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WHO IS CRYING WOLF NOW?

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Tommy

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WHO IS CRYING WOLF NOW?

By Ken Winter





When true cattle feeders complain about captive supplies and how they are damaging our markets, some say we are just crying because we don’t have a special deal of our own. When true cattlemen complain about the free trade agreements, some say we have our head in the sand and don’t understand the global economy. When true cattlemen want to protect our best market for beef (the USA) by keeping the border closed until the BSE infection in Canada is better assessed, some say we are just protectionist. Just a few years ago when the industry lost an average of more than $100/head for over 24 months, some said we just paid too much for corn and feeders. When true USA cattle producers wanted country of origin labeling so they could market their exclusive product in a global market, some said no one cared or would pay for the added value. More than once true cattlemen have been accused of crying wolf.



Who is crying wolf now? Have you noticed how much crying the packers, meat industry, USDA, and NCBA have been doing lately? After the 2003 Canadian born, USA case of BSE in Washington State, some began to cry because they were losing money for the first time in recent history. Then as the border remained closed, some complained that their packing plants would have to cut kills. When R-CALF stopped the USDA from illegally importing beef and planning to open the border to live cattle, some complained that it was unfair for a packer to have a Canadian based packing plant and export beef into the USA making excessive profits. When a couple of small packers wanted to test all cattle going to Japan in order to keep that market open, some complained that it would be too expensive and unnecessary to expect the industry to do such a thing. Today in the Wichita Eagle business section, a packer is complaining because a grocer decided to remove that packer’s branded product from its counters to go with (God forbid) an unbranded product.



What is wrong with this scenario? When a cattleman points out an inconsistency or unfair practice…no one cares. It doesn’t get front page or even honorable mention. But let a packer announce it is going to close four plants and reduce kills and it gets blasted all over the front pages from one end of the country to the other. But when kills actually go up by 5% rather than down, which they did, no one, not even the celebrated packer publicist care to bring that to light.



NCBA talks about how great these new and existing free trade agreements will be for the industry but fail to tell what they are doing and will do for true producers. Multinational companies, not producers, are already setting up shop in these countries to increase their production and it is not to feed the natives but to ship back into the richest and largest market in the world…the USA consumer. Cheap labor, greatly reduced or non existent environmental standards, no OSHA, no health insurance, no retirement security, and yearly incomes that equate to our weekly wages, is what these multinational companies are working with and producers will pay the bill when products begin flowing through these free trade agreements. NCBA talks about the great phase in time for these free trade agreements of 14 to 18 years as being our safe guards. Think about it, if you have grown children, how long did it take them to go from crawling on the floor to college? Eighteen years or a blink of the eye? And what about you young producers with small children, will a 14 to 18 year phase in protect them?



Who you are and who you have in your back pocket determines who is crying wolf and who is ringing the warning bell. I for one am glad that the true producer finally has a voice through radical, isolationist, and consumer-aligning groups like R-CALF and affiliates like KCA. Watch out for the flood of tears because the real wolf is crying.



Ken Winter

Dodge City, Kansas
 

the chief

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It's hardly source verified. It had the BRAND name of the packer on it. That does NOT tell where the meat came from.
 
A

Anonymous

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"Multinational companies, not producers, are already setting up shop in these countries to increase their production and it is not to feed the natives but to ship back into the richest and largest market in the world…the USA consumer. Cheap labor, greatly reduced or non existent environmental standards, no OSHA, no health insurance, no retirement security, and yearly incomes that equate to our weekly wages, is what these multinational companies are working with and producers will pay the bill when products begin flowing through these free trade agreements."

Who's crying wolf now?

It looks like Ken Winter is?

"Poor me, multinational companies, packer concentration, captive supplies, and the highest cattle prices ever recorded."

Yup, the end is near.

We are doomed!


~SH~
 

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