Northern Plains ranchers lobby for COOL, livestock policy reforms in D.C.

Member-ranchers Steve Charter (Shepherd) and Gilles Stockton (Grass Range) joined ranchers from other Western Organization of Resource Councils (WORC) groups in Wyoming and North Dakota for a livestock “fly-in” earlier this month. Our members had a jam-packed agenda to meet with decision-makers about needed policy reforms. These reforms would prevent multinational agriculture corporations from abusing U.S. laws and manipulating markets to squeeze independent farmers and ranchers out of business. 

Specific strategies included getting additional co-sponsors to support the American Beef Labeling Act (a strong Country-of-Origin Labeling bill) and to communicate with congressional staffers and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on the importance of transformative rulemakings to modernize the 1921 Packers and Stockyards Act.

Our members met with all of the offices for the Montana congressional delegation, talked with our Senators (Sens. Tester and Daines) and Congressmen (Reps. Rosendale and Zinke), met with U.S. House Agriculture Committee minority staff, sat down with White House public outreach staff, and met with USDA personnel. 

Steve and Gilles related personal stories about how meatpackers have significantly impacted their livelihoods and communities, made hard asks at each of their meetings, and pushed the envelope on the urgent need for livestock policy reforms.  

The most important next step is follow up. It is critical our congressional offices hear from their constituents on these issues.

Call U.S. Senator Steve Daines and tell him to co-sponsor the American Beef Labeling Act:
(202) 224-2651

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