. supplies tighten, cattle prices increase, which in turn increases meatpackers’ risk and reduces profits.

“An effective strategy to reduce this risk is for meatpackers to expand their supplies of cattle beyond their immediate needs,” Bullard said. “They can do this by melding together the herds of Canada, the United States and Mexico into one seamless herd.”

Packers also want to downwardly harmonize the animal health and food safety standards of the United States to match the lower standards in other countries, such as the standards in Canada and Mexico, Bullard outlined. The reason, he said, is that meatpackers don’t want consumers to perceive any difference in beef, no matter what country the cattle come from. Thus, you have meatpackers’ consistent, and expensive, efforts to integrate the cattle of the U.S., Canada and Mexico into one giant North American herd.

The third goal of the packers, Bullard explained, is to label their products with a house brand, but they certainly do not want those products marked with a country-of-origin label because that would defeat the packers’ first two objectives. Packers want consumers to seek out products with their house label, regardless of where the cattle originated to produce those beef products.

The final step of the packers’ strategy is to lobby Congress to restrict producer access to trade-remedy laws because packers do not want independent cattle producers to restrict or otherwise interfere with their access to their newfound inventories that are less costly than U.S. cattle, commented Bullard.

These past three years, producers have received historically high cattle prices, triggered not only by tight supplies, but also increased demand, a reduction in imports, and the packers’ reduced access to their captive-supply cattle held in Canada, Bullard continued. The dramatic increase in prices revealed that packers were not keeping their promise to pass profits back to U.S. producers when beef demand increased. Bullard also emphasized that beef demand had actually been on the rise for a full six years before live cattle prices were finally able to respond without the interferences from Canadian captive supplies and Canadian imports.

“What if we competed to obtain our fair share of the available profits within the beef supply chain, all of which are generated at the end of the supply chain and determined by how much beef consumers purchase and at what price they are willing to pay?” Bullard asked the audience.

Bullard said that producers are involved in a highly competitive, profitable, and multi-segmented beef supply chain and that the U.S. live-cattle segment is annually a $48 billion industry – the single largest segment of American agriculture.

“Only live cattle producers share the desire to maximize the profitability of the live-cattle segment of our industry,” Bullard said. “If producers won’t step up to compete to maximize their profitability, no one else in the industry will either.

“This is why producers need R-CALF – the only national organization that represents only the interests of independent cattle producers,” he concluded.

# # #

R-CALF USA (Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund, United Stockgrowers of America) represents thousands of U.S. cattle producers on domestic and international trade and marketing issues. R-CALF USA, a national, non-profit organization, is dedicated to ensuring the continued profitability and viability of the U.S. cattle industry. R-CALF USA's membership consists primarily of cow/calf operators, cattle backgrounders, and feedlot owners. Its members - over 18,000 strong - are located in 47 states, and the organization has over 60 local and state association affiliates, from both cattle and farm organizations. Various main street businesses are associate members of R-CALF USA. For more information, visit www.r-calfusa.com or, call 406-252-2516.


Since sinus infections seem to create 'brain fog' for me, idle curiousity preveils over more serious questions this morning.

Does anyone know if Candace Bullard and Bill Bullard are related?

No problem with it, simply curious, since I have no real concern over whom R-CALF hires.

MRJ
 

mrj

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YoungFarmer said:
Oldtimer Wrote "Does it not bother Canadians that their industry survives only thru FRAUD? Riding on the backs of what the US producer built--Talk about cowardly and lying!!!!!!"

I don't loose any sleep over it because I know all the Green tractors and Combines sitting in our farm yard were made in the U.S.A. Knowing that these farm implements supported the US economy and provided Jobs to US workers. Perhaps these employees at John Deere should be bothered that they are working and surviving through fraud. Riding on the industry Versatile tractors has built in Canada even though I know the green ones were made in the US.

Bullard “An effective strategy to reduce this risk is for meatpackers to expand their supplies of cattle beyond their immediate needs,” Bullard said. “They can do this by melding together the herds of Canada, the United States and Mexico into one seamless herd.”

