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AMI goes to the Funnies

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AMI takes its case to … the funny pages

by John Gregerson on 4/28/2005 for Meatingplace.com

The American Meat Institute knows its way around the Op/Ed page — but what about the funny pages?

AMI recently commissioned Canadian cartoonist Ralph Hagen to tackle the Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund, whose lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Agriculture resulted in an injunction that stalled the March reopening of the U.S. border to Canadian beef. Borrowing a page from L. Frank Baum's celebrated children's classic "The Wizard of Oz," the resulting strip whisks bewildered Canadian Dorothy Gale to a "faraway land called Montana," where she encounters producers who look suspiciously like munchkins — and R-CALF members — before journeying across the state for a meeting with the Wizard of Billings himself. (Click Here to view The Cowboy of Oz comic strip.)

"As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. We commissioned a cartoon that illustrates just how absurd — and really how tragic — this entire situation is," says AMI President J. Patrick Boyle. "While most readers may initially chuckle, I think upon further reflection it will help them understand that the campaign to keep Canadian beef out is just a smokescreen for another effort to keep dollars in the pockets of some cattlemen. Isolationism has to stop. Long-term, it's good for no one, including R-CALF."

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