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NCBA Finally Speaks

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Anonymous

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6/15/2005 10:04:00 AM


Cattle Alert: McAdams Letter to Secretary Johanns



Dear Secretary Johanns:



On behalf of our 25,000 members and 64 affiliate organizations, I would like to express deep concerns over a number of issues related to USDA’s announcement on June 10, 2005 regarding BSE testing. This announcement is creating great uncertainty within our industry, and is expressing itself in greater market fluctuations—resulting in an increased exposure to market risk and economic harm.



The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) expects a full explanation of the circumstances that caused the Office of Inspector General (OIG) to recommend additional testing of previously identified BSE negative animals. While NCBA has supported the surveillance program and its intent, these most recent actions by USDA and the OIG do not increase the safety of U.S. beef, nor do they improve the health of the U.S. cowherd, but instead put the industry at greater economic risk.



We call upon USDA to clearly communicate the scientific basis for the protocol that they will follow, and the timeframe that the industry can expect to bring this current issue to resolution. It is important not to communicate the results of this situation until they are definitive. To prevent further economic uncertainty in the market, USDA should not release intermediate test results or additional information that is not final and conclusive in nature.



We believe it is imperative that USDA clearly restore integrity to the process to avoid further and lasting criticism that ultimately costs producers their livelihood through the erosion of consumer confidence, loss of international markets, and unnecessary market volatility.



NCBA calls for a renewed effort from USDA to follow a consistent protocol in testing that protects consumer confidence and mitigates economic harm to cattlemen. NCBA remains committed to a science based approach in addressing these concerns, but cannot tolerate actions that serve political pressures or pseudo-science over a sound surveillance program.



I look forward to personally meeting with you to discuss this issue in the near future.



Sincerely,


Jim McAdams
 

don

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ncba: We believe it is imperative that USDA clearly restore integrity to the process



rotflmao.
 

Mike

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A very well written letter.

He must have NOT been in the sauce when he wrote it, MRJ. :wink:
 

Bill

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When does R-Calf have their next personal meeting planned with the Ag secretary.
 

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NCBA calls for a renewed effort from USDA to follow a consistent protocol in testing that protects consumer confidence and mitigates economic harm to cattlemen. NCBA remains committed to a science based approach in addressing these concerns, but cannot tolerate actions that serve political pressures or pseudo-science over a sound surveillance program.


Love this part NCBA supported the US BSE surveillance program as long as it didn't find BSE, but now they cannot tolerate retesting a questionable sample. What are they scared of, if the test was right then you have nothing to worry about and if it was wrong then maybe it is about time to face the facts that the US has BSE and clean it up. Does the NCBA really want to know the truth about BSE or do they just want the testing done if it doesn't find BSE. I said before that these samples should have been sent out of the country to be confirmed. When you have world experts saying if you get mulitple inconclusive test results on a sample it is most likely a positive, and it came back negative something was fishy from the get go.
 

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Oldtimer-

I thought you'd like to know that NCBA spoke before your above posting--apparently no one sent it to you or posted it on the site--FYI--this is what they sent to members-TTB

Member eUpdate

*** June 10, 2005 ***

USDA Announces Further Analysis Of BSE Test Results; Sample To Go To Weybridge

This evening at 9:00 p.m. eastern time, USDA held a media briefing on BSE. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns reminded participants that during the course of the enhanced BSE surveillance program to date, three BSE rapid tests resulted in an inconclusive result. Each of these tests was followed by a confirmatory immunohistochemistry (IHC) test; each IHC was negative. Recently, during an Office of the Inspector General (OIG) audit of the BSE surveillance program, the OIG determined that each of these samples should also be tested using another commonly used test, called Western Blot. While two of these initial inconclusives again confirmed negative using the Western Blot test, one of the retested samples was a reactor, or positive, when the Western Blot was performed.

Since this single sample has conflicting results, the sample will be forwarded to the World Reference Laboratory in Weybridge, England for final confirmation. USDA expects to have protocols for that confirmation developed early next week, but did not comment on when it expects to receive final results from Weybridge.

The sample in question was from an inconclusive announced in November, 2004. The animal did not enter the food or feed chain. USDA has said the animal in question was an older animal and a beef breed. The animal was non-ambulatory when presented for rendering and was condemned and incinerated.

