Land And Water U.S.A.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017


From: Roni Bell Sylvester
Sent: Tuesday, April 4, 2017 1:28 PM
To:;;; 'Perry Buck';;;;;;;;;
Subject: Colorado Ag Committee, regarding: HB 17-1234

Dear Colorado House Agriculture Committee,

We appreciate your listening to the testimonies on HB 17-1234, Beef Country of Origin Retail Placard. 

Chuck Sylvester and I would like to thank Representatives Lori Saine, Perry Buck, Jon Becker, Hugh McKean, Steve Lebsock and Kimmi Lewis, for supporting HB 17-1234. 
To opposition Representatives Jessie Danielson, Daneya Esgar, Chris Hansen, Yeulin Willett, Donald Valdez, Jeni James Arndt and Diane Mitsch Bush, we offer the following:  

HB 17-1234 was a solid consumer bill, deserving to be passed out of committee. 

4/3/17: In a visit with Danny Williams, Colorado Cattlemen's Association (CCA) Lobbyist, I said, *"I'm not even sure why I'm here. Knowing CCA and National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) have likely predetermined its death, because CCA and NCBA do not represent Cow Calf Producers." 
He answered, "They represent cattlemen!"
I answered, "They do not represent Cow Calf Producers." 
He repeated, "They represent cattlemen."
Repeat until he walked off.  
Representatives, please know that you've been taught - over many years - that the NCBA et al represent ALL in the cattle industry. This is wholly inaccurate. They do NOT represent Cow-Calf Producers
4/3/17: I visited with Don Shawcroft, President of Colorado Farm Bureau (CFB), as Emily Ibach, Director of Public Policy, State Affairs listened. Basically I repeated the same adding, "Those testifying in support of HB 17-1234 are here as volunteers. Those opposing are PAID. That is their work!" 
Don answered, "The cattlemen are paid."
I answered, "Are you talking about the Cow-Calf Producers, for they are not paid," adding something along the line of, "It's just like the water situation Don. The lower end steals our water, then makes enough money off our property to retain attorneys and lobbyists to fight us, so they can make more money. The NCBA makes enough money off Cow-Calf Producers to hire attorneys and lobbyists to fight us. I would bet all the Cow-Calf Producers testifying support, are here on their own time/dime. And it's expensive! Their down time losses are likely equal (or more) to what you - and the other opposers are paid."  
CFB proved yesterday that they too, do not represent Cow-Calf Producers. 
By now you're probably asking why such as the CFB, CCA and NCBA do not support Cow-Calf Producers.  
Here are some vetted reasons we'd appreciate you to be hereon cognizant of: 
They know that Cow-Calf Producers on Federal land (aka Allotment Owners) own "valid-existing property rights" - on Federal Land. Whichever entity - China, Federal Reserve et al - Federal gets loans from, require "unencumbered colladeratization." Allotment Owners are "encumbrances" Federal must remove. Now you know "why" the breathless moves to make "wild/free/most precious jewel/last great place/energy hubs for alternative energy, climate change, species (such as sage grouse) designations,  and conservation easements." 
In addition to the before-mentioned, they and their NGO partners (including the Nature Conservancy), also have a membership web that deals in Water; for the same entities that oppose any Water bill that would return authority to Water Engineers administration in prior appropriation, also opposed the Equal Protection bill and HB 17-1234.
NCBA/USDA ought never, ever, ever bring up animal I.D. again! 

Why? 4/3/17: Opposition to the beef placard claimed: "Cost - will get sued - implementation - extra paperwork - traceability (they contradicted themselves) - and again...cost." Basically, they killed their past any future arguments for Animal I.D.

Trying to "mandate" government enforcement of animal I.D. on Cow/Calf Producers will no longer work. 

Here's why: They made the argument that having a beef placard would NOT add value! Their duplicity lies in their argument that Cow/Calf Producer I.D.'ing their animals "would" add value; but a "placard" would not?

It's my take (many agree) that the only reason NCBA has been trying to cram animal I.D. down the throats of Cow/Calf Producers, is to provide "geographical indicators" in compliance with EU and other trade alliances. Foreign markets that demand born and raised in the U.S.A. beef, want verification that the beef exported to them is in fact "born and raised in the U.S.A. In other words, Japan knows where their beef comes from, but Americans don't. And the USDA assists in the coverup! 

NCBA enjoys profits on foreign export demand, and profits on importing cheap beef to U.S. 
They think nothing of putting costs on Cow/Calf Producers, who are price receivers with marginal profits. 
Contrarily the NCBA wails and rips at its clothes over a simple placard that (for example) Chuck Sylvester alone, would be happy to buy (Vistaprint really does work.) for them. 
So yes. I repeat. I was amused by HB 17-1234 opposers claims that "placard wouldn't add value," while thinking about USDA's argument, "Yeh! Animal I.D. will "add value." Good grief. Even this non-cattle lay person spotted the duplicity.
As we already knew, yesterday's testimonies verified that the NCBA, CCA and CFB do NOT represent "Cow/Calf Producers!" 
They clearly manifested the U.S. Cattle Industry diagram Chuck Sylvester developed 11 years ago. 
Hereon, we will be urging groups including R-Calf, US Cattlemen's, RAO, Rocky Mountain Union and affiliates, to work together, and build a dynamic support team that will represent and protect "valid-existing rights" of  Cow/Calf Producers, Allotment Owners and Water rights owners. 
Thank you,

Charles W. and Ronita M. Sylvester 

PS: When the CCA went into the conservation easement business, Chuck ended his longtime membership with them. We still belong to NCBA - to do research and try building bridges, and as of now, we'll drop our CFB membership and join the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union. We'll also inform voters which representatives represent consumers, and which don't. 

Roni Bell Sylvester
(970) 284-6874

*Disclaimer: Everything in quotes is paraphrased.

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