• If you are having problems logging in please use the Contact Us in the lower right hand corner of the forum page for assistance.

Cattlemen's Group Wrangles With Its Former Allies

Help Support Ranchers.net:

Tommy

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 11, 2005
Messages
755
Reaction score
0
Location
South East Kansas
te: Wed, 14 Sep 2005 16:00:11 -0600


R-CALF cowboy rebellion



Cattlemen's Group Wrangles With Its Former Allies

By JIM ROBBINS

New York Times

September 14, 2005



BILLINGS, Mont., Sept. 10- In a cramped office sandwiched between cattle auction yards and the looming white tanks of an oil refinery is the headquarters of a growing cowboy rebellion against federal trade policies and the large beef-packing companies they once regarded as allies.



It is the office of the Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund, United Stockgrowers of America, or R-Calf USA, an organization of ranchers founded in 1999 that says its membership has doubled to 18,000 in the last year.



The organization has found an ally in Montana's governor, a former rancher who last month called the Agriculture Department "stooges" of the meatpacking industry. And it has drawn the ire of a rival beef group and Canadian ranchers by managing to keep the border closed to Canadian cattle for several months this year.



Staking its ground against the Bush administration and meatpackers, who depend on a steady supply of cattle, R-Calf contends that the threat of mad cow disease is still too great to allow Canadian cattle into the United States.



"Our competitive advantage is we produce the best beef under the best conditions," said Bill Bullard, chief executive of R-Calf. The Department of Agriculture, Mr. Bullard said, was "attempting to compromise those very health and safety standards" by allowing the import of Canadian cattle.



For years, most cattle producers were part of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, based in Colorado, whose members include large packers and cattle feeding operations.



But issues like the North American Free Trade Act, the recent Central America Free Trade Act, mad cow disease and mandatory country of origin labeling have fenced off segments of the industry. Producers have found themselves on the other side of many of these issues from packing houses like IBP and Tyson.



"Anything we've brought forward to help U.S. cattle producers be more competitive, N.C.B.A. has been opposed," said Leo McDonnell, the president and founder of R-Calf, who breeds bulls near Columbus, Mont. "As great as the global market is, we're a dying industry."



An obituary may be premature, but the number of cattle has fallen, to 104 million this year from 125 million in 1981, and producers declined to 989,000 in 2004 from 1.3 million in 1989, according to Agriculture Department statistics.



Some industry observers are surprised by the growth of R-Calf. If anything, ranchers are seen as independent types not quick to join organizations. But the group speaks the same language as its members and is narrowly focused on ranchers' concerns.



"R-Calf is run by people who look and talk like cowboys," said Mikkel Pates, a reporter for Agweek in Fargo, N.D., who has written about the organization. "And they are."



Ty Thompson, a member of R-Calf with a small feeding operation in Lockwood, Mont., said ranchers liked R-Calf "because it's a grass-roots organization that they can talk to."



This prairie populism comes amid three boom years for cattle producers. After the discovery of mad cow disease in an Alberta cow closed the border to Canadian cattle in 2003, prices in the United States rose to $135 per hundredweight from $95 and have stayed close to the higher figure, even after imports resumed in July. Imports of calves younger than 30 months were supposed to resume in March. But R-Calf, raising legal fees from charity auctions, won a temporary injunction to stop the imports after arguing that the Agriculture Department had not done enough to guard against mad cow disease.



The department has argued that the risk of mad cow disease was low enough in young Canadian calves to allow them into the country.



"It's science driving the decision, not politics," said Ron DeHaven, the administrator for the agency's Animal and Plant Inspection Health Service. "Science based on what we know about the disease and international standards. It's safer to eat the beef than it is to drive to the store and buy it."



A three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit lifted the injunction in July. R-Calf seeks a rehearing by all 11 judges on the court.



J. Patrick Boyle, president and chief executive of the American Meat Institute, called R-Calf "isolationist" and said the trade policies it advocated ultimately hurt everyone in the industry.



"It's a shortsighted approach," he said. "Yes, they've enjoyed artificially high cattle prices. But consumers are moving to other protein because our product is at historically high prices."



Ground beef, he said, had risen to $2.50 a pound from $1.85. As a result, he said, "the meatpacking industry has lost 10,000 jobs."



