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2003 Missouri Angus Tour
Set for August 22-24

If touring the "Heart of the Ozark" visiting Angus ranches sounds like fun, the Missouri Angus Association would like to invite you to join them on the 2003 Missouri Angus Tour, August 22-24 in south-central Missouri. The tour will include stops at Angus ranches in Dent, Douglas, Howell, Oregon, Ozark, Shannon, Texas and Wright counties.

A welcoming reception at the Ramada Inn, West Plains, Mo., is planned for Friday, August 22. Hors d'oeuvres and drinks will be served from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Breakfast will be served the following morning from 6:30 to 7:30 a.m. at the Ramada Inn. Busses will then be on hand to take guests to the Heart of the Ozarks Fairgrounds where area breeders will be on hand to showcase their cattle.

The tour will continue on to visit Dove Mountain Angus, Macomb, Mo.; Grosenbacher Angus, Cabool, Mo.; Middle Fork Farms, Inc., West Plains, Mo.; Burge Angus Farms, West Plains, Mo.; Lawrence Farms, Bob and Mary Ann Lawrence, West Plains, Mo.; Lawrence Farms, Jerrod and Mariah Lawrence, West Plains, Mo.; Jones & Gilliam Angus, Gainesville, Mo.; Hodgson Mill, Sycamore, Mo.; Thompson Angus Farms, Dora, Mo.; Walnut Ridge Ranch, Willow Springs, Mo.; Ozark Regional Stock Yards, West Plains, Mo.; and Southwest Missouri State University, School of Technology and Career Education, West Plains, Mo.

Lunch on Saturday will be served at Smith Flooring, Inc., Mountain View, Mo. A steak dinner will be served at BUB Ranch Beef Alliance, Koshkonong, Mo., where several of their popular herd sires and Genetic Horizon bulls will be on display.

Sunday will start off with a breakfast buffet served from 7:00 to 7:45 a.m. Planned visits for Sunday will include C/S Cattle, Pomona, Mo.; T Bone Ranch, Houston, Mo.; Salem and area breeders; Schafer Angus, Salem, Mo.; Jillco Farms, Salem, Mo.; Jordan Angus Farm, Salem, Mo.; Almost in the Black Angus, Licking, Mo.; K Bar Angus Farm, Saint James, Mo.; and Shults Angus Farm, Salem, Mo.

The cost of attendance is $75 dollars for everyone 18 and older. Children are free of charge. Cost covers all meals and transportation to and from all points of interest.

For more information, contact Roy or Karen Jones at (417) 679-3393; Larry or Shelly Schafer at (573) 729-5941; or Doc Smith at (660) 857-4410.

Cattlemen From Across the Nation Tackle Critical Policy Issues
NCBA Summer Conference Attendees Address Cattle Industry Initiatives

Nearly 1,000 producers and cattle industry representatives from across the country came together in Dallas, Texas for the 2003 Cattle Industry Summer Conference, July 23-July 26.

Among the many issues on the table at the conference was country of origin labeling, with the board of directors of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) voting to direct staff to petition the U.S. Department of Agriculture to immediately develop and implement a voluntary "born, raised and processed" country of origin labeling certification program for use in the export, foodservice and retail sales of U.S. beef.

In the event that no changes can be made to the current law to benefit producers, NCBA will seek an extension of the current voluntary guidelines until a workable labeling program can be implemented.† In addition, NCBA would then work to create a task force representing all industry segments and USDA that can develop a workable program to be used as a guide and model for compliance with the requirements of the country of origin labeling law. The final vote on the directive was 87-17.

Governance Addressed
Cattle producers also addressed the governance structure at NCBA with a bylaw change that puts individual members in control of the organization at both ends of the policy-making process.

The new process would provide for a membership approval ballot by which members can vote on policy approved at the annual membership meeting. Within 30 days of the meeting vote, a simple majority of members could negate policy approved by the board if at least 20 percent of total membership responded to the ballot

Another stipulation requires that this response represent a minimum of 20 percent of NCBA members from four of the seven NCBA regions.† This prevents one region of the country from dominating policy decisions.† It also gives the full NCBA membership a chance to change any regional bias on issues that the members vote on at the membership meeting during the annual convention. The policy passed at the membership meeting would take effect unless negated by mail ballot.

The new governance proposal, which was developed and presented by the NCBA Executive Committee in response to actions at the 2003 Annual Convention in Nashville, was passed with a 90 percent affirmative vote.† It must be voted on again as a change to the bylaws at the Annual Convention in Phoenix in 2004.

Budget for 2004 Passed
NCBA members also passed a 2004 fiscal year budget for the organization for both the Federation of State Beef Councils and Policy Divisions.† The year begins Oct. 1.

The Federation Division passed a budget of $61.775 million, with $45.75 million devoted to programs designed to increase domestic demand for beef. In addition, budgets for $2 million in producer communications and $1.9 million in international markets implementation were also passed.

The Federation budget represents a 4.7 percent increase over a year ago.

