USCA completes seven-state meeting tour

Dec 24, 2009
by WLJ

The U.S. Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) recently completed a successful series of producer meetings across seven states including New York, North Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota, Nevada and New Mexico.

USCA Executive Vice President Jess Peterson presented the keynote address at the Women Involved in Farm Economics 33rd annual convention in Syracuse, NY, on Nov. 12 and on Nov. 14, Peterson joined USCA Director Danni Beer at the Independent Beef Association of North Dakota’s annual meeting in Bismarck, ND. Peterson and Beer provided a USCA update on Capitol Hill policy issues affecting cattle producers. Peterson briefed participants on the Canadian World Trade Organization challenge of the U.S. country of origin labeling law and assured producers (COOL) that USCA is committed to working with Congress and the Obama administration to ensure a vigorous defense of COOL.

USCA producer outreach continued on Nov. 17 at Torrington Livestock Auction in Torrington, WY, on Nov. 24 at Miles City Livestock Commission in Miles City, MT, and at Mobridge Livestock Market, Mobridge, SD. On Nov. 28, McDonnell and Beer met with producers at Lemmon Livestock Market, Lemmon, SD, to brief participants on industry issues.

At St. Onge Livestock, St. Onge, SD, a standingroom-only crowd raised more than $4,000 during a rollover sale supporting USCA.

On Dec. 4, USCA Region III Director Kimberly Stone participated in a national association membership panel during the New Mexico Cattle Growers Association (NMCGA) Convention in Albuquerque, NM. Stone was later joined by Peterson for joint presentations in several NMCGA breakout meetings. During the convention, NMCGA members and directors voted to affiliate with USCA.

USCA’s Annual Membership Meeting was held in Las Vegas, NV, on Dec. 4 in conjunction with the National Finals Rodeo. USCA members from across the nation gathered at the Orleans Hotel for a daylong session that included updates on national policy issues and presentations by several speakers on matters ranging from an update on animal identification by Dr. Richard Bowman, North Dakota; brucellosis and animal health issues in Montana by Christian McKay, executive director, Montana Board of Livestock; risk assessment and management by John Lockie, Risk Management Agency, Billings, MT; and crop insurance and risk management by Tait Berlier, Silveus, Denver, CO.

During the policy session, USCA members adopted or affirmed a number of policy resolutions on a variety of issues including estate tax relief, Equal Access to Justice Act abuse, environmental matters, animal identification, animal health and welfare, beef checkoff reform, cattle marketing and international trade.

“I want to thank every individual who played a role in making these meetings so successful,” noted Peterson. “It is humbling and motivating to see so many producers engaging in helping shape the future of their industry. I also want to give a special thanks to the staff and management at Torrington Livestock, Miles City Livestock Commission, Mobridge Livestock, St. Onge Livestock and Lemmon Livestock for their hard work and support.”

USCA President Jon Wooster extended a special thanks to Women Involved in Farm Economics, the Independent Beef Association of North Dakota, and the NMCGA for hosting the USCA at their conventions. “USCA is pleased to participate in these activities and to bring the latest information emanating from Capitol Hill. USCA is working daily to ensure that the industry is represented in Washington, D.C., in a manner that earns respect and gains access at the highest levels. We welcome our newest affiliate, the New Mexico Cattle Growers Association, who will be an important partner in our effort.” — WLJ