Independent Cattlemen of Nebraska (ICON)

432 N. 10th Ave, Broken Bow, NE 68822, (308) 880-1505



Date August 25, 2019 -- NEWS RELEASE

For more information, contact:

ICON President: Jim Dinklage 402-340-6791

ICON Director:  Dr. Don Cain 308-870-0831

ICON Communications: Maureen Cain 308-880-1505


LB 344: “Animal Health and Disease Control Act”

Review and Discussion at the State Capital


August 20, 2019 Independent Cattlemen of Nebraska (ICON) President Jim Dinklage and ICON Natural Resource Chairman Dr. Don Cain, Jr. met at the Nebraska State Capital with a group of concerned personnel. The meeting was organized by Rick Leonard, Legislative Research Analyst at the request of Senator Steve Halloran. Those attending were Senator Halloran; Senator Tom Brandt of the Agriculture Committee; Rick Leonard, Legislative Research Analyst; Amelia Breinig representing the NE Department of Agriculture; Bruce Rieker and Ansley Mick, Farm Bureau; John Hansen, Farmers Union; Kris Bousquet, NE State Dairy Assoc.; Jessica Herrmann and Melody Benjamin, NE Cattlemen; Al Juhnke, NE Pork Producers; Katie Zulkoski, lobbyist for NE Veterinary Medical Assoc.; and Russ Westerhold, lobbyist for NE Pork Producers and NE Egg and Poultry Association. 


The meeting was chaired by Senator Halloran of the Agriculture Committee. The purpose of the meeting was to go over the details of to LB 344 and entertain suggestions or amendments to the bill being considered and debated on by the Legislature. After some discussion, it was suggested by Al Juhnke that each section of the bill needed to be discussed in depth. Many questions concerning animal health were brought up.


Section 54 of LB 344 was noted to be of concern by Dinklage from ICON. It deals with complying with Federal animal disease traceability requirements for official identification of animals as set forth in the Code of Federal Regulations Citation section 86.4-official identification. In this section it does not specifically state as to what is an official ear tag. But when it describes an official animal identification, it talks about an “electronic” number. Dr. Cain informed the group that at the annual NE State Veterinarian meeting, the veterinarians were informed that by 2023 the mandatory official identification ear tag for health reasons would be electronic. Dinklage closed this discussion on section 54 of LB 344 by saying that ICON would not support the government using mandatory E-ID tags as the ONLY official animal health identification. That it would probably lead to all cattle being identified with E-ID tag and premise identifications.


The meeting went on to discuss the remaining sections of LB 344.


In closing, it was decided that the NE Department of Agriculture, Legislative Research Analyst Rick Leonard, and any at the meeting would re-review LB 344 and make more corrections or changes to the law. These changes would again be reviewed in a group meeting by those of interest and then sent to the Agriculture Committee.


ICON Resolution #3 for 2019, “Animal Identification”, more specifically spells out the position ICON has regarding mandatory E-ID tags. This resolution will be available at or contact ICON directly for a copy of the 2019 resolutions. The Independent Cattlemen Of Nebraska are the “Voice of the Mother Cow” and our goal is to make sure that this voice is heard and the burdens of her caretakers are lessened.


Jim Dinklage, President Independent Cattlemen of Nebraska



The Independent Cattlemen of Nebraska (ICON) represent, promote, and protect the interests

of the state’s independent cattle producers and feeders.