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Angus Productions Inc.
Copyright © 2011
Angus Productions Inc.

Working Through the Challenges

by Kindra Gordon for Angus Productions Inc.

DENVER (Feb. 3, 2011) — More than 5,000 cattlemen and women gathered for the second general session of the 2011 Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show in Denver. NCBA President-elect Bill Donald, a cattleman from Montana, set the tone for the session by emphasizing the need for teamwork and being involved. Using the analogy of an old-time wagon train, Donald talked about the importance of each part and player.

Bill Donald

"We may not agree on every issue, but we've got to find common ground," said Bill Donald, who took the reins as president later in the week.


“We’re a diverse outfit," he said. "We cover every segment of the industry, and I don’t apologize to anybody about that … Yeah, we’ve got packers who serve on the board of this outfit. And we’ve got retailers and we have importers and cow-calf guys and stocker guys and feedlot operators. Because that’s what it takes for all of us to be profitable — all of us to be in the same room working on the same issues.”


He added, “We may not agree on every issue, but we’ve got to find common ground.”


Donald then introduced keynote speaker Karl Rove. A former White House advisor and political strategist, Rove shared his concerns for the country — and his desire to see the country return to its core values, which he described as a place “where a man’s word is his bond, character matters, and people dream big.”


Among the litany of challenges facing America, Rove shared his concern with global trade barriers, unemployment, health care reform and the increasing environmental regulations from big government. Rove said government spending is “out of control” — particularly with regard to the proposed health care reform — and is on track to bankrupt the country.


He stated, “Where we are really hurting is for our kids and grandkids, and when they struggle with the debt that we’ve run up on their behalf.”


Rove emphasized that he hopes to see global trade with countries like South Korea and China addressed by the administration. “We need fair rules and a level playing field," he said. "We’ve got to get trade unstuck. With trade we can make the country prosperous by selling things all around the world — including American beef.”


Rove also talked about the need to get the American economy on the upswing.


“We’ve got to do something to get our economy going, and it ain’t what we’ve been doing. The stimulus package did not stimulate the economy,” he stated, noting that today we have 6 million fewer people employed than we did when the stimulus bill was passed.


Regarding health care reform, Rove suggested the administration look at fixing the health care programs that are already in place.


Rove turned his attention to increasing environmental policy and regulations. “We need sound science and people with practical real-world experience working on regulatory policy. You know that,” he told cattlemen in the audience. “If you mishandle your land, you pay for it, and yet that doesn’t sink in in Washington, D.C.”


Looking ahead, Rove said, “We are at a crossroads these next couple years. Do we — the United States — want to be a shining light to the world; a source of big dreams and innovation, or do we want to be a place where dreams are constrained and our vision is cramped?”


He added, “People also have to make a decision if they are going to be part of [the solutions]. I know you want a role and have a voice to shape the future,” he told cattlemen.


Specifically to the beef industry, Rove said, “I encourage your membership to contribute to your PAC. That is a tool to help elect people who understand your problems.”


Secondly, Rove encouraged getting involved, saying, “More important than writing a check, you need to be personally involved.” He shared the example of how people talking to people can help inform, educate and influence public opinion. “That’s what you can do if you get involved and stay involved.”


“Will we prevail? I think so,” Rove said of his desire to turn Washington around and bring back fiscal responsibility. “We need to remember what it is to be an American. We have a responsibility to love our country, serve and put the country in the right direction. You represent those values, and it’s time for all of us to stand up for those values,” he concluded.





Editor’s Note: The above article was written under contract or by staff of Angus Productions Inc. (API). It may not be reprinted without express permission of API. To request reprint permision, contact the editor at 816-383-5200.


www.4cattlemen.com is an event coverage site provided by the editorial team at Angus Productions Inc. (API), publisher of the Angus Journal, the Angus Beef Bulletin, the Angus Beef Bulletin EXTRA and the Angus e-List. For questions about this site, to submit an article for our consideration, or to report a broken link, contact the editor at 816-383-5200; 3201 Frederick Ave., Saint Joseph, MO 64506.


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