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R-CALF MORE THAN DOUBLES MEMBERSHIP!!!!!!

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For Immediate Release Contact: Shae Dodson, Communications Coordinator
June 23, 2005 Phone: 406-672-8969; e-mail: [email protected]



Membership More Than Doubles in Less Than a Year; Benefit Calf Sales Set Record


(Billings, Mont.) – One year ago, membership in R-CALF USA stood at just over 8,000. In 12 short months, membership in the only national organization that exclusively represents independent U.S. cattle producers proudly tops out at more than 18,000 – phenomenal growth by any standard.



Benefit rollover calf auctions held across the country to raise funds for this non-profit organization continued to pick up steam and set a record for contributions, with a whopping $886,000 generated in just the first quarter of 2005. In all of 2004, calf sales brought in approximately $475,000 for R-CALF USA. Proceeds are used to help R-CALF USA represent U.S. cattle producers on domestic and international trade and marketing issues to ensure the continued profitability and viability of the U.S. cattle industry.



“With the continued extremism in trade liberalization by our own government, cattle producers are learning more and more the importance of having a unified voice, and that’s possible through membership in R-CALF,” said Leo McDonnell, R-CALF USA president and co-founder. “Another reason we’ve seen such growth is because R-CALF is the only group working on U.S. cattle prices, which became evident at USDA’s recent BSE roundtable in Minneapolis when Ag Secretary Johanns said beef prices are too high. Who thought we’d ever hear USDA say something like that? It’s unreal.”



R-CALF USA’s membership – from 47 states – consists primarily of cow/calf operators, cattle backgrounders, and feedlot owners. The organization has more than 60 local and state association affiliates, from both cattle and farm organizations, while various main-street businesses are associate members of R-CALF USA.



“U.S. cattle producers can see what organization is actually doing more for them, and our grassroots volunteers all over the nation continue to spread the word, which means R-CALF is creating a tremendous impact,” said Judie Manuel, national co-chair for R-CALF USA’s membership committee. “We appreciate all those volunteers, and especially the membership chairs in each state who worked so hard this past year.”



“It’s apparent that independent cattle producers across the U.S. not only appreciate the representation R-CALF has given them on trade and marketing issues, but also that they see fit to support the organization that’s supporting them,” said Margene Eiguren, also national co-chair for R-CALF USA’s membership committee. “When a benefit calf auction for R-CALF can raise over $56,000 in one day, as it did at Treasure Valley Livestock Auction, there is no question that cattle producers support R-CALF.”



“In 2004 and 2005, we saw big numbers in South Dakota, Montana, North Dakota, Wyoming, and Iowa, but it was Nebraska that took our breath away. Our volunteers more than tripled membership in the Cornhusker State,” said R-CALF USA Membership Services Coordinator Jenni Ries. “We also added four new states to our roster – Maine, Alaska, Hawaii, and Massachusetts. This year, we’re seeing steady growth in the New England states and the Deep South, the result of enthusiastic volunteerism and an increased awareness about R-CALF and the beneficial work we do on behalf of cattle producers.”



Ries emphasized the strong growth could be attributed to the organization’s commitment to the issues and a very active volunteer base, but just as importantly, R-CALF USA’s high standards of upholding the policies that members vote into place.



“Add volunteers who spread the word that R-CALF USA is the producer organization that does what it said it would – well, we can’t print applications fast enough,” Ries exclaimed. “Cattle producers are clamoring to be part of this organization. They want to direct their industry; they want to be at the decision-makers’ table, and R-CALF USA is the vehicle to do that.”



“We’ve had 10 or so auctions and a couple of fund-raisers and a few meetings that raised more than $150,000 this year,” said Chris Abbott, R-CALF USA membership chair for Nebraska. “As of June 10, Nebraska has more than 2,800 members – an increase of 2,000 since last year.”



