National Cattlemen's Beef Association President Steve Foglesong addressed nearly 5,000 cattlemen and women Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2011, as he officially kicked off the organization's 2011 convention in Denver. Foglesong advised the attendees to reflect on 2010 successes but focus on possibilities for 2011.
"Your NCBA didn't waver to the critics or this administration's regulatory rollercoaster ride. We buckled down and took them on, which resulted in several wins for U.S. cattlemen. You ladies and gentlemen sat high in the saddle and worked with your NCBA to aggressively defend this industry," said Foglesong. "The success stories go on and on. As you set forth policy positions this week, I am confident the success stories will continue in 2011. We will go do battle again and again with forces that are aligned against us and our commonsense approach will win again"
Foglesong said the Obama administration's "regulatory rollercoaster ride" is unprecedented and has the potential to devastate rural America. However, he is hopeful President Obama will carry through with a thorough regulatory review to rein in the Environmental Protection Agency, the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration and other government agencies from regulating farmers and ranchers out of business. Foglesong said NCBA's pressure on the administration to eliminate burdensome, costly and scientifically unfounded regulations assisted in the President's decision to conduct the review.
"Well, mark my words and write this down – NCBA will join with other agricultural organizations, congressional leaders and government officials to hold the president accountable to this commitment. Say what you mean. Do what you say," said Foglesong.
Foglesong charged the attendees to serve as united front for the industry.
"I call for us to unite and fight for this industry we all love. Leave your egos at the door. Leave your personal agendas in the dirt and join me in standing tall for the U.S. beef industry," said Foglesong. "No more negativity within our own industry. Let's do what we have done since 1898. Let's serve as advocates for this industry in order to sustain it for our grandchildren."