*********************************


NCBA Statement Regarding Today's USDA Announcement
Jim McAdams, President, National Cattlemen's Beef Association

"The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced this evening they are sending a brain sample to the BSE World Reference Laboratory in Weybridge, England, from one of the three cows that tested inconclusive and was later confirmed negative in 2004. A separate test was requested by the USDA's Office of Inspector General on all three samples, and one of the tests returned positive.

"This aged animal never entered the human food or animal feed supply.

"Multiple tests can identify BSE. One commonly used method is the internationally recognized immunohistochemistry (IHC) test. Another test commonly used is the Western Blot test. These two types of tests have returned conflicting results on this sample.

"U.S. beef consumers should know that our beef supply is safe from BSE because we prohibit from the food supply any material that could carry the BSE agent (specified risk materials, or SRMs). USDA also bans from the food supply any cattle that appear to be high-risk, including this animal.

"The National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) supports getting a clear and definitive answer on this sample as quickly as possible and requests USDA Secretary Johanns take whatever steps are necessary to do so.

"NCBA has supported the aggressive BSE surveillance program and will continue to support a thorough evaluation. To date, 375,360 samples have been tested as part of this aggressive surveillance program that started on June 1, 2004, only three tested inconclusive. Two of these samples have been confirmed negative by both tests.

"NCBA expects USDA to act with speed and accuracy in reaching final resolution to this situation."

***********************************


Statement By Dr. John Clifford Regarding Further Analysis Of BSE Inconclusive Test Results

"Since the USDA enhanced surveillance program for BSE began in June 2004, more than 375,000 animals from the targeted cattle population have been tested for BSE using a rapid test. Three of these animals tested inconclusive and were subsequently subjected to immunohistochemistry, or IHC, testing. The IHC is an internationally recognized confirmatory test for BSE. All three inconclusive samples tested negative using IHC.

"Earlier this week, USDA's Office of the Inspector General (OIG), which has been partnering with the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, the Food Safety and Inspection Service, and the Agricultural Research Service by impartially reviewing BSE-related activities and making recommendations for improvement, recommended that all three of these samples be subjected to a second internationally recognized confirmatory test, the OIE-recognized SAF immunoblot test, often referred to as the Western blot test. We received final results a short time ago. Of the three samples, two were negative, but the third came back reactive.

"Because of the conflicting results on the IHC and Western blot tests, a sample from this animal will be sent to the OIE-recognized reference laboratory for BSE in Weybridge, England. USDA will also be conducting further testing, which will take several days to complete.

"Regardless of the outcome, it is critical to note that USDA has in place a sound system of interlocking safeguards to protect human and animal health from BSE-including, most significantly, a ban on specified risk materials from the human food supply. In the case of this animal, it was a non-ambulatory (downer) animal and as such was banned from the food supply. It was processed at a facility that handles only animals unsuitable for human consumption, and the carcass was incinerated.

"USDA's enhanced surveillance program is designed to provide information about the level of prevalence of BSE in the United States. Since the inception of this program, we have fully anticipated the possibility that additional cases of BSE would be found. And, in fact, we are extremely gratified that to date, more than 375,000 animals have been tested for the disease and, with the exception of the conflicting results we have received on this one animal, all have ultimately proven to be negative for the disease.

"USDA is committed to ensuring that our BSE program is the best that it can be, keeping pace with science and international guidelines, and to considering recommendations made by OIG and others in this regard. We are committed to ensuring that we have the right protocols in place-ones that are solidly grounded in science and consistently followed. After we receive additional test results on this animal, we will determine what further steps need to be taken and what changes, if any, are warranted in our surveillance program."
 

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Also, NCBA members received this on Monday, June 13--TTB

Member eUpdate

June 13, 2005

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

IN THIS ISSUE:

NCBA Continues to Address Concerns Regarding USDA's Announcement on BSE Retest

APHIS Fact Sheet


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A NCBA Membership Service
This electronic update is being sent to you by your staff at NCBA as a service to you through your membership in NCBA. Your support of NCBA is critical in providing the funding needed to work on all policy issues being faced by our industry. The work done on this issue would not be possible without your support-thank you for your dedication. Through your membership with NCBA, your voice can be heard on the issues that are shaping our industry's future. If you are not a member, we encourage you to get involved and today. Contact NCBA Member Services toll free at 1-866-BEEF-USA or [email protected]

If you have any additional questions on these issues or any other NCBA policies, please don't hesitate to contact NCBA's Washington office at (202) 347-0228. You can also find the most up-to-date information, news stories, NCBA talking points, daily updates and statements on the current situation on our websites: www.beefusa.org and hill.beef.org.