Jay Truitt, vice president for government affairs of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, said R-Calf was wrong about what it advocated. Country-of-origin labeling - which R-Calf lobbied for and which Congress passed in 2003 - should be sorted out by the free market, not the government, Mr. Truitt said. And, he added, lowering trade barriers will benefit everyone.



Mr. Truitt said his group was also working in behalf of ranchers and understood them. "I was raised a cattleman, and I wear a pair of boots every day of my life," he said.



Mr. Bullard, R-Calf's chief executive, acknowledges that the closed border has been a boon for American ranchers. "There's no question our organization has an interest in higher cattle prices," he said. But, he added, "we're healing from long-term depressed prices."



The ranchers' rebellion has received support from Gov. Brian Schweitzer of Montana, a Democrat who has cultivated a populist streak. He says the large meatpackers have grown too powerful.



"They control not only the market, but the regulatory agencies," Mr. Schweitzer said.



"It's a revolving door," he said.



The governor's stance and R-Calf's legal fights have chafed ranchers north of the border.



"They are looking out for themselves, as far as I can see," said David Penner, yard foreman at the Grunthal Livestock Auction Mart in Manitoba, referring to R-Calf. "They are not worried about us or even worried about the U.S. economy with all the packing plants closed down."



But Mr. McDonnell, the president of R-Calf, said the organization was not just a group of isolationists. "We're trying to prevent a collapse of our industry," he said.





nytimes.com
 

Bill

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 10, 2005
Messages
2,066
Reaction score
0
Location
GWN
Headline should read


Cattlemen's Group Wrangles With Its Former Allies ........and aligns itself with Public Citizen and the Southern Shrimp Alliance:lol:
 

Tam

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 10, 2005
Messages
12,759
Reaction score
0
Location
Sask
"Our competitive advantage is we produce the best beef under the best conditions," said Bill Bullard, chief executive of R-Calf.

Hey Tommy doesn't the US have BSE in their native herd? I thought Bullard and Leo said all countries affected by BSE have Tainted and Unsafe beef and now he says "we produce the best beef" :?
Bullard also said "under the best conditions," Isn't your conditions the reason you can't afford to import beef from us. As your weaker feed ban and noncompliant feed system will spread BSE throughout your herd. Gee Tommy if you have the BEST CONDITIONS how can BSE be spread by any animal including native US cattle and if you don't have the Best conditions was Bill LYING again. :???:

But Mr. McDonnell, the president of R-Calf, said the organization was not just a group of isolationists. "We're trying to prevent a collapse of our industry," he said.

So lying is ok as long as you are just protecting your industry. :roll: When is R-CALF going to get it that every lie about Canadian Beef is only going to come back and haunt the US system now that BSE has been found in the US. How can your consumers trust the safety of your meat when they keep hearing how our beef is a genuine risk of death. Look at our two systems we have the stricter firewalls. Come on Tommy think about it R-CALF is preventing the collapse of your industry by trying to destroy ours with lies. And those lies are going to backfire and take both beef industries out if it doesn't stop.
 

Tommy

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 11, 2005
Messages
755
Reaction score
0
Location
South East Kansas
Tam...How can your consumers trust the safety of your meat when they keep hearing how our beef is a genuine risk of death. Look at our two systems we have the stricter firewalls.

Tam, you Scott, MJ, and all the others keep saying R-CALF will destroy consumer confidence and that is not happening. It is in the mid ninety percent level. Hard to get more confident than that.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Tommy: "Tam, you Scott, MJ, and all the others keep saying R-CALF will destroy consumer confidence and that is not happening. It is in the mid ninety percent level. Hard to get more confident than that."

No Tommy, I said R-CULT's statements and actions had the potential to destroy consumer confidence in beef IF THE MEDIA SAW R-CULT AS A CREDIBLE SOURCE OF INFORMATION ON BSE.

We should all be thankful that the media doesn't see R-CULT as a credible source of information or the headlines would read: "U.S. BEEF CONSIDERED HIGH RISK DUE TO NATIVE CASE OF BSE".

That's how smart R-CULT isn't!

