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

Media Contact: Terry Rothwell,

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - February 18, 2007

ICON Board Members with Senator Chuck Hagel - RCALF Stampede
in Washington, DC, February, 2007

(L to R:  Louis Day, Michael Falatico, Jim Hanna, Sen. Chuck Hagel, Chris Abbott, Katie Meyer, and Bob Rothwell)

ICON Travels to Washington for RCALF Stampede

Hyannis, NE – Scores of independent U. S. Cattle producers from all over the nation traveled to the nation’s capitol to participate in R-CALF USA’s Washington Stampede, a two-day outreach effort on Capitol Hill that has become an annual event.

The Nebraska delegation of Independent Cattlemen directors and members flew into Ronald Reagan National Airport on Monday, February 12th prepared to meet with Nebraska representatives and U. S. government officials on many important issues concerning independent producers.

Ranchers Chris Abbott, Jim Hanna, Bob Rothwell, Michael Falotico, Louie Day and Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture student, Katie Meyer, met up with other State affiliate groups from across the nation upon arrival.

Jess Peterson, R-CALF Director of Government Relations provided the welcome mat while Executive Director, Bill Bullard spoke to the group on the importance of their participation in the legislative process.

The ICON group met with Senators Chuck Hagel and Ben Nelson the next morning and Congressmen Terry, Fortenberry and Smith after lunch. Long term issues of R-CALF and ICON were presented and discussed with each representative. Country of Origin Labeling, beef export markets and distribution of Checkoff funds were priority topics.

“Implementing Country of Origin Labeling as it was mandated in the 2002 Farm Bill was again requested of our representatives in Washington.” ICON president, Chris Abbott said. “It was put into law with the 2002 Farm Bill and has been repeatedly stalled with back-door tactics. Now is the time for Nebraska to step up and demand that the labeling law be enforced.”

“We know where our T-shirts come from but we don’t know where our T-bones come from.”, was the mantra for dozens of cattlemen tromping from one office building to another.

This did not make an impression with Secretary of Agriculture, Mike Johanns, who has historically opposed Country of Origin labeling. Meeting with R-CALF members on Wednesday afternoon, Sec. Johanns reiterated his personal opposition to COOL but assured cattle producers that he would enforce the law if it was implemented.

Meetings were held with other USDA agency officials throughout the rest of the day on Wednesday, with the group carrying the message for America’s cattle producers, before they returned home and back to work on the ranches they came from.
The Independent Cattlemen of Nebraska is a non-profit group working to represent independent cattle producers, without the influence of other industry sectors, while securing a viable livelihood for present and future generations.



"Solid as a windmill. Always working for the independent producer."