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Hanta Yo

Well-known member
Feb 11, 2005
Reaction score
South Central Montana
I just hope we haven't made total enemies of our neighbors to the north. :roll: :roll:

*The following is a reprint of an article in the Billings Gazette on April 21, 2005 by Bob Stallman, President of American Farm Bureau Federation.

U.S. Cattle Producers Must Focus On Long-term Business

The United States must maintain its credibility as a leader in world agricultural trade. By using our position of leadership to reform world trade rules we will win greater access for all our farm products, including U.S. beef. The only way we can maintain that stature is by focusing clearly on the use of sound, logical science in all our trade dealings with other nations. This includes the scientifically supported reopening of our border to Canadian cattle imports.

Our trade competitors on the world stage must never see us blink when it comes to trade decisions and science. You had better believe that trade officials in Japan, Europe and elsewhere are closely watching our debate about the re-establishment of Canadian beef trade after that nation has installed scientifically approved safeguards to control bovine spongiform encephalopathy.

Import Canadian cattle

It is clearly in the best, long-term interests of all U.S. cattle producers to support the Agriculture Department rule designating Canada as a "minimal-risk country" for BSE. The rule has been developed through cooperation between the two countries and is firmly based on international scientific principles.

The most important and effective safeguard to ensuring minimal risk and to halt any BSE outbreak is a firewall to help ensure that only proper feed reaches cattle herds. Based on the U.S. inspection team's review of records and on-site observations, USDA concluded that Canada has "a robust inspection program, that overall compliance with the feed ban is good, and that the feed ban is reducing the risk of transmission" of BSE. In fact, inspectors concluded that the Canadian feed safeguards were "not substantially different" from the U.S. system.

Keeping our border closed in the face of that sound scientific evidence would be the blink our competitors are waiting for. They would use that decision to not only justify their current unscientific trade barriers, but it is likely they would establish entirely new unscientific schemes with one goal in mind - keeping American beef and other U.S. food products off their consumers' tables.

While we wrangle among ourselves over allowing Canadian cattle and beef into the United States during the short term, the Canadian beef industry is expending resources and redoubling efforts to promote Canadian beef to the world in the long-term. As they win new markets, they are taking markets away from the U.S. beef industry.

As we see beef processing capacity increase in Canada, the longer the border remains closed, the more likely it will be that when the border reopens there could be less beef slaughter capacity in the United States, and ultimately that could mean U.S. slaughter plant closures, fewer American jobs and fewer market opportunities for U.S. cattle and beef. The longer we wait, the greater the risk.

We must begin to open our borders to Canadian cattle now. The Farm Bureau is rightly concerned about the economic health of our cattle producers, and we will call for an orderly transition period to smooth out any market adjustments. Our concern about the U.S. cattle industry is also why we are so adamant about focusing on the long-term good for our cattle markets and cattle producers.

A growing number of other countries are already beginning to approve Canadian beef and cattle imports after assuring themselves that Canada has the necessary BSE-prevention firewalls in place to protect animal health and food safety.

Identical systems

Because the United States and Canada have worked so closely together, our beef production systems are virtually identical. Those who choose to disparage our neighbor's science-based proposals also disparage beef and cattle from all of North America - including the United States.

While we express our concerns about Japan not accepting U.S. beef, and we declare there is no justification - scientific or otherwise - for the Japanese ban, a vocal few continue to fight to keep our border closed to Canada. Other countries view our refusal to resume beef trade with Canada as economic-based hypocrisy.

Further delaying Canadian cattle imports could have devastating long-term impacts on the U.S. cattle industry that greatly outweigh any positive short-term gain. A growing number of cattle producers are focusing on the long term and on a solid trade decision based on sound science. We must reopen our border to Canadian beef. The world is watching. We must not blink.

Bob Stallman, a Texas cattle and rice producer, is president of the American Farm Bureau Federation.

A growing number of cattle producers are focusing on the long term and on a solid trade decision based on sound science.

A mojority of these being in Canada!

I'll repost a statement I made yesterday? Fits well here too.

Does anybody else get the feeling this is being approached more as an election campaign. NCBA one week, R-calf the next. (rebublicans/democrats)

You guys better get your act together in the US, or BSE from Canada will be the least of your worries. You're going to tear yourselves apart, and the industry!

Us guys in Canada are going to have to go somewhere else for our markets, with or without Cargills help!

Speaking of which, does Cargill know something we don't know about Japan? Why would they buy a plant in Canada, close to populated US markets, who also has an office in Japan? Less transportation of boxed beef? Connections in Japan? HMMM?

For the most part in Canada, we're working together on this, strength in numbers they say. But maybe that's a statement everybody likes to hate too.
Murgen said:
For the most part in Canada, we're working together on this, strength in numbers they say. But maybe that's a statement everybody likes to hate too.

Tsk Tsk. Now someone is going to play their little socialist card on you Murgen. :wink:
I think that when the border opens it will be an eye opener for some Americans who think that it will just be business as usual. I can't guarantee that none of my cattle will go to the States but I will do what I can to upport the Canadian packers even if it means leaving a few dollars on the table. It will be a long time before alot of us forget how the Americans kept us out of the market during the current boom.

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