For Immediate Release: August 30, 2021

Contact: R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard

Phone: 406-252-2516;


Rapid City, S.D. – In his keynote address at R-CALF USA’s 22nd Annual Convention held recently in Rapid City, S.D., Thomas Horton, Professor and Heidepriem Trial Advocacy Fellow, University of South Dakota Knudson School of Law, brought down the house with his 30-minute presentation, “Antirust Grit: A Path Forward for Ending Anticompetitive Practices that Economically Harm America’s Ranchers.

The 400 cattle-producer attendees responded to Horton – nicknamed “The Barracuda” by the media for his tough questioning of witnesses in the early 1990s concerning bank failures, governmental corruption, and organized crime – with two standing ovations. The first for his rousing presentation and the second for receiving the R-CALF USA Sentinel Award, which each year honors the person most responsible for keeping watch over the U.S. cattle industry.

Drawing on his 40-year career as an antitrust lawyer and conflicts litigator, Horton artfully put today’s antitrust problems in an historical context, beginning from the time of the Boston Tea Party, throughout the period of our nation’s earliest presidents, into the 19th century when monopolies became the “scourge of America,” then the Teddy Roosevelt and William Howard Taft trustbusting years, and Congress’ ensuing passage of antitrust laws and continual updates to those laws.

He made clear that antitrust is nonpartisan, that both Democrats and Republicans had a history of aggressively supporting antitrust laws, establishing the United States as the world’s leader in antitrust enforcement up until today.

“We went from being the most powerful and aggressive against monopolies in the 50s and thereafter to today, the least aggressive,” and that, Horton said, led to the July 9, 2021 presidential executive order “protecting and promoting competition in the American Economy” that specifically highlighted the unprecedented concentration in the beef packing industry.

Referencing R-CALF USA’s “aggressive and bold step” to enforce antitrust laws as exemplified by what Horton called the group’s “massive” 222-page antitrust lawsuit against the “Big 4 beef packers,” Horton said the organization “is fighting nothing less than a battle for America’s economic soul and our nation’s moral integrity.”

In closing, Horton said, “R-CALF’s complaint quite simply represents the best that America can offer and the best that America can offer is our great ranchers – independent, rugged individualists and entrepreneurs – who have never asked for anything other than for a fair break in the marketplace.”

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R-CALF USA (Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund United Stockgrowers of America) is the largest producer-only lobbying and trade association representing U.S. cattle producers. It is a national, nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring the continued profitability and viability of the U.S. cattle industry. Visit or, call 406-252-2516 for more information.