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Leo McDonnell

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HAY MAKER

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Last Fall I was in Louisville, KY at the NAILE walking through the cattle barns
at the livestock pavilion when I ran into an old family friend who was from
Missouri. For the sake of this article, I'll call him Bob.
Bob had held leadership positions in a couple of breed associations and was a well
known seedstock producer.
After exchanging a few pleasantries with my wife Sam and I, he started trembling with
anger and out of nowhere asked why R-CALF was trying to ruin beef demand. I kind of
laughed and said, "Bob, you have got to be kidding me, we are enjoying the highest
retail beef prices in history, so how can you say R-CALF has hurt beef demand?"
He agreed that maybe he was off base then went on to rant that R-CALF was attacking
the safety of U.S. beef. I asked him where he had heard such foolishness and he stated
NCBA and a couple of the monthly 'Beef Enquirer' magazines we all receive for free.
Again, I laughed and said, "Bob are you referring to the Injunction against USDA for
lowering our import standards below internationally accepted and practiced import standards?"
He responded, "Yes."
I told him that he, of all people, should understand that the case was targeted at imports
and not U.S. beef and I would like to see the documents where R-CALF had publicly
attacked U.S. beef. He didn't know of any.
I then asked him if he wasn't more concerned about our chief contracting agent for our
checkoff, NCBA, claiming at that time that this was a North American problem and
there was no difference between Canada and the U.S. with regard to the beef and cattle
industries. I said, "Given the fact they've had three cases of BSE - all out of the same
province - that they've had repeated meat and bone meal contaminations and violations,
and that they still processed downer cattle while the U.S. didn't and a host of other differences,
shouldn't you be more concerned that this association with Canada could
cause harm to the image of the U.S. beef."
He agreed, but came back asking how we could support an expensive program like
COOL and not the national ID?
I explained to Bob that nearly every modern consuming country in the world had some
form of COOL and it was time the U.S. caught up. I asked him how do you expect to
compete in a global market if you can't differentiate your product or how do you expect
U.S. ranchers to capitalize on their check-off investment if they're not allowed to
improve demand transparencies. I explained that if COOL was implemented the way the
law was written and the GAO (investigative arm of Congress) reported USDA could, it
wouldn't cost ranchers a dime.
He said, "I didn't know that."
And I responded that maybe there are groups and media that didn't want him to know
it.
I then explained that the National ID would take the most independent segment of
agriculture (cattle industry) and saddle them with the most burdensome regulations in
the history of agriculture. COOL, at its most burdensome level would only require
knowing where an animal was born and raised, but the National ID would also require
a record on every movement, every animal that an animal is exposed to and where those
cattle were moved to and what cattle they were exposed to and so on...On top of that
they want to NCBA coordinate the privatization.
I said, "What rancher is going to support letting a group such as NCBA that has lobbied
against COOL, opposed investigation into unfair trade practices that may have been
damaging cattle prices, supported reopening imports from Canada on products other
countries had banned etc..."
You could tell he didn't like my remarks but he agreed. continued on page 28
Winter 2005
President, continued from page 6
Bob kept coming back with more
and more questions, to which I
answered with R-CALF's position
and to which, he could not refute the
logic.
He then said, "You've divided the
industry and caused a lot of damage."
I thought to myself someone needed
to deprogram this poor soul. I said,
"Bob, you've just spent the last half
hour ranting and raving about points
that you've now found to be untrue.
You're an intelligent man, don't you
think the U.S. cattle rancher, the
largest segment of the cattle/beef sector,
deserves to have its own national
voice?" I explained, "Those of us in
R-CALF didn't divide the industry, all
we did was give a national voice back
to the cattle producer, which we had
historically and foolishly lost."
Bob wanted to argue and I closed it
down saying, "Bob, you've allowed
yourself to be manipulated in thought
and emotion by some of these other
folks."
I share this with you because it
shows the extremes some groups and
media have gone to in their attempt to
quash the support for R-CALF, but it's
not working!
Nobody said taking control of industry
markets and providing more
rational trade policy would be easy. In
fact, I've found very few things in life
that are truly worthwhile are ever
easy; but they are the certainly the
most rewarding.
So lean forward, stay in there, be
focused, be honest, try to cultivate
both sides of an issue, and be respectful
to those who have differing views.
You may even learn something.
As I step down from president, I
want to thank you for your trust.
Merry Christmas and have a Happy
New Year!
28 Winter 2005

Leo McDonnell
 

Bill

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"Bob, you have got to be kidding me, we are enjoying the highest
retail beef prices in history, so how can you say R-CALF has hurt beef demand?"
He agreed that maybe he was off base then went on to rant that R-CALF was attacking
the safety of U.S. beef. I asked him where he had heard such foolishness and he stated
NCBA and a couple of the monthly 'Beef Enquirer' magazines we all receive for free.

