Montana stockgrowers work to reform national beef industry poli

US - During the recent 2007 National Cattle Industry Convention in Nashville, Tenn., leadership of the Montana Stockgrowers Association met with other cattle industry leaders from across the country to develop policy concerning the future of the U.S. beef industry.
calendar icon 21 February 2007
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MSGA took its position on the Canadian border and country-of-origin labeling to the heavily weighted International Markets Committee to reform the National Cattlemen's Beef Association's policy on these two issues. MSGA was met with intense negotiations by other state cattlemen's organizations when it was proposed to oppose implementation of the Canadian rule until resumption of trade with countries like Japan and South Korea are fully resumed and based on World Organization for Animal Health standards. MSGA did not have the votes to fully implement this position, but did pass policy that kept sound science as the most important factor in the resumption of trade. MSGA also found success in requesting the U.S. Department of Agriculture to develop an orderly market transition plan before additional beef and live cattle classes are eligible for import from Canada. Equalizing the U.S.'s risk status with those set out by OIE based on sound scientific standards was also adopted at the request of MSGA.

MSGA was also able to reform national policy that directed NCBA to work with Congress and USDA to implement Country of Origin Labeling for beef that allows for maximum producer benefit and minimal market disruption to the U.S. beef industry. The new policy also removed prescriptive merits of the law and gave NCBA the direction to be at the table to ensure the implementation of the program during the 110th U.S. Congress.

"During this meeting, the Montana Stockgrowers Association was the leader in reforming national policy regarding these two important issues," said Steve Roth, current MSGA president from Big Sandy, Mont. "While we certainly did not get everything we wanted on these two issues, we made real progress in reforming NCBA's policy to better reflect our own."

Source: Journal
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