APRIL 20, 2005 - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact Al Davis, 458-2220
ICON BOARD URGES CATTLE PRODUCERS TO GET INVOLVED
Fullerton, NE---The message is loud and clear: Independent cattle producers
must get involved in industry issues if the industry is to survive.
The message was delivered by the Independent Cattlemen of Nebraska Board
of Directors, who addressed livestock producers and consumers at an
informational workshop held at Mid-Nebraska PRIDE's Annual meeting here
on April 17.
Board members Chris Abbott of Gordon, Bob Rothwell of Hyannis, David
Wright of Neligh, as well as Abbott's son, Carver, shared current information
on issues which have been the focus of ICON since its inception in February
of this year. Again and again, they stressed that the time to get involved
in the cattle industry is now, with so many decisions being made that
will impact the future of the industry and the State.
The ICON Directors fielded questions that centered primarily around
the Canadian border and BSE issues, Country of Origin Labeling of US
beef ("COOL") , and LB 150, a bill currently before the Nebraska
Legislature that aims to establish a state beef check off.
The Board also briefed the crowd on the Federal Pickett v. Tyson case
concerning captive supply of beef and price control in the cattle industry.
Chris Abbott and Bob Rothwell were two of the original six plaintiffs
in the case, which was filed in 1996.
Carver Abbott spoke for the next generation of cattlemen, citing his
concerns over the viability of the industry and longevity of farm and
ranch communities if changes aren't made to preserve profitability.
He hopes to step up to run the family ranch, but fears it won't be sustainable
with trends that have stripped profits and threatened the integrity
of US-produced beef.
Cattlemen were urged to be more vocal with their state and federal
representatives, and to unite to have an even stronger voice. "Trade
and health issues are being decided today that will influence every
aspect of our lives---from who buys our cattle, to what our land is
worth," said Rothwell. "This isn't just about the ranch---it's
about the economy of the State and rural America." he added.
Nearly 600 Nebraska cattle producers have joined ICON since its inception
in February of this year. ICON can be reached at 308-282-2826 for more