Independent cattle producers announce long-range goals
The directors for R-CALF USA have launched a five-year plan they say is focused on making cattle producers more profitable. Director Brett Kenzy says he cannot support the beef industry plan supported by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association with its many certifications, restrictions, and mandates. “It was pro-export and it was more checkoff, and it was (how) we’ve got to work together to increase demand, and again, I wasn’t surprised that there was nothing about competition. There’s nothing about value discovery. It didn’t mention the word imports that I saw. There was nothing about MCOOL (Mandatory Country of Origin Labeling).”
The R-CALF plan calls for growing domestic and export demand for U.S. born, raised, and harvested beef and improve profitability for U.S. farmers and ranchers. The group also wants to preserve and protect the freedom of cattle producers to adopt production practices of their choosing and improve food security.
Board member Eric Nelson says they also support the Grassley-Tester spot market protection bill to increase competition and transparency in cattle markets. “The term negotiation is being used pretty loosely anymore because a phone call with the offer of a price and maybe sixty seconds to accept it or reject it is not really a negotiation.”
Tatum Lee-Hahn says the cattle producers themselves need to get behind the plan. “Look, the cavalry is not coming. We are the cavalry. It’s a strong group of leaders here and we do. R-CALF is every cattle producer that wants to stay independent. You’re R-CALF. You may not know you’re that label, but that’s who you are.”
The full long-range plan is outlined on the R-CALF USA website, here.