Cattle Rack Rancher":mgrjn5a9 said:
One thing that i know for a fact is that I have much more in common with cattle producers in the US than I do with city people anywhere. My goals are to breathe fresh air, have some space to move around in, and hopefully make a few bucks while I'm at it. It seems crazy to me that we as cattle producers are sniping back and forth over matters like the closed border and the Iraq war instead of trying to find some common ground and make some compromises that work for everybody so that we can just move forward and go back to enjoying our lives. I'm not an R-CALF fan but mostly because of statements like 'Canadian beef is unsafe' when we actually we actually had our feed ban in effect at the same time as the US and our new safety protocols in place before the US. I don't know what amazes me more, the be nice that R-CALF tries to pass off as the truth or that there are people out there that are gullible enough to believe it. Oldtimer-I think your view may be a bit skewed on how much beef was actually coming in from Canada being that you live just south of our biggest beef producing province and that will be where the major supply of CDN beef for all of the US would be crossing. I would bet that if you lived in Minnesota, you'd never see a truck. For those of you that think CDN beef affects your supply, we produced 2% of the beef eaten in the US before the border closed. Now you are importing that beef from Brazil and Argentina where they test significantly less than we do. I would think your chance of getting BSE or FMD will have increased with that move. But again, mostly what I know for a fact is that my goals and my values are more like my US cattle producing friends than they are like any city person's and I don't understand why we're fighting instaed of trying to fix this problem together.
CattleRack rancher- I agree with the fact that this problem needs to get fixed- but it can not go back to the staus quo it was before the border closure.
Yes living in Montana- we see major imports of beef coming through- but even in the Minnesota area has an effect- slaughter houses that butcher large amounts of old Canadian live cattle ( many dairy) shipped into the states- these are the cattle that effect our prices most- the live cattle- 10% of which are owned by the packers and used to manipulate the market price.
Something most people don't reallize- is that NAFTA has no provisions to guarantee any imports of live cattle- beef yes- live cattle no- it was just something that was opened up when the border opened.
Here in Montana, it is not only R-CALF members, but many NCBA members, FU and FB members and non member cattleman that were slammed by the Canadian government and Cattle Associations. Canadian beef and cattle were allowed to go south, while US cattle that could be grazing side by side to the Canadians-seperated possibly by a barb wire fence- when a storm hadn't washed it out were not allowed to go freely north-They were considered DISEASED. Thousands of dollars of unecessary testing was done to prove that these cattle have no disease. This was used as a trade barrier- BUT
when we ask that Canadians prove their cattle herd ( which has two cases of BSE origin cows) is not diseased, we are called every name in the book.
R-CALF did not go out and recruit anti-beef organizations- there are already many organizations that question USDA's dedication to food safety and feel that we need a COOL law- they just backed R-CALF's stance of making sure the USDA follows through on their policies.
I have no problem with Canadian beef coming into the country as long as they follow the International standards for slaughter- I would like to see this meat marked as Canadian origin- it would allow the consumer the choice if they wanted to buy it or not. But that may not happen because the Packers and Retailers would not be able to pass it off as a US product.
As far as live cattle- I would like to see some permanent marking system-(hot brand). Mexican imported cattle have for years been marked with an M to keep them out of the breeding herd- Canadian cattle could be marked with a C, to take away the temptation of putting one into the US breeding herd. This could get cattle coming into the country much quicker than if we wait for the USDA to develop a Nation wide Mandatory ID system.--But your cattle organizations won't even talk with R-CALF, which has been organized for about 5 years and is really the voice of the grassroots producer. Last I saw was membership was at over 10,500- and increasing by nearly 750 a month. I know over 1800 Montanans belong to it- But the Canadian cattle organizations still see it as a radical movement and won't even discuss issues with them. Can't get anywhere unless you talk and discuss the issues.