Group’s 22nd Annual Convention “True Grit: The Path Forward” a Success; Prepares for Deadwood

See R-CALF USA's 22nd Annual Convention photos here.


Rapid City, S.Dak.- R-CALF USA hosted its 22nd Annual National Convention “True Grit: The Path Forward” in Rapid City Aug. 18-20, 2021. Twenty-nine states were represented by approximately 400 cattle producers, consumers and industry representatives in attendance and over 800 guests joined the convention via online streaming: making it the largest event in the organization’s 22-year history.

The organization’s advancing efforts to aid cattlemen are in response to ongoing hardships and difficulties in the cattle industry; the convention reaffirmed the necessity of producer engagement throughout the country. This event follows the group’s introduction of the first-ever “U.S. Cattle Industry Long Range Plan” and another year of cattle producers facing low cattle prices under strenuous conditions and alleged marketplace manipulation by the “Big 4” beef packers (Tyson, JBS, Cargill and National Beef).

Attendees and viewers of the convention participated in 14 powerful presentations and four panel discussions, addressing topics such as trade, labeling, antitrust and the grit of the American cattle producer. A large focus of the event was placed on further amplifying the need for Congress to pass mandatory country of origin labeling (MCOOL) for beef and pass S.949 the 50/14 Cattle Spot Market Protection Bill(50/14) to require the “Big 4” beef packers to purchase at least 50% of their cattle in the cash market each week and to harvest those cattle within 14 days.

Speakers reinforced the convention theme of “True Grit: The Path Forward” as quoted in Bill Bullard’s, R-CALF USA CEO, “CEO Report” presentation:

“Right now, you have the opportunity to win and begin restoring competition to your market, if we stand together and if we enlist the ongoing support of the consumers. It’s in your hands, and there is no question in anybody’s minds for all the people that are watching this event, that you have the grit and determination to do just that.”

Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.Dak.) made a surprise visit to the convention to engage with constituents and he spoke on the importance of country of origin labeling for beef, receiving a standing ovation from the crowd.

“The time has come for mandatory country of origin labeling,” said Rounds in the conclusion of his speech. Shortly after the convention, Sens. Rounds, Thune (R-S.Dak.); Tester (D-Mont.) and Booker (D-N.J.) introduced MCOOL legislation for beef, the American Beef Labeling Act of 2021 (S.2716), in the Senate.

R-CALF USA is delighted to announce that its upcoming 2022 Annual Convention and Trade Show will be held at The Lodge at Deadwood in Deadwood, South Dakota. The event is scheduled for Aug. 18-19, 2022. Sponsorship and attendee registration is available now at www.rcalfconvention.com.

The following presentations, reports and panels can be viewed on the R-CALF USA YouTube channel as per the links below:

Keynote Address: “Antitrust Grit: A Path Forward for Ending Anticompetitive Practices that Economically Harm America's Ranchers” presented by Thomas Horton, Lawyer, Professor and Heidpriem Trial Advocacy Fellow, University of South Dakota Law School. View Horton’s presentation here.

“The Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef: They’re Coming for You and Your Ranch” presented by Tracy Hunt, Wyoming rancher, attorney and GRSB expert. View Hunt’s presentation here.

“Creating a Prosperous Future for the American Sheep Industry” presented by Carson Jorgensen, Utah sheep producer. View Jorgensen’s presentation here.

“Family Farmers and Working Families: The Fair-Trade Movement in 2021”presented by Mike Dolan, Coalition for Prosperous America; Trade Policy Specialist, International Brotherhood of Teamsters. View Dolan’s presentation here.

“The Battle over Mandatory RFID Continues: Latest Developments in Federal Overreach and Other Issues of Concern to Livestock Producers” presented by Harriet Hageman, Senior Litigation Counsel, New Civil Liberties Alliance. View Hageman’s presentation here.

“The Role of Cattle Futures in the Cattle Antitrust Litigation” presented by Anthony Fata, Attorney, Cafferty Clobes Meriwether & Sprengel. View Fata’s presentation here.

“Peeling Back the Layers of Biden’s 30x30 Land Grab” presented by Margaret Byfield, Executive Director, American Stewards of Liberty. View Byfield’s presentation here.

