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CONTACT: Katie Meyer (402)360-2072

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - November 30, 2008


Hyannis, Nebraska — The Independent Cattlemen of Nebraska (ICON) adopted a policy resolution during its annual meeting recently to urge Congress to pass two bills that address problems with Argentina.

The first bill would block meat imports from Argentina, which has had disease problems. The second bill would force countries like Argentina—which have the ability to honor debt obligations but refuse to do so—to repay money owed to U.S. businesses.

“Argentina has proven time and time again that it is not a friend to rural America,” said Dave Wright, newly elected President of ICON. “The time has come for our government to hold them accountable for their actions.”

Congress is expected to be in session this week, and ICON has contacted the members of the Nebraska delegation to urge that Argentine problems be dealt with expeditiously.

· The resolution passed by ICON reads:
WHEREAS: Many nations have a perennial problem with Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD); which inhibits their ability to export beef; and

· WHEREAS: The United States has been FMD free for over 80 years and is therefore able to export beef to wide areas of the world, creating a higher standard of living for its ranching communities by virtue of the hard work out forefathers undertook in eradication the disease; and

· WHEREAS: Argentina is still dealing with an outbreak of FMD which was brought into that nation illegally across unmonitored borders; and

· WHEREAS: Argentina has a long history of credit defaults, corrupt and undemocratic governments, and graft among its civil servants; and

· WHEREAS: Argentina has ignored U.S. court judgments to repay debts to American Businesses and taxpayers, and Argentina’s default has harmed teacher pension funds, tied up needed money from American banks, and given Argentine businesses an unfair advantage over international competitors; and

· WHEREAS: USDA has proposed the regionalization of Argentina to permit large areas of that nation to be declared FMD- free; and

· WHEREAS: Such status would immediately establish significant price differentials within the nation which could give rise to FMD infected animals being brought across these internal lines in the infected nations for possible export to other nations; and

· WHEREAS: FMD is an extremely contagious disease which would impose devastating consequences on the US BEEF herd if it were unleashed in the United States; and

· WHEREAS: The Foot and Mouth Disease Prevention Act and the Judgment Evading Foreign State Accountability Act have been introduced in Congress to address these issues;


That ICON opposes regionalizing FMD areas in Argentina and all other nations which are infected with FMD, due to the inability to directly supervise these areas and the probability that the disease will be exported to the United States which would have catastrophic consequences for the ranching industry, and that the Independent Cattlemen of Nebraska calls on Congress to pass the Foot and Mouth Disease Prevention Act and the Judgment Evading Foreign State Accountability Act during the final days of the 110th Congress or during the 111th Congress.

For more information about Independent Cattlemen of Nebraska call 308-458-2758 or visit us online at .

Independent Cattlemen of Nebraska
"Solid as a windmill. Always working for the independent producer."

The Mission of the Independent Cattlemen of Nebraska (ICON) is to protect and promote the interests of Nebraska's
independent cattle producers. Office of the Organization is located in Hyannis, Nebraska and membership can beobtained by calling (308) 458-7282.