Independent Cattlemen of Nebraska, Inc.
PRESS RELEASE - For release on Wednesday, February 14,
Independent Cattlemen to take get-acquainted
tour of Nebraska
A new organization, the Independent Cattlemen Of Nebraska (ICON), will
travel across Nebraska Feb. 21-23, explaining their motivation and goals
“We are in the 11th hour on major issues affecting the cattle
business and Nebraska,” ICON president Chris Abbott of Hyannis
said. “We need an organization that will fully represent us.”
Abbott and others agreed in mid January to form an organization for
independent cattlemen and named it ICON. It is now chartered and registered
and has about 50 members, Abbott said.
Founding members Chris Abbott, Al Davis and Bob Rothwell, accompanied
by Jess Peterson of the Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund, United
Stockgrowers of America (R-CALF USA) will kick off the tour in Hyannis
Feb. 21 at 7 p.m. at the Winters Building. Everyone is invited.
At 10 a.m. Feb. 22, they will be in North Platte to talk to the press
at the Royal Colonial Inn, and will return to the Royal Colonial Inn
that night from 7-10 p.m. for an informational meeting with area cattlemen,
farmers and anyone interested.
The next day, ICON founders and Peterson will be in Lincoln at the State
Capitol for a noon press conference and meeting with Nebraska senators.
Another founding member, Dave Wright of Neligh, will join them there.
Cattle feeder Korley Sears of Ainsworth is another founder.
Jess Peterson is the director of governmental relations for R-CALF USA
with an office in Washington, D.C. ICON will affiliate with R-CALF USA.
R-CALF USA represents thousands of U.S. cattle producers on domestic
and international trade and marketing issues, and Peterson will talk
about those issues during the tour.
R-CALF USA’s membership consists primarily of cow-calf
operators, cattle backgrounders and feedlot owners. It has 12,000 members
in 46 states, and more than 60 local and state affiliates, including
both cattle and farm organizations. Supporting businesses are associate
"We have to get our industry back," Abbott said. "We
face critical issues this year that could virtually eliminate independent
cattlemen from this country."
ICON will address the March 7 Canadian border opening to beef imports,
advocate for country of origin labeling of meats and scrutinize pending
trade agreements such as CAFTA, the Central American Free Trade Agreement.
CAFTA was signed May 28 and the next step is a vote in Congress this
year. ICON is also opposed to the consolidation/monopolization of agriculture
and opposes the closures of small schools.
"We must have fair trade, not free trade," Abbott said. "If
beef is allowed to come freely into this country, it will drive down
our prices and drive more money and people from rural Nebraska. Agriculture
is the base of Nebraska's economy and cattle are at the base of Nebraska's
Membership dues in ICON are $50 a year.
Contact Abbott at 308-458-9814 (cell) or 308-282-2826 (ranch)