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NCBA Continues to Address Concerns Regarding USDA's Announcement on BSE Retest

Based on Friday night's announcement concerning a retest of the November 2004 sample, NCBA staff is working on your behalf to get answers from USDA. Attached are fact sheets USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services circulated this weekend.

Currently, we believe consumers have not reacted negatively to this retest situation. U.S. beef consumers have every reason to be confident in the safety of the beef supply because of the progressive steps the industry and U.S. government have taken over the past 15 years.

This animal never entered the human food or animal feed supply.
USDA mandates removal from the food supply material that would most likely carry the BSE agent (such as spinal cord and brain).
We also have had a feed ban in place since 1997 that bans the feeding of ruminant derived-protein to cattle since the only way scientists believe BSE can be spread is through now-banned feeding practices.
It is important that we do all that we can to remind consumers of these measures that protect them and keep the beef supply safe.

That said, the uncertainty this situation creates in cattle markets must be minimized. We are calling on USDA to act with speed and accuracy to reach final resolution to this situation.

We will be seeking answers from USDA to many questions, including the following:

Why was the Western Blot test used 8 months after the initial negative test? Were procedures used to minimize the possibility of false positives? The industry believes this sample was enhanced to get a weak positive. Can you explain what you mean by enhanced or concentrated sample?

When you will you be sharing the protocol and time line for the Weybridge testing process?

When will the department confirm an established testing protocol so that our industry doesn't have to experience uncertainty?

What is the status of the enhanced surveillance program? And when will results be articulated to the public and to our trading partners ?

What impact is this having on our trading partners?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
APHIS Fact Sheet
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service June 2005 APHIS
June 2005 BSE Test Step by Step

Background: Since the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) enhanced surveillance program for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) began in June 2004, more than 375,000 animals from the targeted cattle population have been tested for BSE using a rapid test. Three of these animals tested inconclusive and were subsequently subjected to immunohistochemistry, or IHC, testing, in accordance with USDA protocol, which was developed to be consistent with international guidelines. The IHC is an internationally recognized confirmatory test for BSE. All three inconclusive samples tested negative using IHC.

June 5-10: During the week of June 5-11, 2005, USDA's Office of the Inspector General (OIG), which has been partnering with the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), the Food Safety and Inspection Service, and the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) by impartially reviewing BSE-related activities, recommended that all three of these samples be subjected to a second internationally recognized confirmatory test, the OIE-recognized SAF immunoblot test, often referred to as the Western blot test. OIG recommended the additional testing because, originally, one of the samples had had a positive reaction to the rapid test, but it had a negative reaction to the IHC test. Although the IHC test is internationally recognized as a confirmatory test for BSE, OIG officials believed further testing was warranted on the three inconclusive samples.

June 10: On June 10, USDA received final results from the Western blot tests. Of the three samples, two were negative, but the third-the one that had previously had a strong reaction to the rapid test-came back positive on Western blot. Because of the conflicting results on the IHC and Western blot tests, a sample from the reactive animal will be sent to the OIE-recognized reference laboratory for BSE in Weybridge, England. USDA will also be conducting further testing. Results are expected within 2 weeks. This animal was a non-ambulatory (downer) animal and as such was banned from the food supply. It was processed at a facility that handles only animals unsuitable for human consumption, and the carcass was incinerated. APHIS retained part of its brainstem at the National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa, in case further testing or research was ever required.

Next Steps: Since only a limited amount of testable material remains, APHIS and ARS officials in Ames are currently developing a protocol for continued testing and analysis of the sample, They will consult with officials at the international reference laboratory in Weybridge, England, to determine which additional tests to perform in the United States, as well as the order in which to do them. They will also ensure that as much of the sample is preserved as necessary for confirmatory testing to be run at the international reference laboratory in Weybridge, England. By performing additional testing, USDA hopes to learn the true nature of this unusual case and determine if it is an atypical case of BSE, some noninfectious abnormal condition, or classical BSE.

Summary: The animal in question never entered the food or feed supply chain. Therefore, this additional testing, regardless of the eventual results, has no public or animal health implications. The results could, however, assist USDA in assessing current protocols and understanding the nature of the disease.