I don't disagree with the Concept of R-Calf but their arguement against Canadian cattle imports comes about 15 years too late. Somebody in there office must have forgot to take the 1989 callender of the wall. Thier is a thing called the North American Free Trade Agreement it is not called the North American tariff and Quota Agreement. This is no different than a contract signed with your local feed dealer or grain buyer. If R-Calf would look forward for once and spend more of thier resources trying to find more export markets and fighting CAFTA I would be the first person to join their Membership.

Isn't it really more than a hundred years that the two countries cattle industries have been very inter-active? Feeder calves going to Canada from northern tier states, then back south of the border for processing?

Breeding stock moving in both directions and improving quality in both nations?

Health concerns have been quite parallel in both nations, and I believe both are similar in position on BSE with the OIE, are they not?

MRJ
 

Bill

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MRJ said:
HAY MAKER said:
Cattle Industry Leaders Discuss Issues in Kentucky

Copy By: Candace Bullard, Administrative Assistant
Phone: 406-252-2516; e-mail: [email protected]

Media Contact: Shae Dodson, Communications Coordinator
Phone: 406-672-8969; e-mail: [email protected]

LOUISVILLE, KY. (November 29, 2005) Cattle producers from across the country gathered here recently for the fourth R-CALF USA regional meeting conducted this year. A full house listened to R-CALF USA President and Co-Founder Leo McDonnell and R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard speak about matters such as captive cattle supplies, Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL), the National Animal Identification System (NAIS), and international trade, among other important issues that U.S. cattle producers face today.

R-CALF USA Region VIII Director Gene Barber hosted the event, which R-CALF USA Volunteer Dave Hutchins of West Mansfield, Ohio, helped to organize. After a brief introduction, Barber gave reasons why cattle producers need to support R-CALF USA.

“The captive supply issue we have to deal with in the cattle business is really serious,” he said.

Barber expressed his concern about captive supplies and how about 20 years ago the problem began to impact the once flourishing hog industry, and how, all of a sudden, there was no longer a cash market for hogs. Hog producers had more dollars going into their pigs than what their pigs were selling for in the open market, while at that same time, packers were busy building farrowing barns and finishing pens for hogs.

“So, they (meatpackers) got rid of the private, independent hog feeders completely,” noted Barber. “That same thing can happen to our cattle business with captive supply, and I’m worried to death about it.”

McDonnell then spoke on how R-CALF USA was founded.

“We formed R-CALF USA in 1998 and filed the largest trade case in the history of this country,” he said, referring to both the live cattle and anti-dumping case against Canada and Mexico, and a countervailing duty case against Canada.

“Commerce (U.S. Department of Commerce) found that Canada was dumping and placed tariffs on them,” continued McDonnell. “We had more U.S. Senators testify at the U.S. Senate hearing on this cattle case than in any other case in this country’s history.”

He explained that these particular cases revealed a significant level of opposition against the interests of U.S. cattle producers, and because of this opposition, R-CALF USA was transformed into a membership organization.

Then, McDonnell began a discussion on the history of Mandatory Country-of-Origin Labeling (M-COOL), a law passed in the 2002 Farm Bill, which required a label on all domestic and imported beef products sold at the retail level to take effect Sept. 30, 2004.

“R-CALF USA formed the largest coalition in the history of this country to pass mandatory country-of-origin labeling legislation and did it through the right process,” McDonnell said.

Opponents of M-COOL soon were successful in delaying M-COOL until Sept. 30, 2006. And a more recent effort by the FY06 Agriculture Appropriations Conference Committee – without any public debate or vote – delayed implementation until September 2008. McDonnell emphasized that R-CALF USA will continue to work on behalf of producers for the timely implementation of Mandatory COOL.

McDonnell then went on to discuss the National Animal Identification System (NAIS), a program proposed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) with a scheduled implementation date of 2009.

“I think electronic identification’s a great thing, but I don’t think you should mandate it,” he said “The little guys can’t afford it so they will get out of the business, and we need all those little guys. That’s what makes competition.”

McDonnell wrapped up his talk with comments about the beef checkoff.

“You’ll find me criticizing it,” he acknowledged. “That doesn’t mean that I’m against it. It means I’m critical of certain aspects just like we criticize our own business.

