National Cattlemen’s Beef Association president Bill Donald gives update | TSLN.com

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association president Bill Donald gives update

Bill Brewster

Bill Donald, president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), gave participants at the 2011 Montana Livestock Forum and Nutrition Conference an update on issues impacting the cattle industry. Donald was one of the featured speakers at the conference held April 12-13 at the GranTree Inn in Bozeman.

Donald, a cow-calf and yearling rancher from Melville, MT, said the industry seemed to be looking at increased volatility with higher-highs and lower-lows – so it wasn’t all peaches and cream – although the year had been generally good for producers around the country.

The former president of the Montana Stockgrowers Association (MSGA) said it was not always easy to raise cows in the rugged ranch country around Melville, but by working as a team the family operation was able to succeed. Along with his family, the third-generation rancher operates Cayuse Cattle Company. Donald and his wife, Betsy, have two sons, Josh and Wyatt, who are involved in the cattle operation.

“We calve in May and June and sell the cattle as yearlings,” he said. “We have gone to weaning in January instead of calving at that time.

“Team work is exactly what the Montana Stockgrowers Association and NCBA are all about as well,” he told the group of ranchers, extension agents, Montana State University faculty members and feed industry members gathered at the nutrition conference. “It’s an industry united around a common goal of being the world’s most trusted and preferred source of beef and beef products.”

Donald said current issues like free trade, death tax and GIPSA are all issues that impact the ability of U.S. cattlemen to produce beef for the world and to expand trade beyond the borders.

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For Donald, who has been busy traveling around the U.S. and appearing in Washington, D.C. as NCBA president, the conference in Bozeman gave him the opportunity to interact with many acquaintances in his home state.

Donald said U.S. Senator Max Baucus (D-MT), has been holding out for South Korea to accept all cuts of beef. He said a road map is being carved out with the Korean ambassador to obtain satisfactory language to get Korea to take beef of all ages, instead of with time sensitive limitations.

“If we could go from 20-months to 31-months, it would open up the market to many more cattle,” Donald noted.

He said Congress must ratify a free trade agreement with Korea quickly and should get ahead of Australia to avoid a 2.7 percent tariff disadvantage. The agreement would phase out a 40 percent tariff on beef imports and reduce tariff spending by $325 million.

The U.S. and the Republic of Korea signed the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA) on June 30, 2007. If approved, the Agreement would be the United States’ most commercially significant free trade agreement in more than 16 years.

The U.S. International Trade Commission estimates that the reduction of Korean tariffs and tariff-rate quotas on goods alone would add $10-$12 billion to annual U.S. Gross Domestic Product and around $10 billion to annual merchandise exports to Korea.

Bill Donald, president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), gave participants at the 2011 Montana Livestock Forum and Nutrition Conference an update on issues impacting the cattle industry. Donald was one of the featured speakers at the conference held April 12-13 at the GranTree Inn in Bozeman.

Donald, a cow-calf and yearling rancher from Melville, MT, said the industry seemed to be looking at increased volatility with higher-highs and lower-lows – so it wasn’t all peaches and cream – although the year had been generally good for producers around the country.

The former president of the Montana Stockgrowers Association (MSGA) said it was not always easy to raise cows in the rugged ranch country around Melville, but by working as a team the family operation was able to succeed. Along with his family, the third-generation rancher operates Cayuse Cattle Company. Donald and his wife, Betsy, have two sons, Josh and Wyatt, who are involved in the cattle operation.

“We calve in May and June and sell the cattle as yearlings,” he said. “We have gone to weaning in January instead of calving at that time.

“Team work is exactly what the Montana Stockgrowers Association and NCBA are all about as well,” he told the group of ranchers, extension agents, Montana State University faculty members and feed industry members gathered at the nutrition conference. “It’s an industry united around a common goal of being the world’s most trusted and preferred source of beef and beef products.”

Donald said current issues like free trade, death tax and GIPSA are all issues that impact the ability of U.S. cattlemen to produce beef for the world and to expand trade beyond the borders.

For Donald, who has been busy traveling around the U.S. and appearing in Washington, D.C. as NCBA president, the conference in Bozeman gave him the opportunity to interact with many acquaintances in his home state.

Donald said U.S. Senator Max Baucus (D-MT), has been holding out for South Korea to accept all cuts of beef. He said a road map is being carved out with the Korean ambassador to obtain satisfactory language to get Korea to take beef of all ages, instead of with time sensitive limitations.

“If we could go from 20-months to 31-months, it would open up the market to many more cattle,” Donald noted.

He said Congress must ratify a free trade agreement with Korea quickly and should get ahead of Australia to avoid a 2.7 percent tariff disadvantage. The agreement would phase out a 40 percent tariff on beef imports and reduce tariff spending by $325 million.

The U.S. and the Republic of Korea signed the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA) on June 30, 2007. If approved, the Agreement would be the United States’ most commercially significant free trade agreement in more than 16 years.

The U.S. International Trade Commission estimates that the reduction of Korean tariffs and tariff-rate quotas on goods alone would add $10-$12 billion to annual U.S. Gross Domestic Product and around $10 billion to annual merchandise exports to Korea.

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