BSE Confirmatory Tests

Immunohistochemistry (IHC)
. Primary confirmatory test for USDA's BSE surveillance program.
. Recognized by the World Organization for Animal Health, or OIE.
. Allows scientists to determine if a sample is positive for BSE in two distinct ways: visually (spongiform changes), and through a staining technique (presence of abnormal prion protein).
. Involves looking at an intact portion of the brain, the obex, to see if there are lesions (holes or a "spongy" appearance) present that are characteristic for BSE, and using a staining process using antibodies that detect the abnormal protein prion.
. Takes four to seven days to run.
. Freezing samples does not interfere with performing the IHC test as long as the sample is confirmed as obex.


Western Blot
. Several types, with the SAF Immunoblot being the one recognized by OIE.
. Used under USDA protocol when a sample is "not suitable for IHC", i.e., if it is autolyzed (or degraded) or brain stem architecture is not evident microscopically.
. Uses a large portion of obex brain tissue; the abnormal prion protein in brain material is enriched by ultracentrifugation, and the sample is exposed to protease, an enzyme, to destroy any normal prion proteins that may be present, leaving only abnormal prion proteins. Remaining sample is then run through a gel to separate the abnormal prion protein components by molecular weight. After the transfer of the proteins to a membrane, proteins are stained using antibodies that can identify a specific banding pattern associated with prion diseases including BSE. A diagnosis is made by recognizing three distinctive bands that are identified as a result of a reaction with the anti-prion protein antibody.
. Freezing samples does not interfere with the performance of western blot tests.

Similarities/Differences:
. Both IHC and the SAF Immunblot (Western blot) are internationally recognized as confirmatory tests for BSE.
. The tests use different methods to determine if the abnormal prion protein is present in brain tissue of an animal.
. The IHC test additionally allows for the viewing of brain tissue to determine if lesions characteristic to BSE are present.
. Both tests are equally effective at detecting the classical form of BSE.BSE Confirmatory Tests
 
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Anonymous

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TTB- I guess what shocked me in this letter was its about the first time I've ever saw an NCBA officer even question USDA's actions :? - except for after the convention when the membership forced thru their multi point border policy and Jan said "We weren't listening to our membership"... But as we know most of that member forced policy has eroded away and been altered by what the leadership has been saying of late......
 

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Oldtimer:

I don't know if the below statement is completely true either:

I guess what shocked me in this letter was its about the first time I've ever saw an NCBA officer even question USDA's actions

I do beleive that NCBA leadership questioned USDA about their release of "presumptive positives" too---I will look to see if I can find those releases, I typically delete most emails after reading but might be able to find them.

Further, I know (after reading your many posts) you will never believe that NCBA membership (which after attending a couple of conventions seems to be very cow-calf oriented--after my husband attended his first, he was amazed at the number of "cowboys" there because he had been made to beleive that cow calf folks didn't belong to NCBA or attend the convention) makes policy at NCBA-but after being members of both NCBA and R Calf I can tell you it's true.

And, in my opinion, NCBA policy is more "grassroots" driven than at R-Calf-I guess as a member I've always wondered where R-Calf policy comes from-we are members of state organizations that are suposed "affliates" of R-Calf but don't see any of our resolutions there--but do see where our state affliate resolutions are at NCBA--

I typically don't get in the fray over here---but thought you might want to know that NCBA has said something, and as a matter of fact said something Friday night.

TTB
 
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Turkey Track Bar said:
Oldtimer:

I don't know if the below statement is completely true either:

I guess what shocked me in this letter was its about the first time I've ever saw an NCBA officer even question USDA's actions

I do beleive that NCBA leadership questioned USDA about their release of "presumptive positives" too---I will look to see if I can find those releases, I typically delete most emails after reading but might be able to find them.

Further, I know (after reading your many posts) you will never believe that NCBA membership (which after attending a couple of conventions seems to be very cow-calf oriented--after my husband attended his first, he was amazed at the number of "cowboys" there because he had been made to beleive that cow calf folks didn't belong to NCBA or attend the convention) makes policy at NCBA-but after being members of both NCBA and R Calf I can tell you it's true.

And, in my opinion, NCBA policy is more "grassroots" driven than at R-Calf-I guess as a member I've always wondered where R-Calf policy comes from-we are members of state organizations that are suposed "affliates" of R-Calf but don't see any of our resolutions there--but do see where our state affliate resolutions are at NCBA--

I typically don't get in the fray over here---but thought you might want to know that NCBA has said something, and as a matter of fact said something Friday night.

