LA JUNTA, Colo. — The Colorado Independent CattleGrowers Association looks with eager anticipation to 2017 as a year of opportunity for the ranching industry. Resonating President Trump’s strong pro-American agenda, the CICA is continuing to work diligently to re-implement Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) for beef. COOL has been widely opposed by the four main beef packers, none of which are based in the U.S. “Product of USA” allows exporters to seek high premiums for U.S. beef, yet domestic producers have been blocked from the same labeling advantage at home. The cost of implementing COOL is no greater than that of food products with country of origin labeling requirements already in place. COOL will give Americans a choice when purchasing beef and create a fair marketplace for U.S. producers as well as a transparent, safer market for consumers. Consumers have the right to know where their beef comes from.
The CICA applauds President Trump’s executive order to withdraw the United States from the Trans Pacific Partnership, a flawed and unbalanced trade agreement which would have been devastating for American ranchers. The organization will continue to promote trade that is fair and balanced, while opposing agreements which subvert American sovereignty to the World Trade Organization. Working to impact and promote policy which protects private property rights, the CICA will continue to fight against the encroachment of government on private property, be it overtly or behind the veil of non-governmental organizations.
Furthermore, CattleGrowers will continue to educate allotment owners and elected officials about private property rights on United States Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management allotments. Likewise, educating the public that Range Betterment Funds are not “lease fees”, but monies held for the improvement of grazing allotments whose forage is owned by ranchers, as upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court and recognized by the IRS. Grazing rights cannot be taken away without due process and just compensation.
The CICA supports reform of the Beef Checkoff program to restore it to it’s original purpose and intent and to inhibit the use of funds for private speech or political lobbying by any organization. The mandatory $1 per head fee has become to many ranchers an involuntary payment to the interests and political agenda of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, a longtime staunch opponent of Country of Origin Labeling. The CICA supports federal investigation into the misuse of checkoff funds and does not support any mandatory checkoff increase.
CattleGrowers will continue to research and educate ranchers about issues facing the beef industry and the organizations behind them such as the Global and United States Roundtables for Sustainable Beef. The CICA will not use member funds to participate in such roundtables founded by organizations like the World Wildlife Fund, who openly stated that they would use collusion to force their sustainability agenda on consumers and producers (Clay, 2010, 8:30).
CICA supports the Fair Practices Rules, previously known as the Grain Inspection, Packers, Stockyard Administration rules (1921), which will facilitate competition in the livestock and poultry market. These rules will help ensure fair competition and empower cattle producers and feeders to monitor the meatpackers’ conduct and enforce the rules when meatpackers act inappropriately. A truly competitive market will help to reverse the decline in the cattle industry.
The CICA was formed in 2005 when the need arose for a new state cattlemen’s association whose primary focus was to promote USA-raised beef and the interests of Colorado ranchers. The CICA’s continued success is attributed to this focus in a national and global market without compromise. As a producer-driven organization, the CICA knows that the “USA product” label is the most powerful marketing tool for American ranchers. With an annual membership fee of $50 and the requirement for voting members to own cattle, the CICA pledges to use members funds for the benefit of the live cattle industry, preserving a viable livelihood for present and future generations. Learn more online at www.coloica.com or find us on Facebook.
Clay, Jason. (2010 Aug 16). How big brands can help save biodiversity [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?
— Colorado Independent CattleGrowers Association
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