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I-BAND holds annual meeting

JSSP Ag News
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On Nov. 15-16, the Independent Beef Association of North Dakota (I-BAND) held its 14th annual meeting at the Ramada Wyndam in Bismarck. Dozens of cattle producers from across North Dakota and surrounding states participated in a diverse schedule of activities during the two-day event.

This was one of our most successful and well-attended annual meetings,” said Dwight Keller, I-BAND president. “A great deal of valuable information was exchanged on a diverse set of topics and issues and we had the opportunity to interact with one of our federal policymakers as well. We received excellent input from members present and we will be acting on their directives.”

On Nov. 15, a resolutions session was held during which stakeholders drafted and advanced a number of policy resolutions for I-BAND members to consider and vote upon.

The Nov. 16 session involved presentations from speakers including Vaughn Meyer (beef checkoff); Corbitt Wall (markets); Dr. Susan Keller (animal health and animal identification issues); and Leesa Zalesky (industry issues and the press). Zalesky received recognition during the evening banquet for the work she has done for the livestock industry over the years.

“We are thankful that U.S. Sen. John Hoeven spent nearly an hour during the afternoon listening and responding to producer concerns,” Keller said. “I believe Senator Hoeven learned how important reinstating mandatory country of origin labeling is to I-BAND members. "

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He said producers voiced their concerns to him about USMCA along with their desire that COOL be included in all international trade agreements.

I-BAND members also questioned Hoeven about Brazilian meatpacker JBS receiving $62 million in federal money since mid-January under the Trump administration’s ag bailout program related to trade issues with China. JBS has secured multiple contracts for federal pork purchases since the beginning of the year, constituting more than 28 million pounds of pork. Hoeven promised to look into this issue.

Brian O’Shaughnessy, vice chairman of the Coalition for a Prosperous America, served as the keynote speaker for the annual banquet. O’Shaughnessy, the principal owner of Revere Copper Products Inc., is a widely recognized expert on international trade issues and currency manipulation and how they impact domestic production of anything grown or manufactured in the U.S. O’Shaughnessy also spoke about how other countries devalue their currency to benefit themselves in the international trade arena. CPA is a nonpartisan coalition of farmers, ranchers, domestic manufacturing and organized labor focused on making international trade work for its members.

I-BAND members will receive resolution packets and ballots within the next two weeks along with ballots to vote for I-BAND directors. Ballots must be returned and counted within 45 days of the annual meeting. Resolutions will also be available for review on the I-BAND website at i-band.org .

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