Fuel to a seemingly eternal fire between producers and producer groups has been added recently with a proposal to changes in the structure of the Federation of State Beef Councils. The group making the proposal, The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), which has housed the federation since the merger of the National Cattlemen’s Association and The National Live Stock and Meat Board/Beef Industry Council in 1996, seems to think it should be business as usual.

One thing NCBA appears to forget is that, although it represents more cattlemen than any other organization — boasting membership at somewhere around 30,000 producers — the Federation of State Beef Councils is paid for and funded by some 956,000 cattle-producing men and women, many of whom are not affiliated with any policy-run organization.

Unless they are an NCBA member, I do not think it is right to comment on how they want to structure their organization, or on the day-to-day business they conduct. Although I would respect and hope NCBA would have comments and opinions toward the federation’s structure, I do not think it is right, nor fair, that they have assumed that they are the only voice that speaks towards that structure.

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