In this week's North American Ag Spotlight Chrissy Wozniak hears what R-Calf CEO Bill Bullard sees as the down side of adopting RFID technology on US cattle herds. Like anything that starts out as a good idea, this could lead to the possibility of ranchers losing control of the cattle industry, and being told how to ranch.
Bullard points out that we are in a cattle industry in which the four largest packers control 85% of the fed cattle market. Clearly, if these behemoths colluded to deny market access to anyone who didn’t meet whatever standard they collectively imposed, then those producers would be relegated to selling their cattle to the 15% of the market that is not controlled by the largest packers.
Bill Bullard joined R-CALF USA as the organization’s first Chief Executive Officer at national headquarters in Billings, Mont., on April 9, 2001.
Bullard has testified on behalf of R-CALF USA members before Congress and executive branch agencies, has managed numerous lawsuits on behalf of the organization, and is the organization’s registered lobbyist.
Bullard, formerly a cow/calf rancher in Perkins County, S.D., served as the Executive Director of the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission from 1995-2001. He has a B.S. in Political Science from Black Hills State University and completed a year of graduate studies at the University of South Dakota.
The Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund, United Stockgrowers of America (R-CALF USA) represents the U.S. cattle and sheep industries in trade and marketing issues to ensure the continued profitability and viability of independent U.S. cattle and sheep producers. R-CALF USA (Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund United Stockgrowers of America), is the largest producer-only membership based organization that exclusively represents U.S. cattle and sheep producers on domestic and international trade and marketing issues. R-CALF USA, a national, non-profit organization, is dedicated to ensuring the continued profitability and viability of the U.S. cattle industry. R-CALF USA’s membership of more than 5,000 consists primarily of cow-calf producers, cattle backgrounders, and feeders. Its members are located in 43 states, and the organization has many local and state association affiliates, from both cattle and farm organizations, along with various main street businesses as associate members of R-CALF USA.
R-CALF USA began in 1998 when 3 independent cattle producers launched an anti-dumping lawsuit against trading partners Canada and Mexico accusing them of exporting their products below market prices and production costs in the U.S. The group successfully convinced the U.S. Department of Commerce to implement anti-dumping tariffs against Canada. A year later, R-CALF USA was officially formed into an membership based organization.
Since its inception, R-CALF USA has profoundly impacted the U.S. live cattle industry. In an industry dominated by 4 meatpackers controlling every aspect and unjust trade agreements, R-CALF USA quickly rose to become the national voice for independent cow-calf producers and feeders across America.
R-CALF USA is the single largest producer-only organization fighting to bring back mandatory country-of-origin labeling, fighting to stop anti-competitive and unjust practices by the packers, to prevent high-risk imports from countries with disease outbreaks, fighting to allow U.S. cattle producers to promote their USA beef within the beef checkoff program and make the program voluntary.
Learn more about R-CALF at https://www.r-calfusa.com/ or call 406-252-2516.
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This episode is sponsored by AMS Galaxy - BRINGING PRECISION DAIRY EQUIPMENT TO THE AMERICAN FARMER. Spend more time doing what you love. Use technology to your advantage.
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