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McDonnell Delivers Strong Message:

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Tommy

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McDonnell Delivers Strong Message:

Get Involved; Pull U.S. Cattle Industry Together – Now



(Brush, Colo.) – A packed house of close to 150 cattle producers from across the state of Colorado, and even ranchers from Kansas and Nebraska, traveled to Brush recently for a Colorado Independent CattleGrowers Association (CICA) meeting to listen to two prominent leaders in the industry: R-CALF USA President and Co-Founder Leo McDonnell, and Chris Abbott, president of Independent Cattlemen of Nebraska (ICON), an R-CALF USA affiliate organization.



Abbott took the floor first and spoke about the reasons ICON was created as a statewide organization to represent independent cattle producers. Abbott has been extremely effective in growing R-CALF USA membership in Nebraska from just a few hundred in early 2004 to well over 2,000 today. Nowadays, the Corn Husker state ranks third among state memberships in R-CALF USA.



Then, after a delicious beef meal catered by Troy’s Specialty Barbeque out of Woodrow, R-CALF USA President and Co-Founder Leo McDonnell discussed many of the issues currently impacting the U.S. cattle industry, highlighting the importance of Mandatory Country-of-Origin Labeling, concerns with the proposed National Animal Identification System (NAIS), the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) downward harmonization of animal-health and food safety import standards, the global trade distortions and liberalizations that negatively affect U.S. cattle producers, as well as his ideas for improvements to the Beef Checkoff program and the announcement of a new R-CALF USA Beef Checkoff Committee.



McDonnell also addressed head-on the misleading propaganda about R-CALF USA that consistently is disseminated by the activist media and “Beef Enquirer-type” publications.



“They’re out there for one thing, and that’s to smear U.S. cattle ranchers’ efforts to take back control of their industry,” McDonnell said. “I said last spring, while here in Colorado, that you would see ‘pop-up’ propaganda efforts such as A.F.F. start to take on property rights issues and Supreme Court appointments, to try and put on a conservative mask, to hide their true agendas.



“Isn’t it interesting that is exactly what has happened,” he asked the crowd. “Their propaganda techniques are no different than PETA’s. You know in your heart what’s right and wrong. You be the judge.”



Probably most emphatically, McDonnell hammered home the importance of being involved in the future of the U.S. cattle industry to guide its success rather than sitting on the sidelines, and part of that involves developing relationships with industry people who view things differently.



“Don’t sit there quietly, but stand up and voice your concerns, and you don’t have to be rude to do it,” McDonnell said, as he encouraged the audience. “And don’t alienate those that disagree with you, but learn from them. And hopefully, they’ll learn from you, because we’re all in this together. Don’t let them fragment this industry any more. Let’s pull it together.”



He also explained that R-CALF USA is a member-driven organization that exclusively represents the interests of independent cattle producers, and its members have every right to have such an organization that serves those specific purposes. He explained that R-CALF USA does not dictate policy from the top down like some other national and state groups choose to do, as he asked the crowd to think about the responsibilities of being an independent cattle producer.



“I think R-CALF has done a great job for you – not self-serving, and not petty,” he noted. “We’ve got some neat things going that wouldn’t have been there if it wasn’t for R-CALF.



“In a democracy, you use it, or lose, and that’s just the way life is, isn’t it,” McDonnell commented. “You’d better get organized. You’d better step to the plate. And you’d better do it in a fashion that’s not just good for you, but good for the whole community.



“Get the right people on board, and build it around what’s positive and what’s good,” he said with a bold assertiveness. “Don’t build it by ripping down other groups or people. We need a united voice, folks.



“Trust. There can be nothing greater in any organization,” McDonnell emphasized. “As you go forward with your new Colorado organization and go forward with R-CALF, that’s No. 1 – TRUST. Don’t ever belie your membership.



“I’m tired of these backdoor politics, and I think the country is, too,” he said in conclusion, to a boisterous round of applause.



Gerald Schreiber, of Woodrow, has been involved with R-CALF USA for many, many years and was the lead organizer for the event. He said the event was a great meeting and that he thought the crowd was very receptive to McDonnell’s message.



“We’ve got a lot of challenges and opportunities, here at the end of the year and to think about for the New Year, and I think we need to start working hard,” he continued. “It’s going to take all of our efforts.”



Joel Franz, R-CALF USA Membership Co-Chair for Colorado, said he thought the meeting was a huge success.



“The message was super, and I don’t know that I’ve ever seen Leo deliver a message like he did tonight,” said Franz. “I’d like to add that this new organization, CICA, is starting up, and they’ve already gained some big, big ground. R-CALF is a young organization, too, but in the state of Colorado, R-CALF has more members than NCBA.”



The evening’s Master of Ceremonies was Doug Zalesky, a member R-CALF USA’s International Trade Committee and current president of CICA, who also said he was extremely pleased with the turnout. He indicated that CICA would be holding similar events across the state during the next six to eight months.