For the Policy Division, a budget of $7.65 million was passed. Funded with dues dollars and other non-checkoff sources, the Policy Division provides lobbying and information service in Washington, D.C. and Denver to the organization's members and affiliates.

New Dues Structure
To simplify a currently-complex membership system, a new dues structure was discussed by those attending the NCBA meeting and passed unanimously by a voice vote. The new structure will reduce the number of membership alternatives within NCBA from seven to two. The new structure is intended to strengthen the relationship between affiliates and NCBA and be more inclusive of all cattlemen, specifically cow-calf producers. It will become effective Oct. 1.

"It was a very productive and forward-looking meeting," according to Eric Davis, a beef producer from Bruneau, Idaho, and NCBA president. "The members at the sessions gave the issues a thorough look, and the discussions were thoughtful and reasoned. While as an industry we'll never completely agree on everything, I believe these are actions we can get behind as members and make this organization as strong as it can be."

Policy Issues
Cattle producers reviewed major policy issues affecting ranching operations and the overall cattle industry. During in-depth committee meetings and innovative open forums, attendees voiced diverse opinions on issues and had one-on-one access with top government representatives and other industry leaders. Cattlemen came to agreement on top policy efforts for NCBA staff in Washington, D.C., passing resolutions that specifically address concerns.

NCBA members passed numerous resolutions, amendments, and directives. The following gives a summary of some of the top initiatives:

Cattle Health
Antibiotics and Drugs for Beef Cattle: NCBA members agreed that the prudent and appropriate use of antibiotics and other modern compounds is an essential tool for beef producers to provide for the health and welfare of their animals. Therefore, they resolved that the NCBA supports actions based only on sound, peer-reviewed science and risk assessment relative to the use of antibiotics or other drugs.

Foot & Mouth Disease (FMD): The principal plan for control of a possible FMD outbreak is widespread depopulation of cattle herds, and depopulation may not be allowed or feasible in certain states. NCBA members decided that they will request immediate funding of research for alternative methods of FMD control by the Department of Homeland Security and USDA.

Tuberculosis (TB): Since 2000 it has become clear that the United States is not free of TB, with four states having verified the disease within their borders; and it has become obvious that the federal TB rule is having and will have a tremendous negative impact on cow/calf producers. Therefore, NCBA resolved to request that the USDA reopen the TB rule for changes, including changes in the number of herds, type of operation and testing age.

In addition, NCBA will request that the USDA ensure adequate funding for the TB program to complete the long-standing eradication efforts, prior to, or in addition to, funding new voluntary programs.

Finally, NCBA members resolved that they support Michigan being granted split state status by the USDA, and in general support regionalization of any state for purposes of: control and eradication of disease, prevention of loss of markets and negative economic impact on the industry whenever such a state and its affected industry can demonstrate compliance with provisions of regionalization.

• Disease and Laboratory Research Support: The USDA-Agriculture Research Service Arthropod Borne Animal Diseases Research Laboratory (ABADRL) at Laramie, Wyo., plays a very critical role in conducting research on bluetongue virus (BTV), epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD), vesicular stomatitis, (VS), and recently West Nile virus, research which is very important to the cattle industry. These ABADRL facilities are in critical need of repair. NCBA members resolved they strongly support the prompt revitalization of ABADRL research programs with renovations, increased funding, and additional personnel. NCBA supports immediate Congressional funding of a feasibility study for these research facilities and maintenance.

In addition, NCBA resolved to strongly support the planning, funding and construction of a new research facility to replace the existing Kerrville, Texas laboratory, which has been a critical research laboratory for a number of important pests. NCBA supports the existing collaborative efforts with the Agricultural Research Service Animal Disease Units at Pullman, Wash., and Kerrville.

Finally, members passed a resolution to support the expansion of the existing confined cattle stable fly research program at the USDA-Agricultural Research Service Midwest Insect Research Laboratory at Lincoln, Neb., and to support additional research on appropriate fly pests and lice.

• Screwworm Control: The very successful screwworm eradication program has rid the pest from the U.S., Mexico and Central America. The Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is building a new screwworm production facility in Panama. It was resolved that NCBA shall endorse the new evolving screwworm plans, favor the ongoing research on cryo-preservation, all male screwworm production, improved mass rearing techniques and procedures to quickly manage outbreaks; and, will insist that negotiations with Mexico and Panama should ensure availability and access to requested screwworm flies as well as allow appropriate research programs without disruption.

Polyether Ionophores: The feeding of polyether ionophores (monensin, lasalocid, laidlomycin, etc.) to cattle decreases the feed needed for growth and increases feed efficiency. Polyether ionophores are not a concern for antibiotic resistance in cattle or humans. NCBA members resolved that they will strongly urge the FDA and other appropriate agencies to re-classify polyether ionophores to reflect their true function as modifiers of rumen fermentation and coccidian prevention compound; and to discontinue classification of polyether ionophores as antibiotics.