“Legal Checks on the Checkoff: R-CALF USA’s Lawsuit Update” presented by David Muraskin, Food Project Senior Attorney, Public Justice. View Muraskin’s presentation here.

“Working Together to Raise It, Grow It and Make It in America” presented by Greg Owens, Coalition for a Prosperous America’s Buy American Committee Co-Chair, owner of Liberty Tabletop a division of Sherrill Manufacturing. View Owens’s presentation here.

“Update on R-CALF USA’s Antitrust Suit Against the Big 4” presented by Patrick McGahan, Senior Associate, Scott+Scott Attorneys at Law LLP. View McGahan’s presentation here.

“CEO Report” R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard addressed attendees with the 2021 CEO Report. View Bullard’s report here.

“Checkoff Committee Report and Checkoff Petition Update” R-CALF USA Checkoff Committee Chair Vaughn Meyer and R-CALF USA Field Director Karina Jones gave an update on the Beef Checkoff petition efforts and the need for a Beef Checkoff referendum. View Meyer and Jones’s report here.

“COOL Committee Report” COOL Committee Chair Mike Schultz gave an update and reaffirmed the immediate need for M-COOL for beef. View Schultz’s report here.

“Property Rights Committee Report” Region V Director (Texas) and Property Rights Committee Chair Shad Sullivan gave an update on property rights issues in America affecting ranchers. View Sullivan’s report here.

“Marketing Committee Report” Region VII Director (Minn., Iowa, Wis.) and Marketing Committee Chair Eric Nelson gave an update on the 50/14 legislation. View Nelson’s report here.

“Panel – R-CALF USA Affiliates” included Freddie Keaton, Independent Cattlemen of Missouri (ICOM); Kerry Dockter, Independent Beef Association of North Dakota (I-BAND); Joshua Knop, Oklahoma Independent Stockgrowers Association (OISA); and James Halverson, South Dakota Stockgrowers Association (SDSGA). View the panel here.

“Panel - Small Meat Processors" involved discussions with Ken Charfauros, Wall Meat Processing, and Jim Hertzog, Hertzog Meat Co., about their small meat processing operations and facilities. View the panel here.

“Panel – Livestock Markets” participants were all involved with livestock markets around the country and included: Bryan Hanson, Fort Pierre Livestock Auction, Ft. Pierre, S.Dak.; Jim Hertzog, Mo-Kan Livestock Market, Butler, Mo.; Justin Oberling, R-CALF USA Region XIV Director (Ill., Ind., and Mich.), Adams County Livestock Buyers, Payson, Ill.; and Shane Kaczor, Bassett Livestock, Bassett, Neb. View the panel here.

“Panel – Media” encouraged discussions from various media outlets and was presented by Carrie Stadheim, Editor, Tri-State Livestock News; Jim Mundorf, Blog Contributor, Lonesome Lands; and Mackenzie Johnston, Cowboy Channel – RFDTV. View the panel here.

R-CALF USA awarded numerous individuals throughout the course of the convention and is proud to announce the 2021 Award Winners and congratulate them on their efforts and dedication to the U.S. cattle industry:

Legacy Ranch Award - John Hanson, Brock Livestock Co.

Legacy Business Award - Ag-West Feeds Inc.

Ranchers’ Broadcaster Award - Monte James, Your Ag Network

Sale Barn of the Year Award - Fort Pierre Livestock Auction

Oak Legacy Award - Angus McIntosh

Sentinel Award - Thomas Horton

Top Membership Recruiter Award - Cash Carruth

Legislator of the Year Award - Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa)

Top Hand Award - Steve Stratford

We Ride for the Brand Award - The Calendar Committee: Delia Johnson, Theresa Fox, Dawn Schultz, DeLynn Hanson, Candi Chambers and Brenda Thornsberry

Outrider Award - Jay Platt

Convention Scholarship Awards - Joshua Knop, Harold Unwin and Ryan Brokaw

Johnny Smith Legacy Award - Vaughn Meyer

Outgoing Director’s Award - Gerald Schreiber

R-CALF USA extends gratitude and appreciation to its sponsors. The organization encourages support of the following R-CALF USA sponsors:

Trade Show Sponsors

Diamond Sponsors: Tri-State Livestock News, Belle Fourche, S.Dak.; Your Ag Network, Mitchell, S.Dak.; Special Cowboy Moments on RFD-TV, Dickinson, N.Dak.

