Distinguishing between fact and fiction
In today's world, events you can count on seem to happen less and less,
I however have found two. The ability and willingness of R-CALF to take
facts and twist them around to suit their purpose, and that whatever they
say is printed in newspapers, whether it is entirely factual or not.
R-CALF's newest claim is that Canada has decreased BSE testing by 28 percent.
They take the total number of cattle tested for BSE in Canada during December
2004 (7,088) and compare that to January, February, and March 2005's average
test totals (5,285). R-CALF fails to mention that testing totals for BSE
in Canada have increased over eight times in each of the first four months
of 2005 compared to the same time in 2004. Does R-CALF honestly think
Canada would decrease testing now and still expect to obtain their goal
as a minimum risk country? The test totals are posted at www.inspection.gc.ca
for anyone who would like to gain the real facts for themselves.
Those newspapers that choose to print R-CALF's half-truths without presenting
all the facts, mislead and provide a real disservice to the public who
rely on them for accurate, factual news stories, just as R-CALF does.
It seems every time they have a "news release," it is hard to
discern what fact is and what fiction is.
Observations regarding NCBA
Dear Mr. Crow:
I’ve been reading your editorials since the first BSE case with
steam coming out my ears and can keep silent no longer. I’ve decided
to get it off my chest and make some observations.
Twenty years ago, many big corporations had their upper level personnel
take training in people manipulation and conditioning. The process is
called The Delphi Technique (also known in schools as peer pressure).
Succinctly, it goes like this: Identify (the target), demonize, marginalize
and neutralize. This is what you and your cohorts NCBA, USDA and much
of the livestock media are employing in an effort to destroy that upstart
R-CALF. My question is, at what point did all the ex-NCBA members, now
with R-CALF, become so ignorant? I guess it’s when they left. Do
they regain their intelligence if they return?
It’s clear there’s a full-fledged attack being waged by some
well trained facilitators. They say we are a fringe faction, isolationists,
protectionists and short sighted: Not looking at the big picture, only
short term price gains etc., ad nauseum. I’d say the first order
of business is to stay in business and these higher prices are relative.
Have you noticed ALL our inputs have gone up? Do you see any corporate
packers announcing that in the interests of the big picture they’ll
be foregoing some profit right now?
You just don’t get it! Yes, NCBA does many good things, but on trade
issues it isn’t representing the interests of mainstream independent
family cattle producers or agriculture. You, and NCBA et al can’t
hide a lock step bias toward corporate packer interests but still think
you can! NCBA’s 11 points to reopening the border came after R-CALF
sued and frankly, if fewer Montana and upper Midwest members hadn’t
shown up at the convention and changed its direction, they’d still
be lobbying in Washington while beef kept pouring in [from Canada] by
an unpublicized agreement with USDA.
NCBA wants unity, but only its way. I have a problem trusting an organization
that at its core is dishonestly padding its membership representation.
We haven’t been members since the seventies and yet, suddenly we
are voting members. How did this happen? We fed cattle in Nebraska five
years ago but have no record of dues paid. We’re not terribly important,
so I doubt we alone were selected for this honor. How many others got
“picked”? We received the ballot they sent out, and it, too,
On the COOL issue, NCBA didn’t ask if we want it mandatory or voluntary.
Instead they worded it so no matter how members vote, it’s in the
context of a voluntary framework
NCBA is all for CAFTA. Where is the big picture there? There’s been
no benefit to anyone since NAFTA, GATT, WTO or any other trade agreement
other than corporate interests and frankly, I’d forego those benefits
if it means the rest of agriculture loses. I know! The government is saying
it’s good for us and it’s never lied to us about anything
and we should trust and believe what they say. Right! Even the Supreme
Court knows better, having declared in at least six decisions that “when
dealing with government employees, you should assume they are lying.”
Our lack of protectionism has cost America jobs, compromised our infrastructure
and forced us to purchase shoddy goods from China and Asia. Now our very
foundation and security are threatened by trading away our food independence.
Only FOOLS aren’t protective of their own countries’ best
interests. You and your fellow travelers are the ones out of touch.
Support producers, but not blindly
I have enjoyed your paper for many years. I know Nelson Crow and Forrest
Bassford, and I have enjoyed the friendship of Dick and Barbara on their
Let me state that I am for free markets. I support world trade. I believe
the American Cattleman can compete.
However, lax feed policies in Canada caused us to lose much of our Asian
trade and we should be careful to not open our borders until this is cleared
As a supporter of free markets, we must protect our cash markets. It’s
OK to retain ownership of cattle and beef as far as you wish. It’s
a free country.
However, if it becomes an industry practice for most producers to retain
ownership, we will lose our cash markets.
The feeders, the packers, and the retailers are our friends, but if we
allow them to shift all the risk and all the costs of inventory back to
the producer, we are being stupid. They are just being good businessmen.
No one is quite as interested in getting a fair price for the cow as the
owner of the cow.
We lost the cash market for juice oranges because of contractual participation
This is why we obtained the “Packers & Stockyard Act!”
Our big advantage as cattlemen is when we sell an animal we get paid promptly.
We want to keep it this way.
I have been a member of the ANCA, the NCA, and the NCBA since 1949. I
will continue to support any organization that supports the producers,
but not blindly.
I am optimistic about our industry and look forward to the next calf crop.
Alto L. Adams, Jr.
Fort Pierce, FL
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