ICON held OCM meeting; bus tour planned
July 9, 2010
On June 24, the Independent Cattlemen of Nebraska (ICON) hosted a meeting for producers with the Organization of Competitive Markets (OCM) in Valentine, NE. ICON was encouraged to see close to 100 producers in attendance interested in listening to the OCM representatives.
Presenters included OCM board members, Mike Callicrate and Randy Stephenson, and Executive Director Fred Stokes. A question-and-answer period allowed producers to gain information which otherwise would not be available. ICON members learned about the lack of a competitive market and the recently released proposed rule changes to the Packers and Stockyards Act.
McVain Trading was also present and gave a market forecast. With the current forecast, the cattlemen were forced to face hard facts about the current condition of the calf market, which predict it is not sustainable.
ICON encouraged producers to get involved and make sure the proposed rules in the Packers and Stockyards Act are upheld. By logging onto the Federal Registry site, the proposed rules can be read and comments made as an individual or group.
Besides commenting, ICON also encouraged members and cattlemen across the state of Nebraska to mark their calendars for August 27. At 8 a.m., in Fort Collins, CO, a scheduled meeting will be conducted with the Department of Justice and USDA to hear comments on the Packers and Stockyards Act.
“We as producers need to take this opportunity to help shape the future of our industry,” said ICON Executive Director Destry Brown. “The time to be proactive and get involved is now.”
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Realizing the importance of this meeting and what a tremendous opportunity this is for cattlemen to speak up, ICON is organizing a charter bus to take producers to Fort Collins. Details are still being ironed out, but it is possible more than one bus will be chartered and more than one route planned. ICON is already contacting sponsors to reduce the price of the bus. Producers would be responsible for the overnight stay and meals. ICON will reserve a block of rooms in advance.
Each charter bus holds 56 passengers and ICON is asking for advance registration in order to determine number and routes of buses. Brown is taking registrations at 308-458-2244. Sign-up deadline is August 6. ICON Communications Director Linda Wuebben can be contacted also for more information at 402-357-3778.