Article Launched: 07/03/2005 01:00:00 AM

Q&A: Kathleen Sullivan Kelley
A conversation with a fourth-generation Meeker rancher
By The Denver Post

Q: How safe is the beef we eat?

A: Overall, the beef that we eat is very safe. We have one of the safest beef supplies in the world. But that doesn't mean we should give up our diligence to keep it that way.

Q: The activist ranchers' group that you co-founded, the Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund, United Stockgrowers of America, (R-CALF) has a prominent voice in cattle- and beef-safety issues. What is the group trying to accomplish?

A: We want to make sure that the U.S. cattle producer's voice is represented, and represented well. We feel that in the past few years it hasn't been. We felt we needed to establish an organization that would target our primary concerns, which are protecting both the international market and the domestic market.

One of the most important things is that we need a beef industry with a consumer sector that trusts us. And the only way they'll trust us if we have substantive programs that protect the food supply. We need to make sure that diseases get taken care of at the source so they don't get started here.

Q: How much concern should there be on the part of consumers about mad cow disease?

A: There shouldn't be a lot of concern in terms of food safety - that's the least of the problems we've got. Careful food preparation is a much bigger issue.

What's vital is whether our food safety agencies are protecting the food supply. It's not just BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy or mad cow disease), it's E. coli, salmonella and other food-borne bacteria that need processes that ensure the food we're getting is safe. We've not done an adequate job of providing the type of food inspection processes that are vital to protecting the safety of our food.

Q: Should the U.S. border continue to be closed to Canadian cattle imports?

A: I don't think it's just a matter of Canadian imports. It's about containment of the disease itself. Until a country appropriately manages its BSE problem, we should not open our border to its imports.
We have never done a thorough analysis of Canada's system to see the actual prevalence of BSE. Determining the prevalence is very important. Let's keep the known source of BSE out. Let's not just open the border and let it in.

Q: Critics of R-CALF describe it as a protectionist group. Is that a fair characterization?

A:In some respects, yes, I think it is. I don't shy away from the word protectionist.
In our business we have a responsibility to maintain the opportunity to profit. We can't leave that up to anyone else. It would be irresponsible for us just to throw these things up in the air like BSE, food safety, trade issues and think they'll take care of themselves. We have to watch out for ourselves.
Right now 40 countries will not take our beef. It would be irresponsible to support free-trade agreements that would open our borders and inundate us with beef when we don't have access to many of our export markets.

Q: You served a term as a Democrat in the Colorado House of Representatives in the early 1980s, then lost your re-election bid by 13 votes to future congressman Scott McInnis. Is politics still in your blood?

A: Yes, at a more specific level, and that's why I'm so involved in R-CALF. I enjoyed my time in the legislature immensely. It was the best and worst of times, and I saw the best and worst from people. Now I want to be focused on the cattle industry.

Q: What's it like being a Democrat in an agricultural sector dominated by Republicans?

A: I don't think many people know I'm a Democrat. I think party affiliations have lost a lot of their meaning in the past few years.

We've lost focus on the more substantive issues that deal with the infrastructure of this country. In terms of advancing the issues of transportation, education, health care, it's not coming from either of the major parties.

I don't vote Republican very often, but I have a hard time casting votes for Democrats, too.

Q: Are you happier as a farmer and rancher, or when you're an activist stirring things up?

A: I think I'm happier as a farmer and rancher, but the political side is very addictive. It's hard to stay away from. If you ignore politics, you're ignoring your business.

Q: What's your favorite beef dish?

A: Grilled steak. Give me a good, grilled ribeye any day. About seven minutes on one side and five minutes on the other.