“We criticize our own children, our families, our churches, our school system and we criticize them in a manner to make them better, don’t we,” he asked the crowd.

“We’re going to start a check-off committee in R-CALF – not to get rid of it, but to put the control back in the producer’s hands – to make it better,” McDonnell continued. “So we can actually promote country-of-origin labeling, because under the act and order of the check-off, you are forbidden from promoting U.S. products.”

Bullard then spoke after McDonnell and soon had the audience seriously examining the multi-segmented beef supply chain they are involved – but from meatpacker’s perspective, explaining that, “Sometimes, it’s helpful for us to better understand our industry by taking a step back from our own particular industry segment.”

He said that in order to determine what live cattle producers need to do to advance their interests, producers need to understand the goals of major meatpackers. He explained that one of their goals is to minimize the financial risk associated with the cyclical U.S. cattle industry and that when U.S. supplies tighten, cattle prices increase, which in turn increases meatpackers’ risk and reduces profits.

“An effective strategy to reduce this risk is for meatpackers to expand their supplies of cattle beyond their immediate needs,” Bullard said. “They can do this by melding together the herds of Canada, the United States and Mexico into one seamless herd.”

Packers also want to downwardly harmonize the animal health and food safety standards of the United States to match the lower standards in other countries, such as the standards in Canada and Mexico, Bullard outlined. The reason, he said, is that meatpackers don’t want consumers to perceive any difference in beef, no matter what country the cattle come from. Thus, you have meatpackers’ consistent, and expensive, efforts to integrate the cattle of the U.S., Canada and Mexico into one giant North American herd.

The third goal of the packers, Bullard explained, is to label their products with a house brand, but they certainly do not want those products marked with a country-of-origin label because that would defeat the packers’ first two objectives. Packers want consumers to seek out products with their house label, regardless of where the cattle originated to produce those beef products.

The final step of the packers’ strategy is to lobby Congress to restrict producer access to trade-remedy laws because packers do not want independent cattle producers to restrict or otherwise interfere with their access to their newfound inventories that are less costly than U.S. cattle, commented Bullard.

These past three years, producers have received historically high cattle prices, triggered not only by tight supplies, but also increased demand, a reduction in imports, and the packers’ reduced access to their captive-supply cattle held in Canada, Bullard continued. The dramatic increase in prices revealed that packers were not keeping their promise to pass profits back to U.S. producers when beef demand increased. Bullard also emphasized that beef demand had actually been on the rise for a full six years before live cattle prices were finally able to respond without the interferences from Canadian captive supplies and Canadian imports.

“What if we competed to obtain our fair share of the available profits within the beef supply chain, all of which are generated at the end of the supply chain and determined by how much beef consumers purchase and at what price they are willing to pay?” Bullard asked the audience.

Bullard said that producers are involved in a highly competitive, profitable, and multi-segmented beef supply chain and that the U.S. live-cattle segment is annually a $48 billion industry – the single largest segment of American agriculture.

“Only live cattle producers share the desire to maximize the profitability of the live-cattle segment of our industry,” Bullard said. “If producers won’t step up to compete to maximize their profitability, no one else in the industry will either.

“This is why producers need R-CALF – the only national organization that represents only the interests of independent cattle producers,” he concluded.

# # #

R-CALF USA (Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund, United Stockgrowers of America) represents thousands of U.S. cattle producers on domestic and international trade and marketing issues. R-CALF USA, a national, non-profit organization, is dedicated to ensuring the continued profitability and viability of the U.S. cattle industry. R-CALF USA's membership consists primarily of cow/calf operators, cattle backgrounders, and feedlot owners. Its members - over 18,000 strong - are located in 47 states, and the organization has over 60 local and state association affiliates, from both cattle and farm organizations. Various main street businesses are associate members of R-CALF USA. For more information, visit www.r-calfusa.com or, call 406-252-2516.


Since sinus infections seem to create 'brain fog' for me, idle curiousity preveils over more serious questions this morning.

Does anyone know if Candace Bullard and Bill Bullard are related?

No problem with it, simply curious, since I have no real concern over whom R-CALF hires.

MRJ
I wondered the same thing. If she is I am sure she is an unpaid volunteer. :wink: :wink:
 

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