For Immediate Release: December 21, 2021
Contact: R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard
Phone: 406-252-2516; email@example.com
Billings, Mont. – Earlier this month the Naabik’iyati’ Committee of the 24th Navajo Nation Council, on behalf of The Navajo Nation, unanimously passed a formal resolution endorsing the bipartisan American Beef Labeling Act of 2021 (S.2716) that restores mandatory country of origin labeling (MCOOL) for beef.
Extending into the states of Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico, the 17.5-plus million-acre Navajo Nation is the largest land area retained by a Native American Tribe in the United States. Its population surpasses 250,000. Cattle raising is an important economic endeavor within the Nation.
R-CALF USA Field Director Karina Jones worked closely with Edmond Yazzie, a Navajo Nation Council Delegate, to explore how the Navajo Nation would benefit from MCOOL’s enactment. “The Tribe has a vested interest in MCOOL and we’re pleased for their willingness to help us pass this bill,” she said.
Upon completion of the resolution, Yazzie explained the basis for the Navajo Nation’s interest in MCOOL: “The Navajo Nation leadership supports ranchers and what is due to them for their hard work on the ranch. I’m pleased we could support The American Beef Labeling Act.”
Introduced in the U.S. Senate in September, the American Beef Labeling Act of 2021 is sponsored by Senators John Thune (R-S.Dak.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Mike Rounds (R-S.Dak.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), John Hoeven (R-N. Dak.), Ben Ray Luján (D-N. Mex.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), and Martin Heinrich (D-N. Mex.).
The Navajo Nation’s resolution states that MCOOL for beef “enables United States cattle producers to compete in the retail grocery market by empowering consumers to choose to purchase their superior born, raised, and harvested in the USA beef product, or to choose a foreign beef product imported from any one of the approximately 20 countries from which the U.S. imports beef and/or cattle.”
It also states MCOOL increases the demand for cattle exclusively born and raised in the United States when U.S. consumers choose to purchase a beef product exclusively produced in the United States.
The Navajo Nation’s resolution encourages all U.S. Senators and Representatives to cosponsor and quickly pass The American Beef Labeling Act of 2021.
R-CALF USA Regional Director Cash Carruth from Bloomfield, N. Mex. commented, “We’re pleased that both our New Mexico senators have cosponsored this important legislation and sincerely hope the Senators in Arizona and Utah will likewise join to help the Navajo Nation and all other citizens of the southwest.”
Eric Gropper, a Native American rancher from Long Valley, S. Dak., and R-CALF USA’s Tribal Regions Director, suggested that all other Native American Tribes should likewise express their support for MCOOL. “Cattle are an important economic interest on Native American lands and Native American support will certainly help expedite the enactment of Senate Bill 2716.”
A full copy of the Navajo Nation’s resolution is available here.
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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 www.r-calfusa.com or, call 406-252-2516 for more information.