Environmental Issues
• Conservation Reserve Program (CRP): Clarifications were made on the CRP program policy. NCBA is opposed to haying and grazing on lands enrolled in the CRP program, except under the following conditions: (1) In the case of drought or other emergency,(2) In the case of incidental grazing in conjunction with grazing contiguous crop residue or stubble on lands enrolled in continuous sign-up CRP or Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) or (3) In the case of a Natural Resource Conservation Service or Farm Service Agency determination that maintenance or management is required on land enrolled in CRP to maintain plant health and proper resource management, haying or grazing may be utilized.

It was also resolved that in all instances of grazing on lands enrolled in CRP, continuous sign-up CRP, or CREP, the payment should be reduced by the value of the forage grazed. In addition, managed grazing on CRP lands should be permitted during the primary nesting and broodrearing season.

Finally, it was resolved that the exceptions in this policy should not be construed as, or considered part of, a routine grazing plan.

 Invasive Species: There is pending federal legislation involving "invasive species" that could have negative impact to livestock producers. NCBA members resolved to support legislation aimed at noxious weed and/or pest control. NCBA resolved that any work done on "harmful species" should be done at the local level with federal and state funding and local input, and that each producer group and/or area shall determine what is harmful to that specific area and what non-native species are beneficial.

Livestock Impoundment: Currently, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and U.S. Forest Service (USFS) are impounding and selling trespass livestock without any judicial review to determine whether the BLM or USFS is in compliance with state brand inspection laws. NCBA will urge the BLM or USFS to seek a state district court order authorizing any livestock impoundment or seizure, prior to any such action.

Producer Arbitration: Current NCBA policy states that government policy should enhance the right of individual choice in management of land, water and "other resources, and livestock contracts should provide for the use of arbitration to settle any controversy only if, after the controversy arises, both parties consent in writing to the use of arbitration to settle the controversy." Members directed NCBA to actively lobby in support of legislation that supports this policy.

Preference Re-defined: The term "Preference" has been re-defined from its historic definition. NCBA supports the return of the definition of the term and concept of "Preference" to the pre-rangeland Reform 94 period that would reflect the original and historic intent of Congress, which directed the government to recognize that the Taylor Grazing Act intended that these ranches hold a priority position for an actual number of adjudicated "Preference" level of federal AUM's.

 Renewable Fuels Standard: NCBA policy staff was directed to ask Congress to request a General Accounting Office study of the economic impact of the Five Billion Gallon Renewable Fuels Mandate on the users of feed grains and other products derived from the ethanol industry, with a goal of having the study published by the 2004 Cattle Industry Convention.

Cattle Marketing
• Country of Origin Labeling:
NCBA members agreed that producers are no closer to being prepared for implementation of this law today than they were when the law was signed in May of 2002. It was resolved that NCBA will seek to amend the law to comply with the producer adopted policy of NCBA in January 2002. In addition, NCBA and its affiliates are directed to work together as catalysts in the development of a workable country of origin labeling program that will benefit producers, and if the statute remains unchanged, NCBA shall seek to extend the current voluntary provisions of the law until such time that a workable country of origin labeling program can be implemented.

In addition, NCBA members directed that they shall petition USDA for the immediate development and implementation of a voluntary "born, raised and processed" country of origin labeling certification program for use in the export, foodservice and retail sales of U.S. beef.

• Labeling Compliance Task Force: Should the country of origin labeling law remain as is, members are directing their NCBA president to appoint a Task Force to develop an implementation plan for producers. The Task Force will be comprised of representatives from the cow-calf, stocker, feeder, packer, retail, marketing, and allied industry sectors, and the USDA to develop a voluntary program that can be used as a guide and model for compliance with the requirements of the country of origin labeling law.

• CME Contract Changes: NCBA members are requesting that the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) make the following changes to the current contract specifications of their Live Cattle Futures Contract: (1) Increase the upside weight specifications for carcass deliveries from 900 pounds to 950 pounds and for live animal deliveries from 1,400 to 1,450 pounds; (2) Eliminate the 100 pound delivery discount, while maintaining the current rules eliminating from delivery those animals weighing 200 pounds over or under the average weight of the delivery load; (3) Change the currently used USDA premium/discount grids to trade volume weighted grids of premiums and discounts reflective of the average grid in use within the geographical delivery area; (4) To lessen the stress on the livestock, allow the scheduling of live deliveries throughout the day similar to the manner carcass deliveries can now be scheduled; (5) Change the per delivery unit from the current "steers only" to steers and heifers; (6) Certify Greeley, Colo., as a delivery point.

• Premises I.D.: NCBA members recognized the need for defined premises/producer and assigned premises/producer I.D. numbers cooperatively developed by producers and appropriate government animal health or livestock officials, and that the NCBA standards be revised to reflect that need. Members agreed that government consultation should not impede normal cattle movement.

• Nutrition and Health:
NCBA made an amendment to the current policy by adopting a statement of principles for nutrition and health issues. As producers, processors and marketers of the nation's beef supply, NCBA members agreed that they are committed to providing a wholesome, nutritious food and to communicating accurate information about beef's nutritional qualities and the role of beef in a healthful diet.

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