R-CALF: Group Meets To Discuss Future Of Rural America

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R-CALF USA spent a week talking with its members. No flashy displays, no corporate rhetoric, just a long conversation with the heart of R-CALF USA – its cattle farmer and rancher members. Through a serious of meetings in Nebraska, R-CALF USA Nebraska Chair Louie Day, CEO Bill Bullard and Membership Services Coordinator Laurel Masterson had an ongoing dialog with R-CALF USA members throughout Nebraska.

“During our four-day tour, we had two meetings in each location. The first meeting was just for R-CALF USA members, and the second meeting was open to everyone.” Masterson explained. The focus of the member-only meeting was to learn what R-CALF USA members wanted their community to look like 25 years from today, and what needs to be done right now to get us there. During the public meeting, Bullard gave an extremely informative presentation on evidence of market failures in the U.S. cattle industry.

During the membership meeting, members committed to join with Day to promote R-CALF USA in Nebraska. Because of these meetings, R-CALF USA was able to strengthen the grassroots structure of R-CALF USA, ensuring the success of R-CALF USA in Nebraska. According to Day, “the meetings were a great success. I think the good Lord brought the right people to each of the meetings, and R-CALF will be strengthened because of them.”

“In all four meetings, there was unity in the desired vision of the future. Everyone wants healthier rural communities, with more opportunities for young people to start farming and ranching. They also want more producer-owned operations, and fewer large corporate-owned and managed operations,” Bullard described. “This vision goes beyond ranchers, it affects everyone living in the community from the kids who have to travel 20 to 40 miles to school each day to the owners of the main street businesses to those in bigger cities who want to buy their food from local farmers and ranchers, and everyone needs to get involved to change the direction we are currently headed.”

Those concerned with the future of the U.S. cattle industry will soon have the greatest opportunity they ever have had, or ever will have, to change the current direction of their cattle industry by showing up at the competition hearing to be held in August 27, 2010, in Fort Collins, Colorado. According to Bullard, “never in our history have the U.S. Attorney General and the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture scheduled a meeting in the center of the United States for the express purpose of learning whether there is a need to reform U.S. cattle markets. This is the opportunity of a lifetime and we need at least 25,000 farmers and ranchers to be in Fort Collins on August 27 to demonstrate that restoring competition to the U.S. cattle industry is the single most important priority for Rural America.”


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