R-CALF United Stockgrowers of America
For Immediate Release: Contact: R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard
September 19, 2012 Phone: 406-252-2516; firstname.lastname@example.org
Industry Checkoff Group Maliciously Bans R-CALF USA from Meeting with USDA; R-CALF USA Fights Back
Billings, MT – On Sept. 24, 2012, the Beef Checkoff Industry Input Group (Industry Checkoff Group) is holding a meeting in Denver, Colo., to discuss ways to enhance the Beef Checkoff Program and partake in an informational presentation by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) Marketing Specialist Craig Shackelford. R-CALF USA has been an active participant in the Industry Checkoff Group since its inception. However, a concerted effort is underway to oust R-CALF USA from the upcoming meeting.
On Sept. 17, 2012, eight members of the Industry Checkoff Group: National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, U.S. Cattlemen’s Association, Meat Importers Council of America, American National CattleWomen, American Farm Bureau Federation, Livestock Marketing Association, National Livestock Producers, and National Farmers Union sent a joint letter to R-CALF USA stating that no R-CALF USA representative may attend the upcoming meeting.
In their letter, the eight members of the Industry Checkoff Group falsely accused R-CALF USA of stating in a recent letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack that if Vilsack did not comply with the group’s letter, “[R-CALF] will consider joining the lawsuit (the Mike Callicrate v. USDA et al. lawsuit).”
But, the quote the Industry Checkoff Group assigned to R-CALF USA is nowhere to be found in R-CALF USA’s letter to Vilsack.
“The joint letter falsely and maliciously accuses R-CALF USA of making a statement R-CALF USA did not make, and then used that false statement as their basis for attempting to ban R-CALF USA from meeting with USDA. It doesn’t get any more corrupt than that,” said R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard.
Today, R-CALF USA fought back with its own letter, sharply accusing the eight members of the Industry Checkoff Group of engaging in the unethical, fraudulent, and libelous act of maliciously fabricating a quote that R-CALF USA did not make.
The letter states, “This is not a matter of misinterpreting R-CALF USA’s letter to Secretary Vilsack. You have committed fraud and libel by willfully and maliciously fabricating, and then assigning to R-CALF USA, a damaging and inflammatory quote that R-CALF USA did not make. You then maliciously used that fictitious quote as your basis for banning R-CALF USA from participating in the upcoming Sept. 24, 2012 meeting.”
The letter further states, “Your letter (from the Checkoff Industry Group) does not even reach the level of child’s play. Your action of willfully fabricating a statement, and then maliciously assigning that false statement to R-CALF USA as a direct quote, is so unethical and unprofessional as to be criminal.”
The group’s letter also points out that R-CALF USA, three state Farmers Union groups, and 25 additional farm and cattle groups, representing untold thousands of Beef Checkoff Program contributors, sent on Aug. 4, 2010 a joint letter to USDA, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the Office of Inspector General that made the same request R-CALF USA made in its more recent letter to Vilsack – the request for the immediate suspension of the Beef Checkoff Program contracts between the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) and the Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB).
“R-CALF USA is the only member of the Beef Checkoff Industry Input Group that continually represents the long-stated positions of those untold thousands of Beef Checkoff Program contributors and your sinister attempt to ban R-CALF USA from the upcoming, Sept. 24, 2012 meeting likely is an effort to shut-out a significant segment of the industry that simply has a different opinion than yours,” the group wrote.
R-CALF USA is standing its ground stating “R-CALF USA considers the purported vote to ban R-CALF USA from the upcoming Sept. 24, 2012 Beef Checkoff Industry Input Group meeting to be null and void because it was clearly based on a malicious and fraudulent misrepresentation of R-CALF USA’s position. A representative of R-CALF USA will participate in the Sept. 24, 2012 meeting of the Beef Checkoff Industry Input Group.”
The group’s letter concludes: “In the meantime, we respectfully suggest that you identify the corrupt author of your Sept. 17, 2012 joint letter and immediately secure his or her resignation so that the Beef Checkoff Industry Input Group can begin to restore its severely damaged professionalism and integrity.”
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