R-CALF USA Announces Details of 23rd Annual Convention “Code of the West”

Deadwood, S. Dak. - R-CALF USA will host its 23rd annual convention and trade show “Code of the West,” Aug. 18-19, 2022, in Deadwood, South Dakota. With an exciting lineup of speakers, the group looks forward to its success in further developing strategies to improve the trajectory of the U.S. cattle industry.


The group’s U.S. Cattle Industry Long Range Plan, released in December 2020, and the 2021 national convention pushed for immediate congressional solutions to restore mandatory country of origin labeling (MCOOL) for beef and pass the spot market protection bill or 50/14 (S.949) requiring the largest beef packers to buy at least half of their cattle needs from the spot (or cash) market. Following convention, R-CALF USA welcomed the introduction of the American Beef Labeling Act in the Senate (S.2716) to restore MCOOL for beef, later followed by its introduction into the House of Representatives (H.R.7291).


This year’s convention will provide attendees with the tools needed to win passage of these bills and inform them of additional solutions to regain for them the opportunity to be profitable and prosperous in their U.S cattle industry.


The "Code of the West” convention and trade show kicks off Thursday, Aug. 18 with the trade show and registration opening at 7 a.m. Convention will open with a prayer breakfast by Max Thornsberry, DVM, at 8:30 a.m. Unlike previous conventions, there will not be a Property Rights Day on Wednesday, Aug. 17.


Following the prayer breakfast, Thursday morning will include presentations by Wyoming rancher, attorney and Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef expert Tracy Hunt; and water, natural resources and constitutional attorney Harriet Hageman. Hageman serves as R-CALF USA’s lead attorney in the ongoing animal identification lawsuit.


R-CALF USA’s lead attorney in its ongoing checkoff lawsuit, David Muraskin, Food Project Senior Attorney at Public Justice, will present Thursday afternoon, followed by a trade presentation by R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard and a private property rights presentation by Dr. Norman Kincaide.


Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.Dak.) will make an appearance Thursday afternoon shortly followed by a presentation from Andrew Green, Senior Advisor for Fair and Competitive Markets at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.


Thursday’s activities will conclude with attendees being treated to an authentic chuck wagon dinner, music and social at the local Days of ‘76 Museum.


Friday will open with an affiliate and trade show breakfast allowing attendees to browse the trade show until the morning’s presentations. Georgetown professor Nathan Miller will present his “Buyer Power in the Beef Packing Industry” research and strategies, and Colorado veterinarian and rancher Lora Bledsoe, DVM, will share national and global threats to cattle health. Friday morning will conclude with a presentation by Michael Stumo, Coalition for a Prosperous America CEO.


A large player in South Dakota’s Beef to Schools program and Western Dakota Tech’s Meat Processing instructional program, Ken Charfauros, owner of Wall Meat Processing, will present Friday over lunch.


Friday afternoon will host a Livestock Markets panel; a presentation by Patrick McGahan, Senior Associate, Scott+Scott Attorneys at Law LLP and counsel in R-CALF USA’s antitrust lawsuit. Bill Bullard’s CEO Report will conclude the afternoon’s presentations preceding the business and policy meetings.


The business and policy meetings will include Board of Director elections. The following regions will nominate a member to the Board of Directors: Region VII (Iowa, Minn., Wis.); Region VIII (Ky., Ohio, Tenn., W.Va.); Region IX (Ala., Ga., Fla.); Region XI (Calif., Hawaii, Nev.); and Region XII (Ark., La., Miss.). Further nominations will be taken from the floor at the annual meeting. In addition, any member may petition to be nominated by forwarding a letter to the Board of Directors making such a request.


Following Friday’s banquet dinner, Dr. Mary Hendrickson, University of Missouri Associate Professor of Rural Sociology, will give the keynote address highlighting reforms to address the monopolistic structure of the marketplace. Hendrickson is expected to offer suggestion on how to restore competition and explain the effects of concentration on rural America, including the likely future of rural America if the industry stays on its current trajectory. A saddle raffle and a live auction fundraiser will follow.


An R-CALF USA affiliate report and committee reports from R-CALF USA’s animal ID, checkoff, sheep, marketing, COOL and private property rights committees will be presented throughout the course of the convention.


The trade show will be open Thursday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Attendees will have the opportunity to visit with the different vendors throughout the convention and during the numerous trade show breaks.


To find hotel accommodations or register for the event, visit www.RCALFconvention.com.

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