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Hanta Yo

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Some of you don't think NCBA is doing anything. Think again...






IN THIS ISSUE:


NCBA Update on 11-piont Directive for Reopening the Canadian Border to Live Cattle





Kay's Korner: BSE Crisis Offers Valuable Lessons





OVER HERD!



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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 Update on 11-piont Directive for Reopening the Canadian Border to Live Cattle

At the Cattle Industry's Annual Convention in San Antonio, NCBA members passed an 11-point directive on the reopening of the Canadian border to live cattle. Accomplishing all 11 points within this directive is a top priority for NCBA. NCBA has dedicated three full-time staffers in our Washington, D.C. office and staff in the Denver office to work tirelessly on this directive. NCBA is aware of the importance of this directive to our members. In order to keep all members up to date on the progress of this directive, we will be providing an update on each of the 11 points through Member eUpdates. Please look for future pieces to follow on this topic in subsequent eUpdates until all 11 points have been addressed.

Point 1: Prohibit the importation of cattle and beef products from cattle more than 30 months of age.

Status: On February 9, 2005, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) delayed the effective date for allowing imports of meat from animals 30 months and over. The initial Minimal Risk Rule published by USDA included importation of beef from animals older than 30 months. NCBA argued that while all beef is safe from BSE permitting beef from "over 30 month" animals but not allowing animals "over 30 months" of age would put the U.S. industry at an undue economic disadvantage.

Bottom line: Now the rule only would permit animals younger than 30 months of age and beef from this age category, the lowest risk category for BSE based on science.

Point 2: Assurance that all Canadian firewalls to prevent BSE, specifically adherence to their feed ban are functioning properly.

Status: NCBA's producer-member trade delegation and the USDA inspection team, which included feed ban technical experts from the Food and Drug Administration, both concluded Canada's feed ban firewalls are equivalent to the United States and are functioning properly.

Analysis: NCBA sent a delegation of producers to Alberta, Canada, January, 17-20, 2005, to visually assess and report on Canada's feed ban compliance. The team concluded: "The Canadian feed industry appears to be in compliance with its feed ban, based on visual inspection and multiple annual audit reports. The majority of compliance violations involved record keeping, specifically lack of proper notices on invoices." Furthermore, they concluded, "Given the age of the four BSE-positive cattle, there is no reason to believe an amplification risk exists today in the Canadian feed and rendering industries."

USDA sent a team of technical experts to Canada on January 24, 2005, to "do an in-depth assessment on Canada's ruminant-to-ruminant feed ban and their feed ban inspection program."

USDA's inspection team report stated that "Canada has a robust inspection program, that overall compliance with the feed ban is good and that the feed ban is reducing the risk of transmission of bovine spongiform encephalopathy in the Canadian cattle population."

The team "found that compliance by feed mills and rendering facilities in Canada to their feed ban regulations is good and, just like the United States, Canada is continually looking for ways to make it even better."

Upon review of the complete technical team report, USDA concluded, "the animal and public health measures that Canada has in place to prevent BSE, combined with existing U.S. domestic safeguards and additional safeguards provided in the final rule, provide the utmost protections to U.S. consumers and livestock."

Bottomline: Neither NCBA's trade delegation nor USDA's technical team unearthed any evidence after traveling to Canada that revealed Canada was not complying with its feed ban.


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*The following is a reprint of an article from Cattle Buyers Weekly by Steve Kay on April 4, 2005.

Kay's Korner: BSE Crisis Offers Valuable Lessons

The BSE crisis in North America continues to play to a script that must have been written by someone with a dark sense of humor. Who for instance could have imagined that a group of ranchers would fight tooth and nail to keep the border closed to Canadian cattle yet an activist consumer group would come out in support of a reopening?
That's just one of the bizarre twists that the crisis has taken. The consumer group, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), has been a sharp critic of the industry and of USDA in recent years-in no way could it be regarded as sympathetic to either. Yet it says, in a new report, that the border controversy has nothing to do with protecting public health and everything to do with producers protecting their profits.

It's no surprise that opponents of the border reopening remained silent about CSPI's rebuttal of their claims of protecting American consumers. Some of those same opponents also claim they can't recognize "official" Japanese government representatives, even if they happen to be staffers from the Japanese Embassy in Washington. All I can say is, I'm very glad these folk aren't officially representing the production side of the industry.