TTB

Thanks for the posts TTB-- And I think NCBA has done some good things over the years- don't always agree with their trade direction tho- thoroughly became disenchanted with them after they sold me on the importance of M-COOL, then totally flipflopped....
And if NCBA would ever go to a 1 member 1 vote and allow voting by mail- I'd be the first to join.... Just don't believe in belonging to an organization where you have no vote in their policy.....At least with R-CALF I have been able to vote on all policy direction- even if sometimes I'm outvoted or disagree, I at least got a vote.......
 

Turkey Track Bar

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Oldtimer said:
Turkey Track Bar said:
Oldtimer:

I don't know if the below statement is completely true either:

I guess what shocked me in this letter was its about the first time I've ever saw an NCBA officer even question USDA's actions

I do beleive that NCBA leadership questioned USDA about their release of "presumptive positives" too---I will look to see if I can find those releases, I typically delete most emails after reading but might be able to find them.

Further, I know (after reading your many posts) you will never believe that NCBA membership (which after attending a couple of conventions seems to be very cow-calf oriented--after my husband attended his first, he was amazed at the number of "cowboys" there because he had been made to beleive that cow calf folks didn't belong to NCBA or attend the convention) makes policy at NCBA-but after being members of both NCBA and R Calf I can tell you it's true.

And, in my opinion, NCBA policy is more "grassroots" driven than at R-Calf-I guess as a member I've always wondered where R-Calf policy comes from-we are members of state organizations that are suposed "affliates" of R-Calf but don't see any of our resolutions there--but do see where our state affliate resolutions are at NCBA--

I typically don't get in the fray over here---but thought you might want to know that NCBA has said something, and as a matter of fact said something Friday night.

TTB

Thanks for the posts TTB-- And I think NCBA has done some good things over the years- don't always agree with their trade direction tho- thoroughly became disenchanted with them after they sold me on the importance of M-COOL, then totally flipflopped....
And if NCBA would ever go to a 1 member 1 vote and allow voting by mail- I'd be the first to join.... Just don't believe in belonging to an organization where you have no vote in their policy.....At least with R-CALF I have been able to vote on all policy direction- even if sometimes I'm outvoted or disagree, I at least got a vote.......

Oldtimer:

NCBA does have one member one vote--similar to the R-Calf policy--I received in the mail in the Beef Business Bulletin a ballot with all of the policy approved at the Convention--I sent it back with whether I agreed or not (I think the wording was "approve" or "disapprove" but could be mistaken) on each resolution. On some issues I was for -and on some issues I didn't agree, just like at the convention-we get a similar thing from R-Calf.

The difference I see is that the NCBA ballots get sent to an independent auditor and a percentage of membership has to vote-two things that truly sold me on the mail in vote (I personally beleive that the world is run by those who show up--). First I don't want anyone, Leo or Jim McAdams, or anyone else to know how I vote, and second I don't want one person or region to sway the vote-that is why I think a percentage of ballots have to be returned for a "valid vote" to occur is so important. I am only very disappointed that not enough members think it's important to vote. From my recollection, I don't think the percentage R Calf's mail in votes is much different than NCBA's--so Mr. Oldtimer, now that you "get one membership, one vote," when are you going to enter up???

When I get a chance, (I really do have lots more to do than post here!!) I will post really why I am a member of NCBA-- In all honesty, all of their member's voluntary work on behalf of cowboys/"cowladies" everywhere, in the areas of environment (avoidance of more environmental regulation) and private property rights and their hard work on getting the estate tax repealed is worth every cent of my membership money.

Have a great day, and of course cheers,

TTB :)
 
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Anonymous

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But TTB- Those votes are a joke- They are not valid unless you get a certain percentage of members to vote-- and that will never happen because many of NCBA's members are "ghost" members.. Inactive or ones that don't even know or care they belong.. Had their membership paid so they could sell cattle to a certain person or feed in a certain feedlot... its happened many times when someone was weighing calves--"You're an NCBA member aren't you" "Well don't worry you are now" Dues came right out of their check or were added to their first feed bill.....Sometime when we meet I'll tell you some personal stories I've encountered with the NCBA.......

As long as you have that percentage of membership clause in the mail in votes you do not have a vote.......Your votes weren't even considered because their wasn't enough members voted...... At least with R-CALF if only 50 members vote- 24 for 26 against- the policy is defeated.....
 