R-CULT knows that USDA and NCBA will be there to correct their lies so they stay vigilante in their efforts to stop Canadian imports.

All anyone has to do is look at this years calf prices with the Canadian border open and look at last years calf prices with the Canadian border closed to see how R-CULT has deceived the U.S. cattlemen ONCE AGAIN!



~SH~
 

rancher

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 10, 2005
Messages
1,059
Reaction score
0
All anyone has to do is look at this years calf prices with the Canadian border open and look at last years calf prices with the Canadian border closed to see how R-CULT has deceived the U.S. cattlemen ONCE AGAIN!

SH, you can't do that until we have as many cattle coming across the border as we did in preBSE days. Gas, lack of truckers, paperwork, and slaughtering them at home have kept the flood of cattle back.
 

Bill

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 10, 2005
Messages
2,066
Reaction score
0
Location
GWN
Tommy said:
Tam...How can your consumers trust the safety of your meat when they keep hearing how our beef is a genuine risk of death. Look at our two systems we have the stricter firewalls.

Tam, you Scott, MJ, and all the others keep saying R-CALF will destroy consumer confidence and that is not happening. It is in the mid ninety percent level. Hard to get more confident than that.
OK Tommy ask yourself why that is. :???: Does the public see R-Calf for what it truly is and don't believe what they are reading or is it that the public is so immune to food scares in the US that they don't care?
 

Tommy

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 11, 2005
Messages
755
Reaction score
0
Location
South East Kansas
Bill...Does the public see R-Calf for what it truly is and don't believe what they are reading or is it that the public is so immune to food scares in the US that they don't care?


Bill I would say that ninety percent or more of the consumers have never heard of R-CALF, the NCBA, LMA, or any other cattle organization.
 

Tam

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 10, 2005
Messages
12,759
Reaction score
0
Location
Sask
Tommy said:
Tam...How can your consumers trust the safety of your meat when they keep hearing how our beef is a genuine risk of death. Look at our two systems we have the stricter firewalls.

Tam, you Scott, MJ, and all the others keep saying R-CALF will destroy consumer confidence and that is not happening. It is in the mid ninety percent level. Hard to get more confident than that.

Up until now R-CALF has been seen for what they really are a protectionist group that will do anything to further their agenda. And you should be thankful for that not proud of it. R-CALF dodged the bullet when they lost the Appeal but they weren't smart enough to let it go. Now that BSE has been found in the US Native herd and if they keep up the lying and win they will be telling consumer NO BEEF IS SAFE including the US beef affected by BSE. Just what do you think that will do to your historical high cattle prices Tommy? You better hope there is enough Checkoff dollars collected to combat the lieing or your industry will be in for a very rough ride.
 

Sandhusker

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 10, 2005
Messages
18,486
Reaction score
0
Location
Nebraska
Judging by their explosive growth in membership, they're being seen in a much different light down here, Tam.

You call R-CALF a protectionist group. What is the difference between them and the AMI?
 

Murgen

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 12, 2005
Messages
2,108
Reaction score
0
Location
Ontario
Bill I would say that ninety percent or more of the consumers have never heard of R-CALF, the NCBA, LMA, or any other cattle organization

I agree, so what will stop them from buying the Canadian beef when they are shipped across the border in boxes, in the same amount Pre BSE, compared to live and boxed combined?

You org. isn't long term thinking are they?

If you haven't made your point, when it comes to the safety of Canadian beef, what makes you think COOL will work?

When that doesn't work, will you then have RCALF members standing in the supermarkets will mallets to beat them over the head?

I'm sure they will still scurry around you to get the "good stuff"

Well at least 90% will.
 

Econ101

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 26, 2005
Messages
7,060
Reaction score
0
Location
TX
Murgen said:
Bill I would say that ninety percent or more of the consumers have never heard of R-CALF, the NCBA, LMA, or any other cattle organization

I agree, so what will stop them from buying the Canadian beef when they are shipped across the border in boxes, in the same amount Pre BSE, compared to live and boxed combined?

You org. isn't long term thinking are they?

If you haven't made your point, when it comes to the safety of Canadian beef, what makes you think COOL will work?

When that doesn't work, will you then have RCALF members standing in the supermarkets will mallets to beat them over the head?