More people are starting to see through the thinness of the arguments to keep the border closed. But I'm still startled by the opposition expressed by some industry folk that I thought would be able to differentiate between fact and fiction. It's also disappointing how reputable newspapers like the New York Times and the Denver Post have fallen hook, line and sinker for the opponents' case in recently published editorials. The Post, for example, recently parroted the argument put forward by Colorado Sen. Ken Salazar.

What are the lessons from all this? Well, either supporters of a border reopening have done a lousy job in putting their case, or one has to accept that there's a bunch of people who aren't interested in learning the facts because they have their own agendas for supporting continued closure. We've also learned that it takes a few hours to close a border or market, and a few months or a few years to reopen them. Our battle with Japan and our experience with Canada have seen the intersection of science, politics, trade and profit-motivated protectionism. We have learned to our chagrin that food safety is being used more strongly than ever globally as a quasi trade barrier.

We've also learned that American consumers are more levelheaded than we could have imagined. We could have had a demand disaster on our hands in January last year. But excellent work by industry groups and USDA allayed any concerns that consumers may have had about the safety of the U.S. beef supply. Contrast this sterling effort with the insinuations of unsafe beef from opponents of a border reopening. Ask yourself, who would you rather have representing your industry in a crisis?

We've also learned that government and industry's work since 1989 in putting BSE firewalls in place has been of enormous value. May we never lose that level of forward thinking and degree of cooperation. Remember, the same entities today are working to protect the long-term future of the industry. So start thinking mandatory ID.

Another lesson is that USDA is only as good as the person who heads the agency. I won't dwell on the management weaknesses under the previous secretary's watch. But I still have a hard time understanding how some of the mistakes that took place were allowed to occur. USDA fell into the trap of taking a step-by-step approach to restoring trade with Canada. The lesson here is: If you close a border to all products at the same time, you should reopen it to all products at the same time. That way, the impact is spread over all sectors and is minimized. USDA's approach has been fraught with miss-steps, contradictions and lawsuits. Respect for USDA has diminished as a result.

The final lesson, and the most important, is the way in which the industry has cooperated over BSE, or more to the point, not cooperated. Competitive rivalry between some trade associations has resulted in a haphazard approach that has not served the industry well. Where was the National BSE Response Team representing all key trade groups? Such a group should have been put together within weeks of Canada's first case so the U.S. beef industry could speak with one voice to the American public, to members of Congress, to the White House and to our international trading partners.
BSE has, by my reckoning, cost the beef industry and the overall U.S. economy more than $8 billion so far. I can only hope this cost will be balanced in the future by government and industry leaders learning the lessons that BSE in North America has taught us.


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OVER HERD!

Independent view from the industry.
"If folks like R-Calf are concerned about the industry, they need to step back and take a look at the bigger picture. If we don't have a healthy packing industry in the Northwest, and we don't have a healthy feeding industry in the Northwest, that is going to be to the detriment of the cow/calf producer. Take for example, if I have to ship cattle to Nebraska to be slaughtered, that is going to cost me an additional 1.5 million a year. That is not going to come out of my pocket, but will have to come from the cow/calf guy. Or, I will just have to close up." Cevin Jones, Idaho family feeder on what the impact of keeping the Canadian border closed has on the cattle industry in his state. Jones family has operated a family feeding operation in Idaho since the mid 1940's.

OVER HERD is a look at note worthly quotes appearing in the daily news media related to the cattle industry.


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National Cattlemen's Beef Association

9110 East Nichols Ave. Suite 300
Centennial, CO 80112
303-694-0305 - phone
1301 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Suite 300
Washington, D.C. 20004
202-347-0228 - phone

www.beefusa.org








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Anonymous

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Hanta Yo- Thanks for the info-- but do you know where NCBA is setting now on the other 9 points? I have heard they are filing briefs in the border suit ruling to gain intervener status in the suit- but have seen little in the press... If you hear more on the rest of the points I'd like to see them.......
 

HAY MAKER

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I couldnt careless what ncba or two bit packers opinion of the cattle industry is,I listened to their bull and idiots like hoto yo till its an old tune .like the ole man said you can fool some of the people some of the time,NOT ALL THE PEOPLE ALL THE TIME.............good luck & good nite
 

RHR

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Thanks for the post. It's always interesting reading both sides to issues. I get tired of the name calling. I havn't noticed a similar problem with other commodities we produce ie wheat, corn, diary etc. What is it with the cattle business? Why are we so against the buyer of our product?
 