Platinum Sponsor: Risk Associates Inc., Cedar Rapids, Iowa;

Gold Sponsors: AgRisk Advisors, Greenwood Village, Colo.; South Dakota Stockgrowers Association, Rapid City, S.Dak.; The Cattle Business Weekly, Philip, S.Dak.; Grossenburg Implement Inc., Belle Fourche, S.Dak.; Vitalix Inc., Sidney, Neb.; CKP Insurance, Boca Raton, Fla.; Mason & Morse Ranch Company LLC-Corporate, Parker, Colo.; Big Frig, North Sioux City, S.Dak.; South 40 Beef, Mott, N.Dak.; Ozark Hills Insurance, West Plains, Mo.; Range Magazine, Carson City, Nev.

Silver Sponsors: R-CALF USA Calendar Committee, Fairburn, S.Dak.; No-Bull Enterprises LLC, St. Francis, Kans.; Moly Mfg. Inc./Silencer, Lorraine, Kans.; ReproScan Technologies LLC, Winterset, Iowa; Rosie Bosse, Author, Onega, Kans.; Heartland Nutrition, Leigh, Neb.; Security State Insurance LLC, Chancellor, S.Dak.; Eichler Livestock, Aberdeen, S.Dak.; Crooked Creek Angus, St. Francis, Kans.; Dakota Gold ProPellet, Sioux Falls, S.Dak.; Huron Continental Marketing, Mobridge, S.Dak.; SD Land Office, Pierre, S.Dak.; Wall Meat Processing, Wall, S.Dak.; KBHB, Sturgis, S.Dak.; Rick’s Salt, Mobridge, S.Dak.; Gayle’s Show Box & Boots, Newell, S.Dak.; CAT Livestock Equipment LLC, Lewellen, Neb.; Multimin USA Inc., Fort Collins, Colo.; Vig Ranch, Opal, S.Dak.; Independent Cattlemen of Wyoming, Elk Mountain, Wyo.; Farmers Business Network, Collins, Iowa

Convention Sponsors

Speaker Sponsors: Liberty Tabletop, Sherrill, N.Y.; Floyd Reno & Sons Inc., Gillette, Wyo.; KYDT 103.1 FM/ KBFS-AM 1450, Sundance, Wyo.; NSC Beef Processing, Baird, Tex.; Rosebud Farmers Union, Gregory, S.Dak.; Trask Family Seeds, Wasta, S.Dak.; Herman and Diane Schumacher Family, Herreid, S.Dak.

Livestream Sponsors: Cattle USA/Winter Livestock, Enid, Okla.

Registration Sponsors: CKP Insurance, Boca Raton, Fla.; The Cattle Business Weekly, Philip, S.Dak.; Vitalix Inc., Sidney, Neb.

Prayer Breakfast Sponsors: National Federal Lands Council/ Loving Liberty, Ogden, Utah; Valentine Livestock Auction Company, Valentine, Neb.

Meal Sponsors: Producers Livestock, Omaha, Neb.; Bledsoe Ranch, Hugo, Colo.; Little Shell Enterprises Inc., Arlee, Mont.

Break Sponsors: Farm Credit Services of America, Pierre, S.Dak.; South Dakota Farmers Union, Huron, S.Dak.; Becker Ranch, Selfridge, N.Dak.; Keyhole Ranch Inc., Moorcroft, Wyo.; U Lazy U Angus, Belvidere, S.Dak.; CattlActive, Aurora, S.Dak.; Trask Family Seeds, Wasta, S.Dak.

Logo Sponsors: Heartland Nutrition, Leigh, Neb.; Risk Associates Inc., Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Bauerkemper’s Inc., Chadron, Neb.; Wishon Cattle Company, Colville, Wash.; Meyerink Farm Service Inc., Platte, S.Dak.; Mathis Equipment, Valentine, Neb.; Nature’s Formula, Brownsboro, Tex.; Clark & Associates Land Brokers LLC, Billings, Mont.