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But, but, but Oldtimer.... :eek:

I could say the same about R Calf too!!! Remember our outfit is voluntarily a member of both and in 2004-2005 we became members again of both, (and at least two R Calf memberships have been paid our on behalf, in the past year!) the exact same way-- we did business with someone and they paid our membership. Likewise we've had at least four individuals ask if we were R Calf members and said that if we weren't they would not do business with us, and so, I didn't even want to go here, but I thought that was the reason so many former NCBA members became R Calf members, was to avoid that.

So, Oldtimer, I guess somethings are not all that different-it just happens that NCBA requires a certain percentage of the membership to vote, which as I stated before, think is important. Has any R Calf policy ever been defeated through the mail in ballot? Another question I have asked and have never gotten an answer on is why has there only been one president of R Calf?

I don't think any organization is free from fault. I would hope that you would see the beneficial things NCBA is doing---why is trade the only important thing???

I was always taught in genetics that a person should avoid single trait selection. Do I think trade is important??? Yes, I do, and do I think it's a two way street, yes I do!!! Did I like selling my feeder calves to the Canadians (especially when they showed up at a barn and the price went up $2-3 per hundred compared to auctions they didn't participate in on the same day/week, same class of calves), yes I did!!! Do I think other industry issues are important (and maybe even more important?) I indeed do. I would hope any producer would--

And, I do I think R Calf has done some good things. Am I concerned with their recent actions (for example their ad in the WSJ), you bet I am. I would hope any member would be, and had NCBA done the same I would be concerned too-to the point Jim McAdams would get a personal call from me.

Well anyway, Oldtimer, I hope you have a good day. Again, cheers, daylights burnin' and I've got lots to do!!!!

TTB
 
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Anonymous

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TTB- I think the leadership stability of R-CALF has been one of the things that has made it effective- and the yearly changes with NCBA has been one of the problems leading to the flipflop attitude I've seen... Good example is the issue which helped to originate R-CALF- M-COOL... Was supported by several NCBA presidents and officers along with membership-- many of these Presidents testified to Congress about the vital importance of identifying our product-- then along came a new NCBA president that was feeding a couple thousand cattle in Canada- which would not be able to be marketed as a USA product- and all of a sudden the whole policy changes- M-COOL is now bad- Split the entire industry right down the middle....The issue was of such vital importance that it should have went to a one person- one vote ballot of all the membership...

With all NCBA's and the checkoffs work and actions, they weren't doing too good for prices... I was doing paperwork today because of rain showers and found an old copy of prices in 2002...

Fats $61
Cows $39
Feeders $81

Livestock Average Prices Today

Steers Choice 2-4 1100-1300 lbs (Texas) 85.84
Cows Utility 1-3 (So. St. Paul) 59.25

Feeder Steer Med 1 650-700 lbs (Okla. City) 121.25

Don't know if I want to go back to the good old days or putting all my trust in the good old boys :wink: But I do appreciate McAdams questioning of the USDA-- I only hope he stands behind his guns and it isn't all just for show with another flipflop coming next week....
 

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Oldtimer said:
TTB- I think the leadership stability of R-CALF has been one of the things that has made it effective- and the yearly changes with NCBA has been one of the problems leading to the flipflop attitude I've seen... Good example is the issue which helped to originate R-CALF- M-COOL... Was supported by several NCBA presidents and officers along with membership-- many of these Presidents testified to Congress about the vital importance of identifying our product-- then along came a new NCBA president that was feeding a couple thousand cattle in Canada- which would not be able to be marketed as a USA product- and all of a sudden the whole policy changes- M-COOL is now bad- Split the entire industry right down the middle....The issue was of such vital importance that it should have went to a one person- one vote ballot of all the membership...

With all NCBA's and the checkoffs work and actions, they weren't doing too good for prices... I was doing paperwork today because of rain showers and found an old copy of prices in 2002...

Fats $61
Cows $39
Feeders $81

Livestock Average Prices Today

Steers Choice 2-4 1100-1300 lbs (Texas) 85.84
Cows Utility 1-3 (So. St. Paul) 59.25

Feeder Steer Med 1 650-700 lbs (Okla. City) 121.25

Don't know if I want to go back to the good old days or putting all my trust in the good old boys :wink: But I do appreciate McAdams questioning of the USDA-- I only hope he stands behind his guns and it isn't all just for show with another flipflop coming next week....


