N.D. group introduces “A Buck Better Spent” to support COOL fund
The Independent Beef Association of North Dakota (IBAND) is introducing the “A Buck Better Spent” campaign to support the U.S. COOL (country of origin labeling) Defense Fund and IBAND leadership says they are challenging other cattle producers and cattle associations to meet their commitment of support for the fund.
The “A Buck Better Spent” campaign, an idea brought forward by Allen Lund, an IBAND director from Selfridge, N.D., is designed to encourage cattle producers to commit at least $1 per head of cattle to the U.S. COOL Defense Fund.
Kenny Graner, IBAND President, Mandan, N.D., said “A Buck Better Spent” was developed to counter the beef checkoff’s primary contractor’s role as a plaintiff in a lawsuit filed July 6 to stop the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) from implementing and enforcing the COOL program.
“The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) joined the Canadians, the Mexicans and the packing industry in filing this lawsuit to halt COOL,” said Graner. “NCBA is the primary contractor for the mandatory beef checkoff, deriving about $32 million annually from our beef checkoff dollars. Our mandatory checkoff dollars are supporting a contractor that is fighting in court to deny us the right to differentiate our product and, if successful, will set the stage for a North American beef industry in which the identity of U.S. beef will be lost for good. IBAND believes the least we can do as cattle producers is commit $1 per head to help fight off this attack by the national mandatory beef checkoff’s bloated beneficiary.”
“Leo McDonnell and the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association, with which IBAND is affiliated, are leading a national effort for producers to intervene in this lawsuit,” continued Graner. “The best legal counsel available has been retained and they are already at work preparing a defense in which the voice of independent producers will be heard. NCBA is attempting to persuade the court that it represents the majority of U.S. ranchers – all of us – and that simply isn’t true. NCBA doesn’t represent me. NCBA and the other plaintiffs in this case have filed a motion asking the court to grant a preliminary injunction, which would halt COOL until this lawsuit plays out, which could be a long time. The first step in this case is to fight the preliminary injunction and keep COOL in effect. This is a costly venture, but Leo McDonnell is leading the way and cattle producers need to support and engage in the effort. That’s why the IBAND board is urging producers to become part of the ‘A Buck Better Spent’ campaign.”
Graner says that producers who want to meet the challenge issued by IBAND should send their checks to the U.S. COOL Defense Fund, P.O. Box 923, Columbus, MT 59019 or go to http://www.uscooldefensefund.org to contribute on line. Or, they can contact Graner directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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