(Editor’s note: This post was written by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and relates to a published perspective article by the vice president of the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association titled “USCA: We ought not squander the opportunity.”)
Last week, the Organization for Competitive Markets (OCM) held a rally in Nebraska demanding government intervention to alleviate price disparities impacting cattle markets. Reiterating the need for discussion among those who work in the industry, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association reveals who is actually behind the OCM movement.
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Vice President of Government Affairs, Ethan Lane said, “Yesterday, an HSUS-funded organization called the Organization for Competitive Markets held a rally in Omaha, Nebraska, entitled the ‘Rally to Stop the Stealin’ [sic]’. According to OCM, this event was intended to place pressure on the Trump Administration and U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to ‘fix’ our cattle markets in response to the price disparity producers are currently having to endure.
“First and foremost, I think it’s important to make clear — once again — that these producers have every right to be angry. Down markets are horrible, and can leave a wake of financial and operational hardships that can persist for years after the boards in Chicago have moved on. Our stance remains consistent: NCBA is committed to the USDA’s investigation into the events surrounding the Holcomb plant fire and stand ready to respond to the results of that investigation to ensure that our members — 95 percent of which are boot-on-the-ground producers — have a fair market in which to thrive. Unfortunately, this continues to be the focus of much of HSUS and OCM’s misinformation and deception campaign. What’s worse, they’ve found willing allies in the leadership of both the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association and R-CALF.
“It’s no secret that our industry is divided at the moment. I’ll be the first to stand up and say that a healthy debate about the future of our industry is appropriate as we see tremendous advances in technology, production practices, conservation, quality, and markets. However, these discussions need to be amongst those who love, work, and make their living in this industry. Regardless of our positions, we must stand together against the onslaught of detractors and dividers that do not care about our internal struggles. These outside forces want to end animal agriculture — full stop. Chief among them HSUS, and anyone who watched yesterday’s rally witnessed that point illustrated in high definition.
“These people have told us who they are. In 2012, OCM President Fred Stokes told a crowd that ‘… every cowboy out there owes a debt of gratitude to the Humane Society of the United States.’ Further, on their website, OCM argues passionately on behalf of HSUS’s work to end our industry. Finally, OCM’s executive director is a well know and unapologetic HSUS operative, as outlined by Protect the Harvest several years ago.
“As if to add insult to injury, yesterday’s event included pleas for President Trump to be voted out of office in favor of Elizabeth Warren, among other positions that likely don’t reflect the views of most cattle producers I know. Oh, and they served turkey for lunch. Around this office, we don’t even serve turkey at Thanksgiving.
“There’s an old saying that most definitely applies here; if it looks like a duck, and walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, and if the duck TELLS you it’s a duck, believe it.”