I'm sure they will still scurry around you to get the "good stuff"

Well at least 90% will.

Murgen, I am a consumer of a lot of beef and I would not hesitate to buy Canadian beef as long as I thought it was safe. My wife's sister may not want any Brazilian beef, not because she knows anything about it, but because she thinks they are destroying the rain forest for it. Consumers do not really know a lot about the meat they are buying except when they take it home and cook it and eat it. Country differentation may be a good thing for Canada if your meat is "a cut above the rest". It would be good for Canada, Brazil, the U.S. and others to have to compete for safety issues for the consumer. It would be good for them all to compete for quality or any other attribute the consumer wants. I know my sister-in-law eats a lot more meat when she thinks it is organic. Without COOL they can not make that happen.

Having grown up near Houston, Tx, I know how hard it is to get cattle fat in the heat. You also have more brahman (I just think they are tough cattle) influence in the hotter climates. Think about it. Most Americans do not have a problem with anything Canadian. I know I do not. I have a problem with market power and market manipulation.
 

fedup2

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 10, 2005
Messages
794
Reaction score
0
Just wondering why I haven't read anything on this board about the NCBA-R-Calf debate in Iowa this week?
The only information I have so far is from a newsletter. (No, not R-calf as I am not a member!)
This is the first paragraph.

" R-Calf CEO, Bill Bullard, is impressive on his feet, articulate and focussed. He was the clear winner in Wednesday's debate at the Clay County Fair over NCBA chief economist, Gregg Doud, in substance and blew him away on style. The NCBA doesn't have anybody good enough to put up against Bullard so for the NCBA these contests are like bringing spitballs to a gun fight. They are going to get shot down. Even ICA types that favor NCBA, after the debate admitted that they had their b _ _ _ kicked. "

There is a lot more but as it is a newsletter, I won't print it here. Just looking for more information.
 

feeder

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 12, 2005
Messages
950
Reaction score
0
Location
Iowa
The debate was held 40 miles from me. I didn't go, and I haven't listened to any local news in case they would have commented on it. I too, would like to know if anyone has any info on the debate.
 

mrj

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 21, 2005
Messages
4,530
Reaction score
1
Location
SD
Tommy said:
Bill...Does the public see R-Calf for what it truly is and don't believe what they are reading or is it that the public is so immune to food scares in the US that they don't care?


Bill I would say that ninety percent or more of the consumers have never heard of R-CALF, the NCBA, LMA, or any other cattle organization.


More accurately, Tommy, considerable numbers of consumers have heard of Consumer Federation of America and Carole Tucker Forman and the fact that they and R-CALF partnered in some of the fear-mongering re.
BSE had/still has the possibility of being a very serious problem for cattle/beef producers.

Fortunately, NCBA prepared well by gathering the best, science based information about BSE, starting long before much of anyone in this nation had heard of it, and continues to add to that base of information and to share it with the media and consumers. I realize you will be extremely unlikely to give any credit to NCBA for that effort. However what is more important is that people outside our industry respect the history of NCBA for accuracy and credibility.

MRJ
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
MRJ said:
Tommy said:
Bill...Does the public see R-Calf for what it truly is and don't believe what they are reading or is it that the public is so immune to food scares in the US that they don't care?


Bill I would say that ninety percent or more of the consumers have never heard of R-CALF, the NCBA, LMA, or any other cattle organization.


More accurately, Tommy, considerable numbers of consumers have heard of Consumer Federation of America and Carole Tucker Forman and the fact that they and R-CALF partnered in some of the fear-mongering re.
BSE had/still has the possibility of being a very serious problem for cattle/beef producers.

Fortunately, NCBA prepared well by gathering the best, science based information about BSE, starting long before much of anyone in this nation had heard of it, and continues to add to that base of information and to share it with the media and consumers. I realize you will be extremely unlikely to give any credit to NCBA for that effort. However what is more important is that people outside our industry respect the history of NCBA for accuracy and credibility.

MRJ

:gag: :gag:
 

mrj

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 21, 2005
Messages
4,530
Reaction score
1
Location
SD
Oldtimer said:
MRJ said:
Tommy said:
Bill...Does the public see R-Calf for what it truly is and don't believe what they are reading or is it that the public is so immune to food scares in the US that they don't care?