“R-CALF is making great headway in Colorado with some good meetings and great sales on the eastern plains,” said Joel Franz, R-CALF USA membership co-chair for Colorado. “The first sale was in Stratton, followed by both La Junta barns, and then Burlington a year ago. This year, Wray kicked off the fund-raisers, followed by Brush, and a very good sale at Cortez. We’re now just a handful away from having more than 700 R-CALF members in Colorado.”



An R-CALF USA “rookie,” Dave Matthes of Wisconsin joined the organization in January at its annual convention in Denver. Now he’s the state membership chair there.



“I am so excited about the future of R-CALF,” Matthes said. “At this year’s convention, I was introduced to many great visionaries and leaders in the cattle industry. I was Wisconsin's 22nd member, and since that day we’ve held two auctions, in Bloomington and Decorah, which raised over $37,000 for the cause. We’re now at more than 130 members, and still growing.”



Membership in Iowa is up at least tenfold compared to a year ago, according to R-CALF USA Iowa membership chair Eric Nelson.



“The common-sense support that R-CALF gives to the interests of independent cattle producers is what’s refreshing,” Nelson said. “Producers are risking their own equity raising cattle, and they’re finding out that R-CALF is truly the only organization looking out for their interests.”





“Most cattle producers here have opinions on issues that match R-CALF’s positions more closely than those of other national cattlemen’s groups, and that’s what has made R-CALF’s growth in Mississippi exponential, said Joel Gill, R-CALF USA membership chair for Mississippi. “Our members have grown from eight in 2003, to nearly 40 in 2004, to a few hundred this year. As Mississippi cattle producers learn of R-CALF and its actions at the national level on their behalf, they eagerly ask to join.”



Stayton Weldon is R-CALF USA membership chair for Texas, and he admits it’s been a struggle to grow numbers in the Lone Star state, but says he and his regional volunteers are up for the challenge.



“Unfortunately, our membership continually must negate so much misinformation being circulated by organizations that claim to represent cow/calf producers, but really do not,” said Weldon. “But we plan to persevere. Once folks are educated about R-CALF, it’s easy for them to see which organization is the best match for them. They sign up and then go tell their friends, and that’s how we’ll continue to grow.”



“I think part of what makes R-CALF appealing to ranchers is the fact that our board members, committee chairs and the staff are all down-to-earth people and very approachable, but at the same time, knowledgeable and current on the issues,” said R-CALF USA Communications Coordinator Shae Dodson. “And, I think it helps that members know when they call headquarters, a real person is going to answer the phone, and they’re not going to get transferred half a dozen times before their questions are answered.”



A Pennsylvania cattle farmer, unfamiliar with R-CALF USA until a recent appearance on RFD-TV, left this phone message after he saw the show: “I believe in what you’re doing. I believe in everything you stand for and I can’t wait to be part of the process and get on board with the people that are morally and scientifically correct. R-CALF is probably one of the best things that’s ever happened to beef producers in this country, and I’m a firm believer in everything I heard and everything that was said on the show. I would love nothing more than to be a voting member and do whatever’s necessary to back up all the causes R-CALF works for. I hope to talk to you soon.”
 

HAY MAKER

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Its obvious R CALF is the voice of the American cattle man,and also obvious R CALF will far surpass all other cattle orgs. IM betting by the end of the year membership will be well over 20,000............good luck
 

Silver

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HAY MAKER said:
Its obvious R CALF is the voice of the American cattle man,and also obvious R CALF will far surpass all other cattle orgs. IM betting by the end of the year membership will be well over 20,000............good luck

Just think, that's 1/40 of PETA's membership. Does that make r-calf 1/40th as right? What a joke! :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
 

HAY MAKER

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Silver said:
HAY MAKER said:
Its obvious R CALF is the voice of the American cattle man,and also obvious R CALF will far surpass all other cattle orgs. IM betting by the end of the year membership will be well over 20,000............good luck

Just think, that's 1/40 of PETA's membership. Does that make r-calf 1/40th as right? What a joke! :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

