Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota
My family and I operate Kenzy Backgrounding, a 3000-head feedlot, and maintain a commercial cow herd in south central South Dakota. Along with my wife and three children, we have been strong supporters of R-CALF USA since the beginning.
It is our mentality that we would not try to harvest a crop without planting it first. We would not expect a calf from a cow that has not been exposed to a bull. We would not blindly rely on others to do these tasks for us and stake our future on the results. Why should the political environment be treated any differently?
R-CALF USA is the organization that fights for competition, transparency, and honesty for independent livestock producers. I believe that it is one of the very few organizations actively resisting the now global push for full vertical integration of our beef industry. Cooperation is a good thing, control is a different story.
The fight for independence matters to me. I believe our ranchers and the communities they support are best served when ranchers make their own decisions on land use, genetics, input purchases, banking, and a host of other business decisions. We bear the consequences and we should reap the reward.
I feel that we must move our advocacy for the rural way of life up on our priority scale. When this country began over 90% of the population were involved in ag production. Today, that figure is around 2%. If we want to continue as independent ag producers, we must be the best advocates for our own cause. R-CALF is the best way forward in that regard.