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Feb 13, 2005
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October 24, 2005

Copy By: Natasha Bentz, Field Coordinator
Phone: 406-252-2516; e-mail: [email protected]

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

New Affiliate in North Dakota

(Billings, Mont.) – Recently, a new state cattle producers association formed in North Dakota and affiliated with R-CALF USA. It is called the Independent Beef Association of North Dakota or I-BAND. It boasts 10 board members and 100 total members after only two months. Patrick L. Becker is president and Francis Maher is vice president. Alan Lund is the secretary.

“The stronger these state affiliates become the stronger R-CALF will become,” explained Becker. “I would encourage anyone who would like to participate in this organization to contact one of the directors. We need to give our state governments the same message that R-CALF is giving in Washington, D.C. We stand behind M-COOL 100 percent and we are one of the 23 organizations that signed onto the amicus brief in support of R-CALF in the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.” He also said that if the government mandates NAIS then they need to administer it through APHIS on the federal level and the state health officials. The government should also undergo the program cost and all producer information should remain private.

“We need an organization to help support R-CALF on marketing and trade issues on the national level,” said Maher. “There are 12,000 producers in North Dakota and we would like to represent them on state and national issues.” He also said that I-BAND will not support free trade agreements such as the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) that was passed by Congress earlier this year. I-BAND was started by North Dakota cattle producers willing to work solely for the best interests of the North Dakota cattle producer.

“We formed this organization because we are concerned about the marketing and trade issues going on throughout the United States right now,” noted Lund. He said they would like to take on specific issues such as M-COOL, free trade issues and the National Animal Identification System (NAIS).

“We welcome I-BAND as a new affiliate. This now gives us two state affiliates in North Dakota,” said R-CALF USA President and Co-Founder Leo McDonnell.

I-BAND gives its members the opportunity to vote at the annual convention and by mail-in ballot to establish policy and elect directors from within their district. I-BAND also requires that all voting members own cattle.

Currently, I-BAND consists of two districts. District one (1) consists of the area of North Dakota that lies west of the Missouri river, from the South Dakota border north to Interstate 94 and west of U.S. Highway 32 from Interstate 94 north to the Canadian border. District two (2) consists of the area of the state that lies east of said boundaries.

For more information, you may contact Patrick L. Becker at 701-422-3396 or Francis (Buck) Maher at 701-673-3161 or Alan Lund at 701-422-3747.

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R-CALF USA (Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund, United Stockgrowers of America) represents thousands of U.S. cattle producers on domestic and international trade and marketing issues. R-CALF USA, a national, non-profit organization, is dedicated to ensuring the continued profitability and viability of the U.S. cattle industry. R-CALF USA's membership consists primarily of cow-calf operators, cattle backgrounders, and feedlot owners. Its members - over 18,000 strong - are located in 47 states, and the organization has over 60 local and state association affiliates, from both cattle and farm organizations. Various main street businesses are associate members of R-CALF USA. For more information, visit www.r-calfusa.com or, call 406-252-2516.


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