To: R-CALF USA Members, Affiliates, and Friends
From: Bill Bullard, CEO
Date: July 29, 2013
Subject: Heads Up on COOL Scam
Last week R-CALF USA was alerted to the fact that former R-CALF USA lobbyist Jess Peterson is personally and aggressively soliciting money and assistance from R-CALF USA members and R-CALF USA affiliates. According to the members and affiliates solicited, Jess Peterson tried to persuade them to support his new organization – U.S. Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) – and fund an expensive legal action, supposedly to defend country of origin labeling (COOL).
Importantly, the R-CALF USA members and affiliates solicited by Jess Peterson are not members of USCA, and have chosen not to be members of USCA.
What Jess Peterson is doing is fundamentally dishonest and shows a complete lack of integrity, ethics, and honor. He is attempting to coerce R-CALF USA members and affiliates to switch their support from R-CALF USA to USCA by deceptively claiming that USCA is leading the industry in defense of COOL.
USCA does not have enough members to be a viable voice for the U.S. cattle industry and so it operates by trying to siphon-off R-CALF USA’s resources and infrastructure, including R-CALF USA’s members, affiliates and member auction yards. The effect of USCA’s actions is an overall weakening of the voice of independent producers.
Like a termite, Jess Peterson is trying to undermine R-CALF USA’s ability to continue defending COOL and is working secretly and deceptively to deflect R-CALF USA’s members’ contributions and support away from R-CALF USA and toward USCA.
This is exactly the kind of shameless conduct exhibited by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) and the other packer-aligned trade associations that continually run roughshod over the interests of independent farmers and ranchers to satisfy their own self-interests.
R-CALF USA has long suspected that Jess Peterson was wrongfully using R-CALF USA’s membership lists and contact lists to undermine R-CALF USA. Our suspicions have now been substantiated and we can either remain silent and allow Jess Peterson to continue his unethical quest to weaken R-CALF USA or we can stand up and inform our membership of what Jess Peterson is doing.
As evidenced by this alert, R-CALF USA President George Chambers; COOL Committee Chair Mike Schultz; and me, your CEO, have chosen the latter course of action.
R-CALF USA is very concerned that USCA will try to compromise COOL, just as it attempted to compromise R-CALF USA’s BSE position, R-CALF USA’s animal identification position, and R-CALF USA’s checkoff position (recall that USCA barred R-CALF USA’s Checkoff Committee Chair, the late Joel Gill, from participating in an industry-wide beef checkoff meeting).
If USCA joins in this COOL lawsuit, it is all the more important that R-CALF USA become a full party to the lawsuit to ensure that its members’ interests are not traded away.
R-CALF USA is planning to file a motion to intervene in the lawsuit filed July 8, 2013, against COOL by the NCBA, the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association and numerous other packer-led groups.
R-CALF USA’s COOL Committee is currently in discussions with attorneys and other like-minded groups to get this done. The NCBA and the packers amended their COOL lawsuit on July 23, 2013 to add the Mexican cattle association to their list of plaintiffs. Therefore, we now have 60 days from July 23 to file our motion for intervention.
As soon as our plans are completely finalized, we will inform you of those plans and we will then need to ask you for some financial help so we can be successful in defending our hard-won COOL law.
R-CALF USA hopes you will not be tricked into supporting Jess Peterson’s underhanded effort. R-CALF USA will continue defending COOL as aggressively as we have during the past decade and without deviation from the COOL membership policies that you voted into place.
To see a few recent articles by major media sources that recognize R-CALF USA as the cattle industry’s lead defender of COOL since the law was first passed in 2002, please go to:
Drovers CattleNetwork (July 19, 2013):
Tri State Livestock News (July 16, 2013):
Capital Press (July 11, 2013):
Drovers CattleNetwork (July 10, 2013):
Thank you for your continuing support of R-CALF USA.