Learn more about our sponsors and trade show exhibitors here.

R-CALF USA is appreciative of the participants of the numerous rollover auction calf sale fundraisers over the course of 2020-2021. The hosting sale barns and their calf donors are as follows:

Atkinson Livestock Market

Calf Donors: Greg Todd, Mitchell Ranch, Ehlers Ranch and Mark Lemmer

Bassett Livestock Auction

Calf Donors: Dan Beck and Ken Beck, Beck Angus

Belle Fourche Livestock Market

Calf Donors: Vaughn and Lois Meyer, SoDak Angus Ranch

Fort Pierre Livestock Auction

Calf Donors: Dean and Delia Johnson

Fort Pierre Livestock Auction – Special Checkoff Rollover

Calf Donors: Vaughn and Lois Meyer, SoDak Angus Ranch; Brett Kenzy and George Kenzy, Kenzy Backgrounding

Platte Livestock Market

Calf Donor: James Fulwider

Valentine Livestock Auction – Special Double Header

Calf Donors: Tim and Dee Painter, Greg and Marie Arendt

Winner Livestock Auction

Calf Donors: Lonnie and Pam Dreyer

Membership allows R-CALF USA to continue its fight on behalf of the American cattle producer. R-CALF USA is solely funded by membership dues and donations. The organization is directed by its membership and has a one-member, one-vote policy regardless of the amount invested. R-CALF USA thanks its membership and extends gratitude to the 2021 Member Sponsors:

Legacy Sponsors: Ag-West Feeds Inc., Burwell, Neb.; Fort Pierre Livestock Auction, Ft. Pierre, S.Dak.

Ride for the Brand Sponsors: TNT Cattle Company, Richland, Mo.; R-Bar Cattle Company, Cedar Vale, Kans.; Adams County Livestock Buyers, Payson, Ill.; Dockter Jensen Ranch, Denhoff, N.Dak.; Schreiber Ranch, Woodrow, Colo.; Sullivan Ranch, Megargel, Tex.; 13 Cattle Company, Dardanelle, Ark.; Kenzy Backgrounding, Iona, S.Dak.; Snedden Ranch, Maricopa, Calif.; D Lazy T Ranch, Opal, S.Dak.; Ninety-Six Ranch, Paradise Valley, Nev.; Beck’s Angus Ranch, Mills, Neb.; Lucky 7 Angus Ranch, Boulder, Wyo.; Sodak Angus Ranch, Reva, S.Dak.; Chain Land & Cattle Co., Canton, Okla.; Heupel Ranch, Medina, N.Dak.; Warren Ranch, Dunning, Neb.; Weinreis Brothers, Scottsbluff, Neb. and Sentinel Butte, N.Dak.; Mill Iron S Ranch, Kyle, S.Dak.; Bar N, Moville, Iowa; Loup Ridge Cattle Company, Brewster, Neb.; Southern Cross Ranch, Carrollton, Ga.; In Memory of Angus McIntosh - Chuck and Roni Sylvester, La Salle, Colo.; Vander Wey Ranch, Crookston, Neb.; American Dream Media, Juntura, Ore.; Kenny and Roxie Fox, Belvidere, S.Dak.; Rick and Theresa Fox, Hermosa, S.Dak.; Steven’s County Cattlemen’s Association, Rice, Wash.; Cattle Producers of Washington, Rice, Wash.; Herman and Diane Schumacher, Herreid, S.Dak.; Johnson-Hansen Ranch, Newcastle, Wyo.

R-CALF USA extends a special thank you to Wall Meat Processing for providing 100% born, raised, and harvested in the U.S.A. beef for the event, T-N-T Event & Marketing Management – Tif Robertson, Jaicee Williams, Depot Music A/V Productions, The Monument Rapid City, the Holiday Inn Rushmore Plaza, the Howard Johnson Rapid City, the Best Western Ramkota, the Microtel Rapid City, Tru by Hilton Rapid City, the Hampton Inn Rapid City and the Hampton Inn & Suites Rapid City.

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