Make your voice count, without saying a word. Be there, Aug. 27, 2010.


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July 1, 2010 

Open Letter to the United States Cattle Industry 

Dear U.S. Cattle Producers and Other Rural Americans,

            The most important day in the history of your U.S. cattle industry, and perhaps all of Rural America, is soon to arrive. Never in history have two presidential Cabinet members invited Rural Americans to meet with them in the center of the United States to show their support for restoring competition to the U.S. cattle industry. Never in history, that is, until now. 

            U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack have invited U.S. cattle producers and other Rural Americans to meet with them for one day on the campus of Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado, beginning at 8:00 a.m. MDT on Friday, Aug. 27, 2010. 

            We must accept this unprecedented invitation! Every U.S. cattle producer, every main-street business owner who supports our cattle industry, and every consumer who wants USA beef produced by U.S. farmers and ranchers must be in Fort Collins on August 27 to show the U.S. Attorney General and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture that the No. 1 priority for Rural America must be to restore competition to the U.S. cattle market.

            Your attendance at this historic event, without saying a single word, will send a more powerful, compelling message to Washington, D.C., than could ever be achieved during several years’ worth of sending letters, making phone calls, or even flying to Washington, D.C., to visit with your elected representatives and agency officials. 

            This is the opportunity of a lifetime to genuinely make a positive impact on the future direction of your U.S. cattle industry and the future of Rural America. This opportunity is not only unprecedented, it is unique. It is unique because the invitation is not for the purpose of exploring whether there has been a loss of competition in the U.S. cattle industry. Indeed, the very reason the Attorney General and the Secretary of Agriculture have scheduled this unprecedented meeting in Fort Collins is because they do understand there is a serious problem in the U.S. cattle industry and it is affecting all of Rural America. The purpose of this meeting is to determine if it is the will of U.S. cattle producers and Rural Americans that immediate, aggressive action be taken to restore competition to the U.S. cattle industry. 

            This is why your attendance is absolutely essential and why just being there will be so effective. When the U.S. Attorney General, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, and all the media that follow these two gentlemen around look out at a crowd of 25,000 they will draw one, and only one, conclusion: U.S. cattle producers and Rural Americans want the federal government to put an immediate and permanent halt to the anticompetitive practices and antitrust activities that are rapidly causing the U.S. cattle industry to shrink, resulting in the hollowing out of rural communities all across the United States.  

            We encourage you to bring with you a simple, respectful sign that includes two critical pieces of information: 1) your message, which can be “Fix our Cattle Markets,” “Restore Competition,” or “Stop Anticompetitive Practices;” and, 2) the name of the state you are from.   

            When we all arrive with our simple, respectful sign on the Colorado State University Campus in Fort Collins, at 8:00 a.m. on Friday, August 27, we will make history. We will send Congress and the Administration a mandate they cannot ignore. We will mark the beginning of the reversal of the contraction of our U.S. cattle industry and we will preserve for ourselves and our children the opportunity to participate in the U.S. cattle industry as independent cattle producers who sell into a fully competitive market. This is our goal. This is our opportunity. And this is what is at stake.  

            Please do not underestimate the importance of this event. The concentrated beef packers and their supporting trade associations will be pulling out all the stops. They will hire economists to write glowing studies to show that producers and consumers benefit when beef packers control the cattle market. They also will initiate a media blitz to stop any efforts to limit their tremendous market control. Your attendance in Fort Collins will trump their self-serving efforts. When 25,000 people from all across the U.S. with an interest in preserving our U.S. cattle industry stand together in Fort Collins on August 27, we will indelibly imprint our message on the mind of each and every Washington, D.C., decision-maker, and all the money and self-serving efforts put forth by the powerful beef packers will be outshone.  

            Many of you have spent years helping us lay the foundation to change the course of our industry. But, to actually implement that change we need you, your family, and your neighbors to stand with us to make this historic event extraordinary. We look forward to your attendance on August 27 and welcome any assistance you can provide to encourage as many people from your area as possible to be there with you. Please call us for further assistance or information.           

This is the real deal! This is what we have all been working for! The time is now! Help us show the world that we are serious about preserving and strengthening Rural America – a feat that can only be accomplished by preserving and protecting our United States’ cattle-producing heritage.


R.M. (Max) Thornsberry, D.V.M.
R-CALF USA President of the Board

Bill Bullard


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                            This page was last updated on Thursday, July 01, 2010.