Lancaster farming. (Lancaster, Pa., etc.) 1955-current, December 17, 1994, Image 80

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    C4-Lanc«ster Farming, Saturday, Dacembar 17, 1994
Consolidation Proposal Would Eliminate Waste
industry leaders spoke out in favor
of a plan that would consolidate
the four major beef organizations
into a single, unified organization,
saying the effort will help produc
ers more effectively meet con
sumer demands through efficient
use of checkoff dollars and dues
Members of the Beef Oversight
Committee —the group charged
with implementing the consolida
tion of the National Cattlemen’s
Association, Beef Industry Coun
cil, U.S. Meat Export Federation
and Cattlemen’s Beef Board—
addressed broadcast journalists at
the recent National Association of
Farm Broadcasters convention in
Kansas City.
The panelists said that the pro
posal will enable the industry to
spend dollars more efficiently on
programs that directly benefit pro
ducers —instead of on administra
tive overhead or duplication of
effort as 'is' currently the case.
They underscored that, even by
conservative estimates, the pro
posed restructuring would save
cattle producers $2.3 million
annually. “That’s $2.5 million that
can be put into programs to build
demand for beef in a coordinated,
focused, cost-effective approach,”
said panelist Monte Reese, CEO
of the Beef Board.
Committee members explained
that the process leading to the
plan’s development began two
years ago when officers of each of
the four organizations together
embarked in formulating the
industry’s long-range plan. They
stated that much of the motivation
behind the effort came from
increasing competition from pork
and poultry and subsequent
decreasing domestic market share
for beef.
“I don’t believe the beef indus
try can afford to have four of
everything,” said panelist Virgil
Huseman, a cattle producer from
Ellsworth, Kan., and a member of
the task force which developed the
long range plan. “We now have
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four sets of committees, four
boards of directors, four sets of
officers and four different staffs.
The governance structure that we
have forces conflict between the
various organizations—especially
over the use of checkoff dollars.
And the industry desperately
needs to speak with one voice on
issues confronting beef produc
Panelist Robert Foster, a dairy
producer from Middlebury, Vt.,
said that the vast majority of dairy
and veal producers back the plan,
seeing it as a vehicle that will
improve profitability for all seg
ments involved in beef produc
tion. “As a dairy producer, I am
comfortable with the expanded
voice that my industry has had and
will have in the new organiza
tion,” Foster said. “I think we owe
it to the grassroots producer,
whether he or she be a cattleman,
dairyman or a veal grower, to see
that we most effectively, efficient
ly and productively use the dollars
that are contributed either by dues
or checkoff. I firmly believe that a
consolidated structure is the cor
rect move for the beef industry
Foster said that a recent nation
al survey of cattlemen, dairymen
and veal producers, indicated that
68 percent of dairymen support a
consolidated industry organiza
tion structure.
Panelists emphasized that the
oversight committee has given
extensive consideration to legal
issues, separation of dues from
checkoff funds, equitable repre
sentation, appropriate - fees for
membership, and a host of other
details. Checkoff dollars, for
example, cannot be used for lob
bying purposes, and the commit
tee has built appropriate checks
and balances into the proposed
structure to ensure no overlap
between dues and checkoff dollars
Under the proposed structure,
state beef councils will lose none
of their autonomy and authority
for local expenditures of checkoff
dollars; at the same time, they will
gain greater authority over the use
of checkoff dollars at the national
All four of the industry organi
zations have endorsed the concept
of the long-range plan and are par
ticipating in the oversight commit
tee’s implementation of the plan.
The organizations will vote on a
consolidated structure proposal
before January 30.
The oversight committee was
formed to initiate the implementa-
President Addresses Ag’s Future
last annual address as leader of the
state’s leading farm and rural
advocacy group, N.Y. Farm
Bureau President Charles Wille
challenged the state’s fanners to
seek out new agricultural opportu
nities, take advantage of cutting
edge science and technology, work
to protect the rights of private
property owners, and improve
relations with non-farm neighbors.
