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PRESS RELEASE: Independent Cattlemen of Nebraska (ICON)
FOR MORE INFORMATION: For more information, contact ICON Executive Director Destry Brown, 308-458-2244,
or ICON president David Wright, 402-929-0339, or Communications Director Linda Wuebben, 402-357-3778.

ICON Members Seek Beef Council Seats

The recent compliance review of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association has spurred interest in the ranks of the Independent Cattlemen of Nebraska (ICON) to find responsible Nebraska cattle producers to fill director positions being vacated on the Nebraska Beef Council.

Currently, ICON board members David Wright and Rod Gray are also members of the Nebraska Beef Council. Wright is term-limited out this year after serving eight years.

Two ICON members, Chris Abbott of Gordon and Terry Rothwell of Hyannis, are gathering signatures this summer to be nominated to fill two of the board seats on the NBC this fall. ICON is very interested in staying involved in the beef checkoff program and keeping an eye on the allocation of funds and making sure the money is used for what it was intended.

"The complexity within the sectors of the cattle and beef industry becomes very transparent, when you look at the input costs and the output received between the three major sectors, which are producing, feeding and processing," said Chris Abbott, ICON Board of Director member. "To think one organization, namely the NCBA can speak effectively for all segments of our industry is absurd. The fact that they are the major contractor of our checkoff dollars creates a huge conflict of interest. I'm astonished that some producers have been brainwashed into thinking one voice can speak for the entire industry."

ICON is very disappointed to see allocated funds being misused and misappropriated according to the initial review of the NCBA by Cattlemen's Beef Board (CBB).

"I decided to send for a nomination packet for my Region (6) and attempt to gain a seat on the NBC to give myself, my neighbors and fellow cattle producers a common sense voice in the kind of decisions where money is allocated," said Rothwell. "With the recent disclosure of the non-compliance issues within NCBA and actions by CBB to better control the check-off financial situation, it is more important than ever to participate in the process. As a working rancher in Arthur County, I am very concerned with where my money is going and if it is working for me."

Rothwell said recently, she was approached by a rancher who was questioning the Nebraska Beef Council's recent majority vote to send several millions to the Federation with no strings attached. Two dissenting members argued against this and spoke in favor of more support & promotion of Nebraska beef or at least to earmark the funding - rather than to send hard earned dollars to an organization that is political and may not be using the money to promote Nebraska producers. This funding was given in addition to the mandatory payment which is half of NBC's check-off receipts due & payable every year.

As a working rancher in Arthur County, Rothwell is very concerned with where her money is going and if it is working for her. If elected, she looks forward to working with the council in deciding the best ways to support local and state wide Beef producers.
ICON is also reminding Nebraska cattlemen from one end of the state to the other they are sponsoring a bus trip to the USDA/DOJ Workshop in Ft. Collins, CO, on August 27, 2010. The bus ride will be free thanks to ICON and several sponsors and a few seats are still available but time is getting short. A block of 20 rooms at a rate of $79 for two double beds have been reserved at the Best Western University Inn which is directly across the street from Colorado State University where the workshop for the Livestock Industry is being held.

ICON encourages livestock producers to support this once-in-lifetime opportunity so a clear message is sent to the USDA and Congress. There is a problem with the current market practices and it needs fixing.

For more info on rooms and to reserve your seat on the bus please call Destry Brown at 308-458-2244.



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