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R-CALF'S EIGHTH ANNUAL CONVENTION COMING UP SOON IN DENVER

Billings, Mont. – R-CALF USA's 8th Annual Convention is slated for January 17-20, 2007, at the DoubleTree Hotel Denver, 3203 Quebec St., in Denver.

“This year, we've expanded the convention by a day so folks can participate in a Property Rights Seminar, scheduled for 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, January 17,” noted R-CALF USA President and Region V Director Chuck Kiker. “R-CALF members voted last spring to create a Property Rights Committee, and I know the speakers lined up for this new event will be making some exceptional presentations.”

Opening ceremonies for the event will start at 8 a.m. MST on Thursday, Jan. 18, and activities will conclude on Saturday, Jan. 20 with the business session where members decide which proposed resolutions will go forward in the spring to the entire membership for a vote. Members who wish to submit policy resolutions can do so by contacting R-CALF USA headquarters immediately. The deadline for presenting policy resolutions during convention is 1 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 19, with the exception of proposed policy related to trade, which has a 5 p.m. deadline that day. Director nominations for Region VII, VIII and IV also will be accepted during the business session.

“Something special this year is that Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns has confirmed that he'll be a featured speaker on Friday morning,” noted Kiker. “There are just so many issues affecting the domestic live-cattle industry that will be coming before Congress next year that we wanted to make certain our members are well-informed when it's time for them to contact their Senators and Representatives to make their voices heard on those important matters.”

Also on hand will be representatives from USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), a number of state veterinarians and other animal-health experts, the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA), USDA's Grain Inspection Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA), USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), the American Shrimp Association, the Australian Beef Association, the Livestock Marketing Association, attorneys from the Stewart and Stewart Law Offices and the Frye Law, each based in Washington, D.C., famed markets analyst Charlie McVean, the United Steelworkers (USW), and many others.

Experts from these agencies and organizations will participate in a number of panel discussions, which include topics from animal identification, to animal health concerns, to Country-of-Origin Labeling, the Beef Checkoff, international trade, market-related items from captive-supply worries, to transparency issues, to economic outlook reports.

“It's also important to note that USDA has agreed to meet with representatives of all 17 brand states during our convention to discuss how to incorporate the use of hot-iron brands into various animal identification programs,” Kiker said.

Of course, a busy Trade Show is tradition at each convention, and this year is no exception. Participants are encouraged to visit with the vendors that have chosen to support our growing organization. Thursday's convention business wraps up with a cowboy social followed by a shuttle ride to watch the rodeo at the historic National Western Stock Show. There is a separate $12 fee for this event, so reserve your seat early. Friday formalities conclude with an early-evening reception, followed by the awards presentation, banquet and entertainment. Saturday winds up with the convention with a business session and closing comments from Kiker.

Convention registration is $60 per person, plus meals, until Jan. 10, 2007. Afterward, registration will be $70 per person, plus meals. To pre-register, contact R-CALF USA Membership Services Director Jenni Ries at 406-252-2516.

The convention will again be held at the DoubleTree Hotel Denver, 3203 Quebec St., just south of Interstate 70. Reduced-rate rooms are available only until Jan. 1, 2007, at $72 plus tax for either single or double occupancy. Call the DoubleTree directly at 303-321-3333 and ask for the R-CALF rate. Upon arrival at the hotel, please stop by R-CALF USA's registration desk to pick up a convention packet.

Credentialed domestic media interested in attending the convention should contact R-CALF USA Communications Coordinator Shae Dodson by phone, at 406-672-8969, or by e-mail, at sdodson@r-calfusa.com.

R-CALF USA (Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund, United Stockgrowers of America) is a national, non-profit organization and is dedicated to ensuring the continued profitability and viability of the U.S. cattle industry. R-CALF USA represents thousands of U.S. cattle producers on both domestic and international trade and marketing issues. Members are located across 47 states and are primarily cow/calf operators, cattle backgrounders, and/or feedlot owners. R-CALF USA has more than 60 affiliate organizations and various main-street businesses are associate members. For more information, visit www.r-calfusa.com or, call 406-252-2516.

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