R-CALF USA Announces Meeting
(Billings, Mont.) – The Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund United Stockgrowers of America (R-CALF USA) will conduct its eighth Annual Convention Jan. 17-20, 2007, at the DoubleTree Hotel in Denver, Colo.
“This year, we’ve expanded the convention by a day so folks can participate in a property rights seminar, scheduled for 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, January 17,” says Chuck Kiker, R-CALF USA president and Region V director. “R-CALF members voted last spring to create a Property Rights Committee, and I know the speakers lined up for this new event will be making some exceptional presentations.”
Opening ceremonies will start at 8 a.m. Mountain time Thursday, Jan. 18. Activities will conclude Saturday, Jan. 20, with the business session, where members decide which proposed resolutions will go forward in the spring to the entire membership for a vote. Members who wish to submit policy resolutions can do so by contacting R-CALF USA headquarters immediately. The deadline for presenting policy resolutions during convention is 1 p.m. Friday, Jan. 19, with the exception of proposed policy related to trade, which has a 5 p.m. deadline that day. Director nominations for Region VII, VIII and IV also will be accepted during the business session.
“Something special this year is that Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns has confirmed that he’ll be a featured speaker on Friday morning,” Kiker notes. “There are just so many issues affecting the domestic live-cattle industry that will be coming before Congress next year that we wanted to make certain our members are well-informed when it’s time for them to contact their senators and representatives to make their voices heard on those important matters.”
Also on hand will be representatives of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS); National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA); USDA Grain Inspection Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA); USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS); U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ); American Shrimp Association; Australian Beef Association; Livestock Marketing Association (LMA); Stewart and Stewart Law Offices and Frye Law, each based in Washington, D.C.; and the United Steelworkers (USW), as well as famed markets analyst Charlie McVean, a number of state veterinarians and other animal health experts, and many others.
Experts from these agencies and organizations will participate in a number of panel discussions, which include topics of animal identification, animal health concerns, country-of-origin labeling (sometimes referred to as COL or COOL), the beef checkoff, international trade, captive-supply, transparency issues and economic outlooks.
“It’s also important to note that USDA has agreed to meet with representatives of all 17 brand states during our convention to discuss how to incorporate the use of hot-iron brands into various animal identification programs,” Kiker says.
Participants are encouraged to visit with vendors of the trade show. Thursday’s convention business wraps up with a cowboy social followed by a shuttle ride to watch the rodeo at the historic National Western Stock Show. There is a separate $12 fee for this event, so reserve your seat early. Friday formalities conclude with an evening reception, followed by the awards presentation, banquet and entertainment. Saturday winds up the convention with a business session and closing comments from Kiker.
Convention registration is $60 per person, plus meals, until Jan. 10. Afterward, registration will be $70 per person, plus meals. To preregister, contact R-CALF USA Membership Services Director Jenni Ries at (406) 252-2516.