I wonder if Leo and Co. are done paying for ads in the Washington Post telling consumers that North American beef isn't safe...... or have you forgotten about that "Beef Enquirer" publication or the above article in the Denver Post?

Cuddle up with your R-Calf banket Haymaker while thinking producers focus on telling consumers what a quality product we have and trying to increase beef demand in spite of R-Calf.
 

mrj

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Leo's fantasy rather reminds one of another among the fictitious conversations created by Leo, or his publicist.

Earlier this year, cattlemen in Louisiana called Leo on one of his fabrications. Leo was complaining of "hate mail" directed at him and his family by NCBA. When the guys from Louisiana asked him to present some proof this actually happened, he quickly back-pedalled. He said, nothing was actually directed at his family, but "when you attack me, you attack my children". However he never could produce any evidence of ANY such thing sent to him by NCBA or anyone else.

So, when Leo asks you to believe this mythical "conversation" between himself and "Bob", you may need a few grains of salt!

Maybe Leo "forgets" that the world sees the more than a hundred of years of cooperative cattle trade in genetics/breeding stock and beef between the USA and Canada as an indication that there is a North American beef industry. Does it matter what NCBA thinks or says on the subject, when world trade already sees it as North American beef industry? Acknowledging that "foreigners" are intelligent enough to have seen the collaboration, the nearly identical protocols for protection against BSE, even similar meat contaminations and violations in the two nations is the honest way to treat this incident. Honesty will serve the US beef industry better than trying to place all blame on Canada, as R-CALF has done. Our past and potential beef trading partners will prefer the honesty to the hype, when the cards are down.

Really, the gall and deceit of this man is without bounds!

To attibute his divisive question and answer session and accusations of brainwashing and manipulation by NCBA (when, in fact, it looks more like R-CALF is the guilty party on that count, to me, using the logic of his reversing the actions) to an innocent, and IMO most likely mythical, character, "Bob" is the ultimate dishonesty. He didn't have the guts to come right out and say it himself, IMO.

Thanks, Bill, for posting those "reminders" of whose organization is denigrating US beef. Add his organizations' colaboration with the often anti-beef Consumer Federation of America, and we get the real picture of which organization is foolishly harming our industry, and that NCBA is the one really working to keep cattle producers in a position of strength in a healthy cattle/beef industry with a bright future!

MRJ
 
A

Anonymous

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I think Leo is suffering from "selective memory" disease. I felt like he was putting the US cattle industry at risk when they took out the ad in the National papers. It was kind of like painting us into a corner hoping we didn't have a native case of BSE, then we did. UH OH! Then what do you say. That is irresponsible.

It is such a joke all around, because of the minimal risk to consumers in the first place. That is what burned me. It was always a trade issue, and no one could convince me otherwise.
 

Bill

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Good post MRJ. Proof and facts are a rarity in the R-Calf camp, not only with Leo but also his bulleeeeeverrrrs.

I wonder if tele-evangilism might be his next undertaking? :lol: :lol: :lol:
 

Sandhusker

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the real jake said:
I think Leo is suffering from "selective memory" disease. I felt like he was putting the US cattle industry at risk when they took out the ad in the National papers. It was kind of like painting us into a corner hoping we didn't have a native case of BSE, then we did. UH OH! Then what do you say. That is irresponsible.

It is such a joke all around, because of the minimal risk to consumers in the first place. That is what burned me. It was always a trade issue, and no one could convince me otherwise.

We think the USDA, with NCBA's usual blessing, put the entire industry at risk when they decided to lower our import standards regarding BSE.
 

Maple Leaf Angus

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HAY MAKER said:
. . . saying, "Bob, you've allowed
yourself to be manipulated in thought
and emotion by some of these other
folks."

Leo McDonnell

Nobody is better at this than Leo the Lyin' . . . It's folks like him that can sway a huge crowd of gullible people with an emotional appeal that is devoid of intellectual basis or factual support.
 

Bill

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R-Calf.

R anchers-
C aring
A bout
L eo's (or lawyers)
F ortunes

:lol: :lol: :lol:
 

Manitoba_Rancher

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Could you imagine if Leo was reincarnated as Pinnochio? His damn nose would reach from Montana all the way to LA.... :lol: :lol: :lol:
 
A

Anonymous

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MRJ said:
Leo's fantasy rather reminds one of another among the fictitious conversations created by Leo, or his publicist.

