Jon Wooster is the Cow Boss at the United States Cattlemen’s Association. One of the primary movers and shakers of that organization, he rounded up a few of his friends and traveled to Washington a few weeks ago. The point of the trip was to meet some of the people who make decisions that can be beneficial or seriously detrimental to the cattle business.
Sitting down and learning more about each other makes those decisions a little more meaningful. People inside the beltway need to meet folks in the out country; to put a face to ranchers and farmers and to understand what they need to prosper, Understanding the political and personal pressures that hammer down on the folks at the USDA gives the rest of us a better understanding, too, of why they make the decisions they do.
Even if both sides occasionally throw their hands up in frustration at the dastardly deed ‘that other guy’ just did.
The USCA seems to be especially well-qualified to take a message to Washington. It’s one group that hasn’t bought into today’s ugly politics of confrontation with a “go my way or you’re truly an un-American driving us all to damnation and ruination” attitude. They stand steadfastly as a group that says, “Come, let us reason together.”
In fact, when I tossed a few questions that were designed to pull out some controversial comments, he deftly passed. No, he wasn’t going to take that bait. He knew he had a job to do and he was just going to get on with it. As it says on the USCA web site about Jon Wooster, “When asked to take on the job, he pulled his hat down tight, put both feet in the stirrups and took a deep seat.. The rest is history in the makin’. Jon Wooster’s smilin’ eyes and strong handshake bespeak a man of experience, wisdom and calm, reasoned temperament. He’s as articulate as they come and he’s smart...very smart.”
Which means, more than any other man in a similar position, he’s one guy that I wouldn’t want to get cross ways with.
Q. Jon, the USCA fly in was partially recession driven, a chance for USCA members to bring their stories to Washington. Let’s talk about your travel companions on this trip. Who were they and why did they take this trip?
A. This fly-in brought members from across the country. They came from California to Virginia, from South Dakota to Texas, and included a contingent of the Midwest representing Wyoming, Nebraska and Kansas. They were all cattlemen and cattlewomen. When discussing our priority issues, the range of regions that were represented brought a regional perspective to these discussions, and as such, our fly in was ultimately able to represent a majority of our members’ concerns.