FROM: INDEPENDENT CATTLEMEN OF NEBRASKA - Box 241 - Hyannis, NE 69350
CONTACT: Dottie Davis 308-458-2220 firstname.lastname@example.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - MAY 7, 2005
CATTLEMEN'S GROUPS UNVEIL "USA RAISED BEEF"
NE-----Independent Cattlemen of Nebraska sponsored a joint meeting with
the Kansas Cattlemen Association in McCook Thursday to introduce Nebraskans
to a sweeping new campaign promoting domestically-raised beef. Showcasing
a banner reading, "Not just any beef---USA Raised Beef. Ask
for it", guest speaker Chase Carter of the Cattlemens
Competitive Market Project, based in Lincoln, explained that CCMP has
developed the new logo and promotion, and he promised producers, "You're
going to be seeing it all over the country."
"Americas cattle producers deserve a national promotional
program that distinguishes their product from that of foreign nations,"
Carter said. "The current mandated $1.00- per- head checkoff promotes
generic beef, and that includes foreign beef imported into America,
sold under the guise of the USDA grade stamp of approval. This campaign
is designed to enhance demand for USA-RAISED BEEF, which is the safest,
most nutritious beef in the world."
Carter said that the new logo is "something for consumers to have
faith in and something for producers to have pride in." He further
explained that this campaign will be an impetus for the US to adopt
"Country of Origin Labeling" of beef.
"The consumer has a right to choose beef according to where it's
raised," he said, "and this will be crucial if the border
is opened to Canadian cattle, where BSE has repeatedly been identified
in the herd." Carter added, "The USDA talks of 'sound science',
and tells us we don't need to worry about BSE, but anyone who tells
you they know everything about BSE is lying to you. Current knowledge
on BSE is very little. Why would we want to knock down the border and
allow it into our cattle herd?"
Carter told producers that international trade is the most important
issue facing their industry and they must make their voices heard on
proposed trade agreements like CAFTA. He said that, "On the national
level, only R-CALF USA and the Organization for Competitive Markets
are protecting the live cattle industry." He added, " There
is no room for complacency."
Kansas Cattlemen CEO, Mike Schultz, said, "These groups have taken
on the challenge of focusing on trade issues because profit is essential
to a fair and competitive market. Nothing else---caring for the environment,
being a steward of the land, or preserving our communities ---is possible
Schultz also said "[Ag Secretary] Johanns pushes free trade agreements
by telling us that 96% of the world's population lives outside the US,
but what he doesn't say is that they don't have the purchasing power
to make that trade a two-way street. In the CAFTA nations, for example,
the per capita monthly income is only $400." Carter added that,
"US trade policy has the ability to break us all because our trade
agreements are not with consuming countries---only producing countries."
ICON President Chris Abbott, his son, Carver, and ICON Directors Bob
Rothwell, Al Davis, and Dave Wright also addressed the cattle producers
and community leaders on trade issues and meat packer ownership of cattle,
which results in a "captive supply" that enables market manipulation.
Foremost in their comments, however, was the need for producers to get
involved by uniting and by communicating with their elected representatives
on the issues that impact their industry.
The meeting was a part of ICON's statewide tour to raise awareness
and recruit members. The new beef producers advocacy group has signed
650 members in Nebraska in less than three months.