USCA continues on US COOL tour
The United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) continued its U.S. country of origin labeling (COOL) tour last month with two events held in Spokane, Washington and Culpeper, Va. The USCA COOL tour, which began in August, crossed the country with fundraising events held in Montana, South Dakota, North Dakota, Washington and Virginia to benefit the U.S. COOL Defense Fund.
In response to the July 8 filing of a lawsuit to halt the U.S. COOL program, USCA, along with the National Farmers Union (NFU), American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) and the Consumer Federation of America (CFA), officially entered the lawsuit as defendant-intervenors Sept. 11, to defend COOL. The U.S. COOL Defense Fund was established shortly thereafter as a mechanism to provide financial support for the legal fees associated with the defense.
USCA President Jon Wooster stated, “Those in opposition to COOL are pursuing a repeal of the program through a three-pronged approach. Opponents are challenging the law at the WTO level, through the court system and now through an attempt to repeal the law through the farm bill. Plaintiffs in the anti-COOL lawsuit have failed to demonstrate any right to a delay in the implementation of COOL. Donations and contributions from producers have allowed us to mount a vigorous defense. Ongoing support, like that demonstrated in Washington and Virginia in November, is a true testament to the support the program has across the country.”
USCA’s Kelly Fogarty, who attended and spoke at the events in Washington, commented on the rollover sale, “The defense of COOL is truly producer-driven. The successes achieved thus far are a direct result of the support that ranchers have demonstrated for COOL. They know that preserving the identity of the U.S. cow herd is critical to competing in a global market and that reducing consumer confusion at the meat case is an important goal.”
“I want to thank everyone who turned out to support COOL in Washington. Those at Stockland Livestock Auction and the representatives within the state made the difference in this rollover sale being such a success. It is individuals like these that will help us see this issue through to the end. I am humbled and impressed by the amount that was raised in support of COOL both in Washington and at all of the events that have occurred this year. I know I speak for everyone at USCA when I say that we are grateful to all of those who have engaged in this issue.”
USCA Member and co-owner of Ginger Hill Angus, Brooke Miller, commented on their donation to the Defense Fund, “As a producer, COOL is an issue that ranks among the top of my priorities when it comes to our industry. After seeing the amount of dollars raised by others across the countryside this year in support of COOL, it was a clear choice to donate a portion of the sales generated by our annual bull sale to the cause. I hope others will see that every dollar counts and will continue to support this effort by donating to the U.S. COOL Defense Fund.”
Continued involvement and support are needed in the fight to preserve COOL. Individuals are contributing online through the COOL Defense Fund website at http://www.cooldefensefund.org or by mailing their contributions to the U.S. COOL Defense Fund at P.O. Box 923, Columbus, MT 59019.
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