|National Cattlemen’s Beef Assn. (NCBA) president Bill Donald, in addressing the closing session of the Cattle Industry Summer Conference yesterday, noted that the last 12 months of disruptive relations between the Cattlemen’s Beef Board and NCBA “have been a pretty rocky time.”
He said those rocks have been thrown by a number of organizations that have sought to drive apart a long and successful “partnership” between the Beef Board and NCBA, and “we have remained silent through all of the false allegations” about NCBA’s checkoff-funded work to build beef demand so as not to interrupt constructive efforts by the board to restore its relationship with NCBA.
“There are those who don’t want us to have that partnership,” Donald said, “and to those people, I say ‘tough toe nails.’ We’ve renewed that partnership. We recognize the Cattlemen’s Beef Board, and we recognize that beef producers across the U.S. deserve and want that partnership.”
As for the rocks, Donald said “we’re not putting up with that crap anymore.”
He suggested that those groups that continue to make allegations about NCBA may be considered as slandering the organization and sued. “We are going to stand up for ourselves,” he said.
Donald’s comments were directed at groups that took advantage of a split in Beef Board leadership over NCBA’s role as the board’s primary contractor to hurl charges that NCBA was inappropriately allocating and misusing checkoff funds, charges that the Beef Board, under new leadership at the conference this week, said were not true.
The board and NCBA reached out to each other this week to re-establish the partnership that Donald outlined.
The board’s interim chief executive officer Polly Ruhland and NCBA’s CEO Forrest L. Roberts carried on that theme in earlier remarks to their board’s meetings.
Ruhland told her board members that they were “blessed” because “you are here for a purpose: to lead — to envision our needs and make them happen.”
The beef checkoff, which the board manages, has made “monumental accomplishments” in building beef demand and producer viability, she said, because of its partnerships with NCBA and other contractors that have “kept us in the game every day, a growing game, a competitive game.”
Roberts said by working together, state beef councils through NCBA’s Federation of State Beef Councils and the Beef Board can achieve “ground-breaking initiatives” to build beef demand and create other opportunities for producers.
“We have recommitted to our partnership this week,” he said, with a goal to convince more people to eat beef more often, “and I like out odds.”
The summer meeting was Aug. 2-4 in Orlando, Fla.