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FROM: INDEPENDENT CATTLEMEN OF NEBRASKA, Box 241, Hyannis, NE 69350 Phone: 308-282-2826

Media Contact: Mary Mulligan (402) 967-3464; Email:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - January 26, 2006


(Denver, CO) - Three Directors of the Independent Cattlemen of Nebraska (ICON) were in Denver last week for the 2006 national annual convention of the Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund United Stockgrowers of America (R-CALF USA). R-CALF, based in Billings, MT, represents US cattle producers on trade and marketing issues.

ICON President Chris Abbott of Gordon, and Directors Jim Hanna of Brownlee, and Dave Wright of Neligh represented ICON, which is the Nebraska affiliate of R-CALF. Numerous ICON members also participated in the event.

"The convention provided a great opportunity for us to connect with other cattle producers, discuss our common concerns, set policy, and listen to excellent speakers," said Abbott.

Abbott represented ICON at the Affiliate Council meeting on Wednesday. Thursday included a report on R-CALF's fact-finding mission to Central America, and the changing of the presidential guard from Leo McDonnell to Chuck Kiker of Beaumont, TX. Said
Abbott, from a typical Nebraskan point of view, "Leo's just stepping down as quarterback; I think he's going to be coaching for a long time."

Friday included panel discussions and debate on issues ranging from Country of Origin Labeling (COOL), to national animal identification, and the 2007 Farm Bill.

Robert Taylor, PhD, lead economist for the plaintiffs in the Pickett vs. IBP lawsuit, gave an update on the pending appeal before the US Supreme Court. Jim Hanna chaired the Checkoff Committee meeting while Dave Wright, who is also a member of the NE Beef Council, offered valuable input.

On Saturday, Regional Director nominations were announced. The nominees for Region III (ND, SD, and NE) are Kenny Fox, Johnny Smith, and Danni Beer.

Discussion lasted well into the afternoon as R-CALF members hashed out final policy and bylaws to be submitted to producers across the nation for a vote.

"Given the variety of speakers and the critical issues which were discussed, this has been a very relevant and interesting convention," noted Abbott.