Stockmen’s Association Will Not Re-Up R-CALF Dues

US - The North Dakota Stockmen’s Association (NDSA) will not be renewing its expiring affiliate dues with R-CALF USA. Disappointed with the lack of communication and respect from the national organization, the NDSA Board of Directors made the decision at its quarterly meeting at the North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame in Medora, N.D., last Wednesday.
calendar icon 18 July 2007
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“The decision boiled down to accountability,” explained NDSA President Mark Huseth, who ranches near McLeod, N.D. “A trade organization must be accountable to its members, but, time after time, R-CALF refused to answer our questions or acknowledge our concerns. Our directors decided they could not renew the affiliation with R-CALF if they wanted to be accountable to the NDSA’s own members.”

Here’s an example: The NDSA issued a letter to R-CALF leaders in March requesting a verifiable audit and seeking information about officer oustings and staff and leadership turnovers within the national organization after an anonymous, purportedly tell-all website was launched. The NDSA also wanted to know why it was not informed of a regional R-CALF meeting that was held in Bismarck, N.D., last fall. The NDSA board was disappointed when, after a long delay, the R-CALF president said he had been instructed by his board not to answer the NDSA’s questions in writing. Instead, he offered to send a DVD of an R-CALF regional meeting in place of a letter. The NDSA still has not received it.

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“That is not the way to do business or the way to treat members who are seeking the truth,”

NDSA President Mark Huseth

“That is not the way to do business or the way to treat members who are seeking the truth,” Huseth said.

Even though it was frustrated with R-CALF’s response and its continued alliance with some of the nation’s most extreme animal rights groups, like the Humane Society of the United States, the NDSA board did not make its decision to disaffiliate in haste.

“Stockmen’s leaders contemplated this for a long time,” said NDSA Executive Vice President Wade Moser. “They knew how important this decision would be to members.”

The NDSA was once one of R-CALF’s strongest supporters, joining in 1999, affiliating in 2001 and helping secure $100,000 in funding for R-CALF through the North Dakota Legislature in 1999.

“The NDSA has chosen not to renew its R-CALF dues at this time, but that doesn’t mean it will discontinue its work on issues like country-of-origin labeling, the National Animal Identification System or international trade,” Huseth said.

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