Out of touch? | TSLN.com
YOUR AD HERE »

Out of touch?

Alan Guebert proves over and over he is completely out of touch with the real issues facing today’s cattle producers. His Nov. 28th piece about agriculture competition is off-base and misinformed. As cattle ranchers and officers of the nation’s oldest and largest national cattlemen’s association, we talk to producers from across the country on a daily basis, and we understand the issues that matter most to our industry. Guebert is out of the loop, and his misguided rantings are an irritation to most farm families.

Guebert recently criticized the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s (NCBA) involvement in helping kill an amendment to the fiscal year 2010 Commerce-Justice-Science Appropriations bill that claimed it would have required the Department of Justice (DOJ) to expand oversight efforts of competition within the agriculture industry. Specifically, he called NCBA’s position “neither smart nor economical.” He even goes so far as to ask why anyone would be a part of an organization that would fight against “any boost in competition oversight?”

We can tell you why. It’s exactly the reason why cattlemen do belong to a national organization like NCBA – an organization that’s looking out for their interests in Washington, DC, to make sure that Congress and the Administration don’t enact over-burdensome or unnecessary regulations that could have unintended consequences on industry, or in this case, no consequences at all.



Contrary to what Guebert implies, NCBA fully supports the existing authorities of both DOJ and USDA-GIPSA to investigate and enforce anti-competition in our marketplace. The amendment in question did absolutely nothing to enhance or “boost” competition in the cattle market. It was a redundant amendment that merely restated the authority that the DOJ already has. With so many other important issues to be working on right now, Congress should not be wasting time or taxpayer dollars on unnecessary, politically-motivated actions.

Mr. Guebert goes on to question why NCBA would “brag” about killing an amendment that was ruled “non-germane” by the Senate parliamentarian – a move which he says “harms all cattlemen.” Guebert is correct that the amendment was in fact ruled non-germane – after NCBA encouraged several Senators to inquire why time and effort was being wasted on a redundant amendment which circumvented the legislative process and Senate rules. Instead of wasting time on an issue that has already been studied to death (i.e. competition in the marketplace), Guebert should instead be focusing on true threats to livestock production – like EPA proposals on dust and greenhouse gas reporting requirements, which have the potential to put agriculture as we know it out of business. Killing this amendment did not harm a single producer, big or small, and we would encourage Mr. Guebert to get his facts straight in the future before writing about something of which he obviously lacks an understanding.



Our industry is facing unprecedented challenges, both economic and political. It’s no longer an option to sit back and hope the government “stays out of our way.” The future viability of our industry depends on how we move forward to address our mutual challenges. We can either sit back and complain, like Guebert chooses to do, or we can join together to find constructive solutions to proactively face these challenges head on. We choose the latter option – which is why we belong to a strong national organization that fights on our behalf each and every day in Washington, DC.

Guebert’s recent column is, “I could’ve been a contender.” (Jan. 2 edition of TSLN). A meat packer executive instead of a “journalist” …woe is him, he is neither.

Alan Guebert proves over and over he is completely out of touch with the real issues facing today’s cattle producers. His Nov. 28th piece about agriculture competition is off-base and misinformed. As cattle ranchers and officers of the nation’s oldest and largest national cattlemen’s association, we talk to producers from across the country on a daily basis, and we understand the issues that matter most to our industry. Guebert is out of the loop, and his misguided rantings are an irritation to most farm families.

Guebert recently criticized the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s (NCBA) involvement in helping kill an amendment to the fiscal year 2010 Commerce-Justice-Science Appropriations bill that claimed it would have required the Department of Justice (DOJ) to expand oversight efforts of competition within the agriculture industry. Specifically, he called NCBA’s position “neither smart nor economical.” He even goes so far as to ask why anyone would be a part of an organization that would fight against “any boost in competition oversight?”

We can tell you why. It’s exactly the reason why cattlemen do belong to a national organization like NCBA – an organization that’s looking out for their interests in Washington, DC, to make sure that Congress and the Administration don’t enact over-burdensome or unnecessary regulations that could have unintended consequences on industry, or in this case, no consequences at all.

Contrary to what Guebert implies, NCBA fully supports the existing authorities of both DOJ and USDA-GIPSA to investigate and enforce anti-competition in our marketplace. The amendment in question did absolutely nothing to enhance or “boost” competition in the cattle market. It was a redundant amendment that merely restated the authority that the DOJ already has. With so many other important issues to be working on right now, Congress should not be wasting time or taxpayer dollars on unnecessary, politically-motivated actions.

Mr. Guebert goes on to question why NCBA would “brag” about killing an amendment that was ruled “non-germane” by the Senate parliamentarian – a move which he says “harms all cattlemen.” Guebert is correct that the amendment was in fact ruled non-germane – after NCBA encouraged several Senators to inquire why time and effort was being wasted on a redundant amendment which circumvented the legislative process and Senate rules. Instead of wasting time on an issue that has already been studied to death (i.e. competition in the marketplace), Guebert should instead be focusing on true threats to livestock production – like EPA proposals on dust and greenhouse gas reporting requirements, which have the potential to put agriculture as we know it out of business. Killing this amendment did not harm a single producer, big or small, and we would encourage Mr. Guebert to get his facts straight in the future before writing about something of which he obviously lacks an understanding.

Our industry is facing unprecedented challenges, both economic and political. It’s no longer an option to sit back and hope the government “stays out of our way.” The future viability of our industry depends on how we move forward to address our mutual challenges. We can either sit back and complain, like Guebert chooses to do, or we can join together to find constructive solutions to proactively face these challenges head on. We choose the latter option – which is why we belong to a strong national organization that fights on our behalf each and every day in Washington, DC.

Guebert’s recent column is, “I could’ve been a contender.” (Jan. 2 edition of TSLN). A meat packer executive instead of a “journalist” …woe is him, he is neither.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User