Bill I would say that ninety percent or more of the consumers have never heard of R-CALF, the NCBA, LMA, or any other cattle organization.


More accurately, Tommy, considerable numbers of consumers have heard of Consumer Federation of America and Carole Tucker Forman and the fact that they and R-CALF partnered in some of the fear-mongering re.
BSE had/still has the possibility of being a very serious problem for cattle/beef producers.

Fortunately, NCBA prepared well by gathering the best, science based information about BSE, starting long before much of anyone in this nation had heard of it, and continues to add to that base of information and to share it with the media and consumers. I realize you will be extremely unlikely to give any credit to NCBA for that effort. However what is more important is that people outside our industry respect the history of NCBA for accuracy and credibility.

MRJ

:gag: :gag:

OT, I'm sorry it disturbs you that some of the more credible media and some intelligent people, both in and outside of agriculture have found what NCBA reports to them to be accurate and credible, in respect to both BSE and other issues.

MRJ
 

rancher

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 10, 2005
Messages
1,059
Reaction score
0
MRJ said:
Oldtimer said:
MRJ said:
More accurately, Tommy, considerable numbers of consumers have heard of Consumer Federation of America and Carole Tucker Forman and the fact that they and R-CALF partnered in some of the fear-mongering re.
BSE had/still has the possibility of being a very serious problem for cattle/beef producers.

Fortunately, NCBA prepared well by gathering the best, science based information about BSE, starting long before much of anyone in this nation had heard of it, and continues to add to that base of information and to share it with the media and consumers. I realize you will be extremely unlikely to give any credit to NCBA for that effort. However what is more important is that people outside our industry respect the history of NCBA for accuracy and credibility.

MRJ

:gag: :gag:

OT, I'm sorry it disturbs you that some of the more credible media and some intelligent people, both in and outside of agriculture have found what NCBA reports to them to be accurate and credible, in respect to both BSE and other issues.

MRJ
:lol2: :gag: :gag:
 

mrj

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 21, 2005
Messages
4,530
Reaction score
1
Location
SD
Econ101 said:
Murgen said:
Bill I would say that ninety percent or more of the consumers have never heard of R-CALF, the NCBA, LMA, or any other cattle organization

I agree, so what will stop them from buying the Canadian beef when they are shipped across the border in boxes, in the same amount Pre BSE, compared to live and boxed combined?

You org. isn't long term thinking are they?

If you haven't made your point, when it comes to the safety of Canadian beef, what makes you think COOL will work?

When that doesn't work, will you then have RCALF members standing in the supermarkets will mallets to beat them over the head?

I'm sure they will still scurry around you to get the "good stuff"

Well at least 90% will.

Murgen, I am a consumer of a lot of beef and I would not hesitate to buy Canadian beef as long as I thought it was safe. My wife's sister may not want any Brazilian beef, not because she knows anything about it, but because she thinks they are destroying the rain forest for it. Consumers do not really know a lot about the meat they are buying except when they take it home and cook it and eat it. Country differentation may be a good thing for Canada if your meat is "a cut above the rest". It would be good for Canada, Brazil, the U.S. and others to have to compete for safety issues for the consumer. It would be good for them all to compete for quality or any other attribute the consumer wants. I know my sister-in-law eats a lot more meat when she thinks it is organic. {

{ "Without COOL they can not make that happen.".......What in COOL do you believe WILL make that happen? The ONLY thing that law will do is label a small portion of imported beef that winds up in the retail meat case as "IMPORTED", with NO country of origin (unless the seller chooses to put that information on), NO identification of producer or premise in the USA, NO means of trace back to quickly stop food borne illnesses (extemely rare as those are), No real information about quality of the product, NO information about age of the animal........NO information beneficial to the consumer in the current flawed COOL law. MRJ}

Having grown up near Houston, Tx, I know how hard it is to get cattle fat in the heat. You also have more brahman (I just think they are tough cattle) influence in the hotter climates. Think about it. Most Americans do not have a problem with anything Canadian. I know I do not. I have a problem with market power and market manipulation.
 

Latest posts

Top