Group Urges Rural Americans to Form Largest Crowd in U.S. History on Aug. 27 in Fort Collins, Colo., for USDA/DoJ Competition Workshop
Billings, Mont.In meetings held last week in Omaha, Neb., and in Burlington, Hugo, La Junta, and Lyman, Colo., R-CALFUSA urged area cattle producers to encourage everyone in Rural America to attend the upcoming Aug. 27, 2010, competition workshop jointly hosted by the U.S. Department of Justice (Justice) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Attendance is free and open to the public. The public and media interested in attending this event on the campus of ColoradoStateUniversity in Fort Collins, Colo., should register at http://www.conferences.colostate.edu/LiveStockWorkshop.
"On August 27, we need the largest gathering of Rural Americans in the history of the United States to arrive on the CSU campus at 8 a.m. local time to help us mark a new beginning for Rural America," R-CALFUSA CEO Bill Bullard told the approximately 200 area producers who attended the meetings. "USDA has proposed a new competition rule that would require accountability on the part of the dominant meatpackers by increasing transparency in the marketplace and prohibiting known anticompetitive practices. However, this proposed rule is being strenuously opposed by the meatpacking industry and the trade associations that have meatpackers seated on their governing boards."
Bullard began the week speaking at an Omaha, Neb. meeting sponsored by the Organization of Competitive Markets and then finished the week doing meetings across eastern Colorado that were sponsored by the Rocky Mountain Famers Union and the Colorado Independent CattleGrowers Association. The purpose of the tour was to explore the opportunity to restore the economic viability of rural communities by restoring competition to the largest segment of American Agriculture the U.S. cattle industry, which Bullard said holds the key to rebuilding economic opportunities in communities that have been in decline over the past several decades. He said the U.S. cattle industry and the hollowed-out communities where cattle producers live look the way they do because that is exactly how the more powerful meatpacker lobby wants the industry and Rural America to look.
"The way your cattle industry looks today and the direction it is heading is not the result of any natural phenomenon," Bullard told the audiences. "The meatpacker lobby claims the U.S. no longer needs as many cattle producers or as many cattle to continue producing enough beef to satisfy beef demand. The meatpackers have been most influential in lobbying for laws and regulations that have enabled them to shrink the U.S. cattle industry, which has devastated much of Rural America."