Wille said that “the growing
regulatory climate, at the state and
local level, with its fines and legal
challenges, is destroying the indus
try it is trying to keep.” He report
ed that Farm Bureau “will have to'
stay vigilant at all levels to protect
our farmers’ interest and property
rights in the years ahead.”
“The fanner of tomorrow
knows full well that knowledge is
the key to future success,” said
Wille. “Farm Bureau can play an
important role in assuring science
to be the farmer’s friend. Research
and the delivery of the research
findings to the farm must receive
ample funding in the years ahead,
if the American farmer is to main
tain a competitive edge in our
world markets.”
The' Farm Bureau president
said that science and technology is
already benefiting agriculture, yet
there is a need to be cautious. As
an example of an advance, he cited
the Global Informational Systems
(CIS), a system which uses satel-
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tion of the Beef Industry Long-
Range Plan and facilitate the
investigation of the consolidated
structure. The oversight commit-
tee consists of three elected offi
cers and the CEO from each of the
four major beef industry organiza
tions (BIC, NCA, MEF and CBB)
plus four at-large members elected
from the Beef Industry Long-
Range Planning Task Force, for a
total of 20 members.
Serving on the Oversight Com
mittee are Rick Allen, Wyo.;
lite imaging to determine crop
yields and fertilizer needs. He
said, “However, this same tech
nique can locate...items which
historically we have considered
private. Farm Bureau is presently
addressing farmers’ rights in
regards to this new system.”
Speaking to farmers, Wille said
that in the years to come, “Neigh
bor relations skills will be essen
tial. The farmer of tomorrow will
have to be a good neighbor.”
Md. Scholarships
man Rodman Myers of the Mary
land State Grange Agriculture
Scholarship committee announced
at the annual Maryland State
Grange agriculture banquet, that
$2,500 was awarded.
Recipients of the Past Masters
Community College scholarships
were Carrie Ann Sellman, of
Owings Mills, Paula Davis of Mid
dletown, Lonette Luther of Damas
cus, Jason Hose, of Williamsport,
Mark Spurrier of Union Bridge,
and Kimberly Milder of Swanton,
Garrett County.
Recipients of the Edward F.
Holier, University of Maryland,
lAA or UMES Scholarships were
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Ralph “Buck” Bell, Jr., S.C.; Bob
Carter, Texas; Ron Curtis, Iowa;
Max Deets, Kan.; Bob Drake,
Okla.; Burton Eller, Colo.; Robert
Foster, Vt.; Mardic Hanson, Colo.;
John Huston, III.; Dan Koons, III.;
Jack Maddux, Neb.; James A.
Mullins, Iowa; Ellard “Butch”
Pfaelzer, 111.; Monte Reese, Colo.;
Phil Seng, Denver, Colo.; Roger
Stuber, N.D.; Jim Webb, Ariz.;
Clark S. Willingham, Texas; and
Dave Wood, Calif.
Wide, who has been president
of the 25,000 member New York
Farm Bureau since December
1985, decided not to seek re-elec
tion. His address also cited the
many accomplishments of the
organization during his tenure,
including the signing of the Agri
cultural Protection Act of 1992
and the recent repeal of the petro
leum business tax on fuels used in
farm production.
Dawn Knill, Woodbine; Laurie
Zimmerman of Frederick; Marie
Speak, Taneytown; Jeffery Reiley,
Woodsboro; Mark lager of Fulton;
and Vemella Mitchell of Cam
bridge. Also present was Greg
Scott of Hurlock, recipient of the
Patapsco Grange lAA scholarship.
Maryland Secretary of Agri
culture Lewis R. Riley was the
guest speaker. Receiving the
Service to Maryland Agriculture
Award was Robert Keenan, who
has been instrumental in the pro
motion of the Ag in the Classroom
Mary Bachtell of Leitersburg
Grange received the Granger of
the Year Award.
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