No peta allowed in R CALF,just good ole honest cattle men trying to do the right thing............good luck
 

Silver

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HAY MAKER said:
Silver said:
HAY MAKER said:
Its obvious R CALF is the voice of the American cattle man,and also obvious R CALF will far surpass all other cattle orgs. IM betting by the end of the year membership will be well over 20,000............good luck

Just think, that's 1/40 of PETA's membership. Does that make r-calf 1/40th as right? What a joke! :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

No peta allowed in R CALF,just good ole honest cattle men trying to do the right thing............good luck

sure sure :roll:
 

SASH

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This is a comment from a poster on another web page. If what he says is true and these memberships are being sent out for free then even though the membership has increased, support for R-CALF probably hasn't.

I would certainly question RCALF's claims about their membership numbers. We received a free membership last year from someone I don't even know! I wonder how many of those 15,000 are actually dues paying members

As long as RCALF stands beside groups that are publicly questioning the safety of the beef supply in this county, they won't get any support from me.
 

Border rancher

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"Benefit rollover calf auctions held across the country to raise funds for this non-profit organization continued to pick up steam and set a record for contributions, with a whopping $886,000 generated in just the first quarter of 2005. In all of 2004, calf sales brought in approximately $475,000 for R-CALF USA. Proceeds are used to help R-CALF USA represent U.S. cattle producers on domestic and international trade and marketing issues to ensure the continued profitability and viability of the U.S. cattle industry"

"HAVN'T THEY BEEN TELLING US THIS WHOLE BSE FARCE HAS BEEN ABOUT HEALTH AND KEEPING THE USA FREE OF BSE?"
 

Border rancher

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FROM OLDTIMER'S EARLIER POST.
"Benefit rollover calf auctions held across the country to raise funds for this non-profit organization continued to pick up steam and set a record for contributions, with a whopping $886,000 generated in just the first quarter of 2005. In all of 2004, calf sales brought in approximately $475,000 for R-CALF USA. Proceeds are used to help R-CALF USA represent U.S. cattle producers on domestic and international trade and marketing issues to ensure the continued profitability and viability of the U.S. cattle industry"

"HAVN'T THEY BEEN TELLING US THIS WHOLE BSE FARCE HAS BEEN ABOUT HEALTH AND KEEPING THE USA FREE OF BSE?"
 

Silver

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Thats why the rest of the world is laughing at them.
 

Maple Leaf Angus

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HAY MAKER said:
Its obvious R CALF is the voice of the American cattle man,and also obvious R CALF will far surpass all other cattle orgs. IM betting by the end of the year membership will be well over 20,000............good luck

I think there is a term for the phenomenon when an organism's physical growth far exceeds it's intellectual capability. :) . . . you will need good luck!
 

the chief

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Maple Leaf Angus said:
HAY MAKER said:
Its obvious R CALF is the voice of the American cattle man,and also obvious R CALF will far surpass all other cattle orgs. IM betting by the end of the year membership will be well over 20,000............good luck

I think there is a term for the phenomenon when an organism's physical growth far exceeds it's intellectual capability. :) . . . you will need good luck!

I know! I know! It's called US Government! Right? :wink:
 

Silver

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Actually, I think it's just "government" in general. The US doesn't have a monopoly on it. :(
 

Tam

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SASH said:
This is a comment from a poster on another web page. If what he says is true and these memberships are being sent out for free then even though the membership has increased, support for R-CALF probably hasn't.

I would certainly question RCALF's claims about their membership numbers. We received a free membership last year from someone I don't even know! I wonder how many of those 15,000 are actually dues paying members

As long as RCALF stands beside groups that are publicly questioning the safety of the beef supply in this county, they won't get any support from me.

I wonder how many of these poor suckers that have their name put on a membership by somebody they don't even know Know that if R-CALF is found responsible for damages done by the injunction they could be held responible for the debt. I think we will find out just how many due paying members there are if R-CALF has to settle a big lawsuit.
 

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