U.S. Cattlemen's Association (USCA) is an organization that feels at home taking in a cattle auction or sitting around listening to family ranchers and small cattle feeders talk about issues important to them.

That is exactly what they were doing over the past month. In North Dakota, USCA representatives spoke and gathered comments from ranchers at KIST Livestock during a break in the cattle auction, and later that evening held a free dinner at Dean's Steakhouse in Mandan, ND, for livestock producers.

"We've been speaking in five states in the last two weeks," says Jess Peterson, lobbyist for USCA during a stop at KIST Livestock. He told ranchers he was sorry about the problems with R-CALF a few years ago, but in many ways it was a "good thing" because it gave cattle producers choices and more than one organization working for their interests.

USCA considers itself a "go-between," bringing concerns of farmers and ranchers to Congress and major organizations in Washington, D.C., says Jess Peterson, executive vice-president of USCA and a rancher near Miles City, MT.

Peterson spoke on GIPSA (Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration) rules, stating the current rules clarify what unfair practices are and allow USDA to enforce rules and regulations that prohibit preferential pricing.

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