ICON organizes meeting with OCM officials
On Thursday, June 24, Independent Cattlemen of Nebraska (ICON) will be hosting a dinner meeting with Organization for Competitive Markets (OCM) at the Cherry County Fairgrounds 4-H Exhibit Hall at Valentine, NE. The main topic of discussion will be the ongoing market concentration taking place in the cattle and beef industry. The meeting will also highlight the upcoming OCM convention in Omaha in early August, where the main agenda and topic of discussion will be preparation for the hearing and listening session workshop, hosted by the USDA and DOJ in Fort Collins, CO, on Aug. 27.
The format for the meeting in Valentine will be a panel discussion with time for questions at the end. The panel participants will include OCM President Randy Stephenson of Wheatland, WY; OCM Vice President, Mike Callicrate of St. Francis, KS; and OCM’s Executive Director, Fred Stokes, of Kemper County, MS. Rounding out the panel will be OCM’s legal counsel, David Domina of Omaha, NE. Also attending will be a representative from McVean Trading and Investments giving a presentation on the market forecast.
“It is a historical event for the USDA and the Department of Justice to work together on this important issue and a rare opportunity for cattlemen across the country to be able to participate and have input into the process,” said Dave Wright, president of ICON. “We feel this panel discussion is an excellent opportunity for our local cattlemen to become aware, informed, and equipped with avenues to speak out.”
“This is a great opportunity for the Cattlemen of Nebraska and surrounding states to come visit with experts on this subject,” said Destry Brown, the new Executive Director of ICON. “These people are involved with this issue daily and have valuable insight into this problem that we as independent cattle producers are facing. I came from the Northwest and I have lived and operated inside a noncompetitive market; it is a very discouraging situation. I left the Northwest and came here to get involved. The ICON Board of Directors is committed to taking an active role in these types of issues and this panel discussion is one way to do that. I hope that everyone involved in the cattle industry will make it a point to be in Valentine, I truly believe it will be worth the sacrifice you will make.”
The Peppermill will be catering the evening event, with Abbotts’ Sandhills Own Beef featured on the buffet style menu. Plans are to begin serving at 6:30 p.m. (CST), with the panel discussion beginning at 7 p.m., following the special stocker feeder sale at Valentine Livestock. A cash bar will be available, with happy hour from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
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Outtagrass Cattle Co. cartoon by Jan Swan Wood for the June 19, 2021, edition of Tri-State Livestock News