Hanta Yo

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HAY MAKER said:
I couldnt careless what ncba or two bit packers opinion of the cattle industry is,I listened to their bull and idiots like hoto yo till its an old tune .like the ole man said you can fool some of the people some of the time,NOT ALL THE PEOPLE ALL THE TIME.............good luck & good nite

You're so sweet, Hay Maker. I've never called you names. Have a good night's sleep. :D
 

Faster horses

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Sorry, Haymaker, but you DON'T listen. Your mind is already made up. Why do you get so upset when something against your point of view is printed? Are you afraid there might be two sides to the story?

A rut is a grave with the ends kicked out.
 

Turkey Track Bar

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Hanta Yo:

Thanks so much for posting that---it is nice to see both sides of the story.

Faster Horses:

Your comments are duelly noted. Thanks for posting them!

Everyone, even Haymaker have a great day! Haymaker do you have good days, or are you too pessimistic to see them??? I start everyday thinking it'll be a great day and great things will happen, and most generally they do. Yes there are some ups and downs but generally the way a person sees them depends on whether they view the glass have full or have empty!

Sorry for the rant, but all the negativity is why I don't participate much in this forum (Bull Session). Someone posts something and they get put through the stump grinder. We all have different points of view, and we all stand to learn something from everyone else, whether we agree with it or not.

I do have one great story to tell about having a good outlook on life.

My husband and I have made friends with a large cow calf operator and his family in the Sandhills of NE. They're long time ranching families (both his and hers) and great stewards of the land and tremendous caretakers of livestock---two very admirable qualities to find in producers IMO. As well, they have a tremendous set of cattle, and run a very nice operation. Further, they retain ownership on their steers and cull heifers.

We were talking about markets, the border, etc. This rancher remarked that he had over 400 heifers he contracted to sell in the PM Beef program the week after the "cow that stole Christmas" was announced. He put it this way, yes the market was not the best, but said "I have could have lost more money." He continued, he was thankful to have only 400 head of heifers headed to the packer instead of more---now that is looking at it very optimistically. Most of us will still be complaining---what a refreshing point of view.

It seems "Ranchwife" follows right along with this positive point of view. It is so nice to have her around. If you haven't seen her posts I'd highly recommend them---check out the Coffee Shop-but leave the pessimism at the door!

Again, thanks Hanta Yo and Faster Horses. You guys "rock"!

Cheers to a beautiful day!

TTB :lol:
 

Hanta Yo

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Turkey Track Bar said:
Hanta Yo:

Thanks so much for posting that---it is nice to see both sides of the story.

Faster Horses:

Your comments are duelly noted. Thanks for posting them!

Everyone, even Haymaker have a great day! Haymaker do you have good days, or are you too pessimistic to see them??? I start everyday thinking it'll be a great day and great things will happen, and most generally they do. Yes there are some ups and downs but generally the way a person sees them depends on whether they view the glass have full or have empty!

Sorry for the rant, but all the negativity is why I don't participate much in this forum (Bull Session). Someone posts something and they get put through the stump grinder. We all have different points of view, and we all stand to learn something from everyone else, whether we agree with it or not.

I do have one great story to tell about having a good outlook on life.

My husband and I have made friends with a large cow calf operator and his family in the Sandhills of NE. They're long time ranching families (both his and hers) and great stewards of the land and tremendous caretakers of livestock---two very admirable qualities to find in producers IMO. As well, they have a tremendous set of cattle, and run a very nice operation. Further, they retain ownership on their steers and cull heifers.

We were talking about markets, the border, etc. This rancher remarked that he had over 400 heifers he contracted to sell in the PM Beef program the week after the "cow that stole Christmas" was announced. He put it this way, yes the market was not the best, but said "I have could have lost more money." He continued, he was thankful to have only 400 head of heifers headed to the packer instead of more---now that is looking at it very optimistically. Most of us will still be complaining---what a refreshing point of view.

It seems "Ranchwife" follows right along with this positive point of view. It is so nice to have her around. If you haven't seen her posts I'd highly recommend them---check out the Coffee Shop-but leave the pessimism at the door!

Again, thanks Hanta Yo and Faster Horses. You guys "rock"!

Cheers to a beautiful day!

TTB :lol:

TTB: I do appreciate your positive attitude. I, too rarely post here, because I feel like a little mouse in a nest of vipers. If something newsworthy comes across my screen I like to share it. It is not my biased opinion I am trying to get across, or trying to make a pointless point. It is not determining who is right or who is wrong, or arguing people over to my side. FH, I enjoy your posts, keep them up. You both are appreciated very much! Have a wonderful day.

Hanta Yo
 

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