Tomac: We have tried working together |

Tomac: We have tried working together

In response to the Letter to the Editor from Jeff Schafer on April 2 edition of TSLN:

IBAND (The Independent Beef Association of North Dakota) promoted the Petition on the Beef Referendum, as bringing the Checkoff to a vote, not to necessarily end the Beef Checkoff. And a little FYI, there was over 2,800 North Dakota producers signed that petition, almost 30 percent of the producers of the state, well over the 10 percent threshold.

Yes, Jeff, Emotions do run high. And I apologize for interrupting Julie Ellingson during the Legislative Interim Committee. I was out of line, but I was NOT loud, nor was I rude, and I was also apologetic at the hearing. But Mr. Schafer, one needs to look in the mirror constantly, to make sure one is not being disrespectful themselves. We at IBAND HAVE tried to “work together!” I Frank Tomac as IBAND VP, set up a meeting along with the North Dakota Stockmens Association (NDSA) North Dakota Farm Bureau, North Dakota Farmers Union and the North Dept of Ag. I first contacted everyone in May of last year, we didn’t meet until August. Everyone is busy, but you were very resistant to meeting. You stated you had to discuss this with your leaders. Jeff, you are the leader!

As far as the appointment process of ND Beef Commission (NDBC) goes: Not I, nor any applicant from IBAND, is upset about not ‘getting the job’. Rather we’re more upset about the process. NEVER has ANY of my references been contacted in my 7 years of applications. I’ve had many conversations with the Directors of Boards and Commissions under 2 different Governors. They told me the process of each applicant: residency, eligibility recommendation, etc. Since I have a cross-boundary address, they need to check my actual residence. Instead of calling the Sioux County, Auditor they called the NDSA!! ????? Nobody from that office has ever been to my ranch, how would they know exactly where I live? The Director of Boards and Commissions then contacts the NDBC to see if I’m actually eligible, which is proper, make sure I’m paying the checkoff! BUT….. then the Director asks for RECOMMENDATIONS FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR!!!!!!! It’s wrong for the Director of Boards and Commissions to ask for recommendations, but it’s even MORE wrong for the Executive Director of the North Dakota Beef Commission to recommend ANYONE!

You wanna talk about the ‘fabric of Cowboy Code? Your Executive Vice President conveniently omitted the fact that IBAND and NDSA did have a meeting together, even though she was asked ‘since’ the last Interim Committee. That’s lying by omission. Your organization, the NDSA, continually boasts 3,000 members! Great, (although I question that number) but all of you conveniently never mention how many “producer members” you have. That’s lying by deceit! I agree, let’s show some respect, as well as be upfront and honest about everything.

We at IBAND have tried working together. We work with the ND Dept of Ag, the NDBC, Board of Animal Health, the Ag Coalition and since the inception of the Beef to School program, the ND Dept of Instruction. But have been met with a lot of resistance from the NDSA. Why is there so much resistance? Especially on this HB 1009 Sec 22? All ya gotta do is follow the money, therein lies the answer!

So Jeff, are ya ready to start working together?

Frank Tomac

Sioux County rancher



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