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Date: March 4, 2005

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE from Independent Cattlemen of Nebraska

Contact: Al Davis, 308.458.2220

ICON Applauds Action to keep Canadian Border closed

Hyannis, NE~~The Independent Cattlemen of Nebraska congratulates R-CALF USA in winning a preliminary injunction to keep the Canadian Border closed to cattle and beef. Federal Judge Richard Cebull of the U.S. District Court in Billings, Montana ruled from the bench on Wednesday that the USDA will not be allowed to open the border to Canadian cattle, of any age, until a full trial can be held and all scientific data reviewed.

ICON, the only Nebraska Cattlemen's group to affiliate with the United Stockgrowers of America, applauds Judge Cebull's ruling that reiterates on the volumes of scientific data available that favors keeping BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy) from entering our nations cattle herd and food supply.

"Canada has a confirmed BSE problem. Four documented BSE cases have originated in the Canadian herd in the last two years. The U.S. cattle industry has no documented cases and is presumed clean. The traditional method to address disease outbreaks is through isolation and quarantine, not by spreading the disease through increased cross-border trade. Foot and mouth disease and blue tongue have been addressed through import restrictions", the Organization of Competitive Markets stated in their recent press release. OCM recently projected a $240 per head drop in cattle prices this summer if the border opens.

ICON supports and promotes legal action, as a last resort, to ensure that:

· American Consumers are entitled to the safest food products possible.

· The US cattle industry provides the safest and most wholesome beef in the world.

· To hold USDA responsible for protecting the US food supply and the US cattle industry from the BSE risk presented by Canada.

· USDA fulfills this responsibility by following the more stringent safeguards recommended by international science and by every other country in the world affected by BSE.

· USDA and the Administration do not place the US cattle industry at risk from loss of consumer confidence in the US beef supply.

The recent vote in the Senate on the Resolution of Disapproval of the Canadian Border Rule (March 04, 2005) showed support from one Nebraska Senator, Ben Nelson, who voted for the resolution, which passed on a majority vote. Senator Nelson has historically been supportive of Nebraska beef producers. The Independent Cattlemen of Nebraska (ICON) are grateful for the support he has shown through his actions and commitment for the independence of Nebraska business and cattle industry and look forward to working with him on the many issues facing Nebraska agriculture today.

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 be obtained by calling (308) 282-2826