As someone who has been part of the checkoff issue since the beginning, merger and all, I think your perspective about what might happen next is on track (“Settling the family feud,” May 23 special issue of BEEF Cow-Calf Weekly and June BEEF “Editor's Roundup”). I have felt for some time that efficiency isn't the only thing that may be important right now considering the segmentations and complexities of our industry.
I hope we will take a close look at the last five years and learn from the challenges we've faced. We said at the time of the (National Cattlemen's Association and National Livestock and Meat Board) merger that the organization would meet the challenges of change when necessary and that an industry long-range plan was a living, breathing document that would have to be looked at on a timely basis in order to adjust to the industry and the structure of our organizations.
Paso Robles, CA
The Supremes got it right
At least the Supreme Court got this one right. When you have an industry as fragmented as the beef cattle industry, it's amazing the beef checkoff has achieved the high degree of success it has.
Yes, there were mistakes along the way, but if there is one cattle producer that has never made a wrong move in his business I want to meet him. As for bringing the checkoff to a vote, bring it on!
The checkoff is fair; everybody contributes. The job now is to work together to make the checkoff program better every year!
Give states a larger role
Your comment about the state organizations could not have been better (“Settling the family feud,” June BEEF, page 4). In other words, the state organizations actually need to do something. A new concept for some states and various people within those states.
Jerry Turnbull, Ph.D
Best magazine page ever
Veterinarian Mike Apley's June issue “Vet's Opinion” column, “Seven therapy myths” (page 12), set a record for the most clear and useful information to have ever been printed on a single page.
It's so easy to backslide into doing things for sick cattle that make us feel better, don't help the cattle, cost extra money, and may actually harm the calf.
I am giving a copy of this page to all of my cowboys, sending copies to some friends, and hiding a copy in my desk for me to see again.
Let's do tit for tat
In your April issue editorial, “After the gold rush” (page 4), you give R-CALF and others a very negative response concerning the Canadian border not opening March 7. You state the U.S. beef industry should stand on the best available science in determining its position on key industry issues.
USDA used 30 months of age science to open the border to Canadian beef. What has this gained producers? We have become the dumping ground for Canadian beef.
Nor has the 30-month science issue worked to get our export market open to Japan and South Korea. Until others accept the same science, why should we?
Canada used to send 250,000 cull cows to the U.S. each year. Consequently we would get 30¢/lb. for our cull cows. The packers make a lot of profit as hamburger sells for $2/lb., at our expense.
Until other countries accept the same science and the National Cattlemen's Beef Association sticks to the 11 points required in its policy, let's keep the border closed.