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									      Contact:            Joe Snyder             303-850-3349                      jsnyder@beef.org


   Cattlemen Urged to Seize Opportunities as
              Convention Opens

01/29/2003
NASHVILLE (January 29, 2003) – Cattlemen were urged to take advantage of current
opportunities to increase demand for beef and profitability for beef producers today at
the Opening General Session of the Cattle Industry Annual Convention & Trade Show.

Opportunities are presenting themselves like never before both politically and in the
market place, conventioneers were told by a series of speakers at the session,
sponsored by Fort Dodge Animal Health.

On the political side, keynote speaker Hugh Sidey, a White House correspondent who
has covered 10 U.S. presidents, said producers have strong allies in key positions in
Congress, as well as within the Bush Administration. He praised President Bush as
decisive, decent and loyal, and said he is a leader who understands the needs of
cattlemen and considers rural people a crucial part of the national character. “I’ve
always considered him one of you,” Sidey said.

While the Republican Party barely controls a majority in Congress, that majority still
enables the Administration to pursue opportunities to boost business and trade, said
Chandler Keys, vice president of Government Affairs for the National Cattlemen’s Beef
Association (NCBA). “The cattle industry is closer to this Administration than any other
in the past 100 years,” Keys said. He added that the White House calls NCBA’s policy
office in Washington, D.C. daily and “have our view points at heart.” If properly united,
the industry can take advantage of this, he said.

NCBA President Wythe Willey, an Iowa cattleman, told the estimated 2,400 people in
attendance that while the cattle market could be better, it would have been worse
without the beef checkoff, which he said has probably “added $100 to the price of every
steer going to market.” The American dream is alive and well in the cattle industry, he
said.

Dee Lacey, a California producer who chairs the Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB),
pointed out that the majority of beef producers support the $1-per-head checkoff,
although there is a need to better inform them about some of the critical programs
funded by the checkoff.

Part of the session was conducted by NCBA Chief Executive Officer Terry Stokes as a
“town hall meeting,” similar to those being hosted throughout the country by state beef
organizations and NCBA. Taking questions from the audience, Stokes emphasized that
NCBA is cattleman-controlled and industry-inclusive. “Our commitment is to all
cattlemen across the U.S.,” he said, “and we have to speak with one voice to make a
difference.” He urged cattlemen to take advantage of the convention to participate in
helping shape policies and programs that will be critical to the future of the industry.

Also from NCBA were Assistant Director of Beef Safety Michelle Rossman discussing
strides the industry has made in E. coli 0157:H7 prevention, Executive Director of
Nutrition Mary K. Young telling of the industry’s work in promoting beef as a nutritional
part of a healthy diet, and Executive Director of Product Marketing Carl Blackwell, who
brought the convention up-to-date on new product efforts.

CBB Chief Operating Officer Monte Reese told cattlemen, “Consumers are coming back
to beef because of what you are doing with checkoff programs,” and said convention
participants have a “golden opportunity” to make the self-help checkoff even better.

The crowd also heard from Florida producer and CBB Vice Chairman Andy Tucker, as
well as Idaho producer and NCBA President-Elect Eric Davis. “We’re here this week for
a reason: to set policies and priority programs,” said Davis. “You have an opportunity to
be a part of it – don’t waste it.”

The Cattle Industry Annual Convention & Trade Show runs from Jan. 29 through Feb. 1
at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville.

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