Letters

Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
Feb 21, 2005
by WLJ

Re: Cattle Identification
Attention: Sarah Swenson:
Why do not cattlemen insert “microchip IDs” in the cattle as they do in dogs now?
They would not be very easily removed at all—and would surely simplify the procedure as well as decreasing costs!
Just was thinking about this after reading the article in WLJ.
I am retired now and have sold all our cattle since my husband (Clyde) passed away in 1994.
Just always loved the cattle business!
Audrey Carner
Carner Hat C Ranch (no longer in business)
Chino Valley

Long-term solutions required
Since BSE was discovered in Canada, a tangled web of media hype, international politics, scientific investigation and economic theory have intertwined to create strong opinions and ample miscommunication in the cattle and beef industry.
After the events of the past months, one common theme has emerged—Montana ranchers do not want the border reopened in a way that jeopardizes their livelihood. Our livestock organizations are in agreement on this. Our differences, however, come from two different rationales. Montana Stockgrowers Association (MSGA) is concerned about economic impact, while others promote fear in the safety of beef.
Other countries have closed their borders to U.S. beef exports because we had a case of BSE. They do not make the distinction that it was not a native born cow. Based on this, it is important to establish rules for dealing with a minimal risk country. We must develop rules and protocol that instill confidence in our consumers and trading partners.
MSGA has demanded that five very stringent requirements are met-based on sound science, economics and fair trade. We realize that eventually, trade will resume. And instead of demanding a complete and indefinite closure, we are asking that reasonable, realistic conditions be met.
To promote Canadian beef as unsafe because they have had BSE in their country is to set ourselves up for disaster if we ever have a native case in the U.S. The December 23 case, although of Canadian origin, was a shot across our bow. Industry experts agree it is quite possible that we will discover an indigenous case, and we must be prepared.
It is imperative to maintain consumer confidence in our beef. With the current food safety protocols in place, both in the U.S. and Canada, no infectious BSE agent ever reaches the food supply. Beef is safe.
To attempt to protect our markets by using hysteria and scare tactics will result in the shot going through our bow not over it.
Bill Donald
MSGA President
Melville, MT

Concern about opening Canadian border
Dear Sirs:
The neighbors and I back in the hinterlands of Idahos’ Owyhees are a bit confused and need enlightenment. We don’t savvy how opening the border to Canadian live cattle in the face of confirmed BSE cases and speculation over tainted livestock feed will encourage Japan to import our beef.
We refer to BSE, mad-cow disease, as wild cow disease because it’s perceived as a wild card that’s being played at our industry and the consumers expense.
As the little boy admonished Shoeless Joe Jackson, “Tell us it ain’t so Joe?”
Yours truly,
Michael L. Hanley IV
Jordan Valley, OR

One Nation Under God
I was raised on a small ranch near Wild Horse, CO, and went to a country school the first eight years. One room with eight grades, 21 children, and one teacher. Looking back, I realize how wise my teacher was, teaching all grades reading, writing, arithmetic, and English. Teachers are not that versatile today.
Each morning we would pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, with liberty and justice for ALL. I grew up understanding what patriotism really was, having great respect for the President of the USA, and reverence and faith in God. I was taught to honor my parents and respect my fellow man.
Many things have changed in the last 40 to 50 years. Ten commandments cannot be displayed in a public building. God and prayer has literally been kicked out of our schools. Atheists are petitioning to remove God from the Pledge of Allegiance and from our currency (in God we trust). I’d like to remind these unbelievers that there are still places on earth where they could go and not have to associate with God fearing believers.
I have been traveling around the country extensively lately. My awareness has increased to the people around me and how they react to different situations. I was at the R-CALF Convention and we always ask God’s blessing before meals and the same at the NCBA Convention. At one NCBA meeting, we all stood to pledge allegiance to the flag (we did not leave God out, he was right there). For the most part, these two organizations are comprised of producers with a reverence for God and a love for the land upon which they make their livelihood.
While in San Antonio, me being an Irishman, I decided to stop at Dirty Nelly’s Irish Pub. It was a full house, people having a good time. Steve Palmer was playing the piano and singing some Irish songs. Time was taken to ask God’s blessing and protection on our soldiers at war. There was a Viet Nam Veteran there who had been wounded and burned in service to our country. He sang a song, then Steve asked all to stand and sing the Star Spangle Banner.
Let me say, these are my kind of people. This is what America should be like.
The BEEFMAN
Tom Connelley

Belle Fourche, SD

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