Why don't you go back and look at beef production levels in 2002 and compare those to today? Price is useless unless compared with the production level at that time. Wrong conclusions are the result of half the facts. Where was beef demand in 2002 versus 2003, 2004 and 2005? Do these facts not matter in your decision?
 

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Oldtimer said:
6/15/2005 10:04:00 AM

Cattle Alert: McAdams Letter to Secretary Johanns

Dear Secretary Johanns:

On behalf of our 25,000 members and 64 affiliate organizations, I would like to express deep concerns over a number of issues related to USDA’s announcement on June 10, 2005 regarding BSE testing. This announcement is creating great uncertainty within our industry, and is expressing itself in greater market fluctuations—resulting in an increased exposure to market risk and economic harm.


Well, look who just joined reality! :eek:


The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) expects a full explanation of the circumstances that caused the Office of Inspector General (OIG) to recommend additional testing of previously identified BSE negative animals. While NCBA has supported the surveillance program and its intent, these most recent actions by USDA and the OIG do not increase the safety of U.S. beef, nor do they improve the health of the U.S. cowherd, but instead put the industry at greater economic risk.


Gee, ya think? :shock:


We call upon USDA to clearly communicate the scientific basis for the protocol that they will follow, and the timeframe that the industry can expect to bring this current issue to resolution.


Protocal? What protocal. We can't admit that we are in bed with the meat packers association, and this whole thing was contrived so our packer buddies don't lose their [email protected]@#@, now can we?


It is important not to communicate the results of this situation until they are definitive. To prevent further economic uncertainty in the market, USDA should not release intermediate test results or additional information that is not final and conclusive in nature.


Yes! Lets manipulate the truth some more! The American public will never know!


We believe it is imperative that USDA clearly restore integrity to the process to avoid further and lasting criticism that ultimately costs producers their livelihood through the erosion of consumer confidence, loss of international markets, and unnecessary market volatility.


Excuse me, we are the USDA. We blew our credibility quite a while back, remember? As far as integrity goes, how can there be integrity when we are clearly sleeping with the AMI and have publicly admitted that we are not testing to insure consumer safety, one of our primary duties? A definite contradiction of terms, don't you think? Oh yes, please don't forget that members of our department have gone on record stating that the price of cattle is too high. Also, market stability is not something we are interested in. It tends to promote stable prices - leading to the continuance of beef producers livelihood. We have already gone on record that said prices are too high. Volatility is good, as far as we are concerned. It leads to madame consumer refusing to buy beef, therefore lowering prices.



NCBA calls for a renewed effort from USDA to follow a consistent protocol in testing that protects consumer confidence and mitigates economic harm to cattlemen. NCBA remains committed to a science based approach in addressing these concerns, but cannot tolerate actions that serve political pressures or pseudo-science over a sound surveillance program.


If that were true, you would have sponsored commercials addressing these concerns. Instead, you chose to air those extremely tired 'Beef, it's what for dinner' commercials, while sticking your head in the sand.



I look forward to personally meeting with you to discuss this issue in the near future.


Yeah, right!


Sincerely,


Jim McAdams
 

Soapweed

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Oldtimer: "I think the leadership stability of R-CALF has been one of the things that has made it effective- and the yearly changes with NCBA has been one of the problems leading to the flipflop attitude I've seen."

Here is a question for you, Oldtimer. How do you feel about "term limits" for politicians? Personally, I feel it is a good idea, and have voted accordingly. Kinda like water in a stock tank. It certainly remains fresher and more beneficial when new water recharges it, and the old stagnant mossy stuff goes out over the edge of the tank.
 

feeder

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Couldn't resist a comeback. A stock tank won't get mossy if water is continually flowing to replenish the cattle's need for it. Just like R-Calf's top man, if he is always out there working and informing the public about things he won't get stagnant. Take care and have a good day.
 

Soapweed

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Good comeback, feeder, but I'll ask you the same question I asked Oldtimer. How do you feel about "term limits" for politicians? Personally I think term limits are vital for the top dogs, so they don't become stagnant and entrenched with their own importance. Of course, there needs to be an orderly changing of the guard, and the old mossy horns of the membership are needed to keep the young whippersnappers from getting too carried away.

Just my humble opinion.
 

feeder

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Yep, I agree with term limits. Only in marriage can you TRY to stay in the first term. lol
 

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