Over $20,000 raised for COOL at R-CALF meeting
At a recent meeting in Hermosa, S.D., over $20,000 was raised to support the fight for country-of-origin labeling (COOL). At the meeting R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard and R-CALF USA Vice President / Region III Director Bryan Hanson spoke to the crowd of over 70 people about COOL.
Bullard and Hanson gave a history of COOL and explained why meat and livestock organizations continue to battle over the issue.
When asked why they contributed their time and money to organize this fundraiser Delia Johnson explained that it is an issue important to both producers and consumers. “In this day and age of food safety concern, we feel pretty strongly that consumers want the label. We want them to have that information available to make an educated decision at the meat case.”
Hanson said that while the current fight to label products is focused on meat from livestock imported from Canada and Mexico, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is working aggressively to allow live cattle and meat from Brazil, which has at least twice the number of cattle as the United States. According to Hanson, when Brazil is allowed to import live cattle and beef into the U.S., the pressure on U.S. cattle producers will be far more than they are experiencing now.
Bullard added “this fight is because farmers and ranchers want competition, and consumers want to know where their food is from while the meatpackers and their allies simply want to control the market.”
The battle for COOL will be expensive and more funds are needed to ensure R-CALF USA and the organizations fighting for COOL can keep up the pressure. To host a meeting and fundraiser in your area contact Laurel at R-CALF USA. To donate, visit http://www.r-calfusa.com/Promotion/081205-donate.join.htm or send donations to R-CALF USA COOL FUND PO Box 30715, Billings, MT 59107.
The meeting was organized by Dean and Delia Johnson of Fairburn, S.D., and Rick and Theresa Fox of Hermosa, S.D.