Earlier this year, cattlemen in Louisiana called Leo on one of his fabrications. Leo was complaining of "hate mail" directed at him and his family by NCBA. When the guys from Louisiana asked him to present some proof this actually happened, he quickly back-pedalled. He said, nothing was actually directed at his family, but "when you attack me, you attack my children". However he never could produce any evidence of ANY such thing sent to him by NCBA or anyone else.

So, when Leo asks you to believe this mythical "conversation" between himself and "Bob", you may need a few grains of salt!

Maybe Leo "forgets" that the world sees the more than a hundred of years of cooperative cattle trade in genetics/breeding stock and beef between the USA and Canada as an indication that there is a North American beef industry. Does it matter what NCBA thinks or says on the subject, when world trade already sees it as North American beef industry? Acknowledging that "foreigners" are intelligent enough to have seen the collaboration, the nearly identical protocols for protection against BSE, even similar meat contaminations and violations in the two nations is the honest way to treat this incident. Honesty will serve the US beef industry better than trying to place all blame on Canada, as R-CALF has done. Our past and potential beef trading partners will prefer the honesty to the hype, when the cards are down.

Really, the gall and deceit of this man is without bounds!

To attibute his divisive question and answer session and accusations of brainwashing and manipulation by NCBA (when, in fact, it looks more like R-CALF is the guilty party on that count, to me, using the logic of his reversing the actions) to an innocent, and IMO most likely mythical, character, "Bob" is the ultimate dishonesty. He didn't have the guts to come right out and say it himself, IMO.

Thanks, Bill, for posting those "reminders" of whose organization is denigrating US beef. Add his organizations' colaboration with the often anti-beef Consumer Federation of America, and we get the real picture of which organization is foolishly harming our industry, and that NCBA is the one really working to keep cattle producers in a position of strength in a healthy cattle/beef industry with a bright future!

MRJ

MRJ-- Is this like all your tapes that disappeared?
 

mrj

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Oldtimer said:
MRJ said:
Leo's fantasy rather reminds one of another among the fictitious conversations created by Leo, or his publicist.

Earlier this year, cattlemen in Louisiana called Leo on one of his fabrications. Leo was complaining of "hate mail" directed at him and his family by NCBA. When the guys from Louisiana asked him to present some proof this actually happened, he quickly back-pedalled. He said, nothing was actually directed at his family, but "when you attack me, you attack my children". However he never could produce any evidence of ANY such thing sent to him by NCBA or anyone else.

So, when Leo asks you to believe this mythical "conversation" between himself and "Bob", you may need a few grains of salt!

Maybe Leo "forgets" that the world sees the more than a hundred of years of cooperative cattle trade in genetics/breeding stock and beef between the USA and Canada as an indication that there is a North American beef industry. Does it matter what NCBA thinks or says on the subject, when world trade already sees it as North American beef industry? Acknowledging that "foreigners" are intelligent enough to have seen the collaboration, the nearly identical protocols for protection against BSE, even similar meat contaminations and violations in the two nations is the honest way to treat this incident. Honesty will serve the US beef industry better than trying to place all blame on Canada, as R-CALF has done. Our past and potential beef trading partners will prefer the honesty to the hype, when the cards are down.

Really, the gall and deceit of this man is without bounds!

To attibute his divisive question and answer session and accusations of brainwashing and manipulation by NCBA (when, in fact, it looks more like R-CALF is the guilty party on that count, to me, using the logic of his reversing the actions) to an innocent, and IMO most likely mythical, character, "Bob" is the ultimate dishonesty. He didn't have the guts to come right out and say it himself, IMO.

Thanks, Bill, for posting those "reminders" of whose organization is denigrating US beef. Add his organizations' colaboration with the often anti-beef Consumer Federation of America, and we get the real picture of which organization is foolishly harming our industry, and that NCBA is the one really working to keep cattle producers in a position of strength in a healthy cattle/beef industry with a bright future!

MRJ

MRJ-- Is this like all your tapes that disappeared?

Nope! And I've still got most, maybe all, of my tapes.......just don't have them easily accessible till my remodeling is completed.......and that is a longer term project than I like.

MRJ
 

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