“We had a lot of people interested, obviously, in what R-CALF is doing and what we’re doing with our new group here in Colorado,” he said. “It was a tremendous success, and I was really happy with it.”



“R-CALF wants to take this opportunity to thank everyone in Colorado who’s always shown such strong support for us, support that just continues to build and build,” said R-CALF USA Communications Coordinator Shae Dodson after the meeting. “Once folks get beyond the inaccurate misperceptions spread by our opponents and really have a chance to hear the truth in our message, common sense takes hold and they realize it’s time to become involved in the fastest growing cattle-producer organization in the country. Our members are our strength, and we’re getting stronger all the time.”



Jim Odle and Ted Odle, with Superior Livestock in Brush, furnished the sound system. Drinks were furnished by Luan August and Pat Gebauer who run Cardinal Charolais in Hillrose. For door prizes, Doug and Leesa Zalesky donated two meat thermometers, won by Jay Jolly of Hugo, and Jim Dobler of Burlington; Colorado Community Bank in Akron gave two $50 savings bonds, won by Roy Weisensee, of Deer Trail, and area Angus breeder Curt Werner, of Merino; Don and Bev Carmin, of Fort Morgan, donated $50 cash, won by Steve Baker of Woodrow; Tom Hendricks, of Wray, donated 20 units of Angus bull semen from “Son of 1407,” won by Ryan Draegert of Brush; Premier Farm Credit, represented by Bill Gertner, donated $50 cash, won by Leo August, of Brush; Citizen’s National Bank of Akron donated a $50 savings bond, won by Kenny Burk, of Pueblo; Miller’s Landscaping Materials and Feed in Fort Morgan donated a Crystalyx protein tub, won by CICA Director Jon Reid, of Ordway; Draegert Feed & Supply in Brush donated Smartlic Protein Tub won by Tony Haegans, of Sugar City; Bank of Colorado in Brush donated a $50 gift certificate, won by Tim Trim, of Woodrow; and, R-CALF USA donated two stadium blankets, won by Amanda Baker, of Woodrow, and Lynn Downey, of Wellington.



Some of the past events held in Colorado to raise funds for R-CALF USA include: a March 2005 event in Cortez that generated more than $11,000; a February 2005 fund-raiser at High Plains Livestock Exchange in Brush that generated almost $30,000; a January 2005 fund-raiser in Wray that produced more than $7,000; a June 2004 informational meeting in Burlington, at which a rollover auction on a single R-CALF USA fence sign brought in more than $3,200; an informational meeting at Northeastern Colorado Junior College in Sterling, at which the sale of a single R-CALF USA sign brought in more than $700. Additionally, rollover calf sales conducted on behalf of R-CALF USA in Stratton, LaJunta and Burlington generated more than $25,000 in funds for the national organization.
 
A

Anonymous

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How about "MCDONNEL TELLS INDUSTRY BLAMERS WHAT THEY WANT TO HEAR". Short on facts long on rhetoric.



~SH~
 

Bill

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to listen to two prominent leaders in the industry: R-CALF USA President and Co-Founder Leo McDonnell, and Chris Abbott, president of Independent Cattlemen of Nebraska (ICON), an R-CALF USA affiliate organization.

Abbott took the floor first and spoke about the reasons ICON was created as a statewide organization to represent independent cattle producers.
An R-Calf affiliate that is independent???.... of what? :lol: :lol: :lol:

R-Calf using the PETA analogy on it's detractors? How ironic. :lol: :lol: :lol: Thanks for the chuckle

Jim Odle and Ted Odle, with Superior Livestock in Brush, furnished the sound system. Drinks were furnished by Luan August and Pat Gebauer who run Cardinal Charolais in Hillrose. For door prizes, Doug and Leesa Zalesky donated two meat thermometers, won by Jay Jolly of Hugo, and Jim Dobler of Burlington; Colorado Community Bank in Akron gave two $50 savings bonds, won by Roy Weisensee, of Deer Trail, and area Angus breeder Curt Werner, of Merino; Don and Bev Carmin, of Fort Morgan, donated $50 cash, won by Steve Baker of Woodrow; Tom Hendricks, of Wray, donated 20 units of Angus bull semen from “Son of 1407,” won by Ryan Draegert of Brush; Premier Farm Credit, represented by Bill Gertner, donated $50 cash, won by Leo August, of Brush; Citizen’s National Bank of Akron donated a $50 savings bond, won by Kenny Burk, of Pueblo; Miller’s Landscaping Materials and Feed in Fort Morgan donated a Crystalyx protein tub, won by CICA Director Jon Reid, of Ordway; Draegert Feed & Supply in Brush donated Smartlic Protein Tub won by Tony Haegans, of Sugar City; Bank of Colorado in Brush donated a $50 gift certificate, won by Tim Trim, of Woodrow; and, R-CALF USA donated two stadium blankets, won by Amanda Baker, of Woodrow, and Lynn Downey, of Wellington.
and I don't imagine any of the 150 in the crowd were there for the free meal or to win one of the gifts. :roll:
 

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