Colorado Independent CattleGrowers drops affiliation with OCM
Colorado Independent CattleGrowers Association announced Aug. 23 that it will no longer be affiliated with the Organization for Competitive Markets because of its association with the Humane Society of the United States.
The decision follows in the wake of the OCM's announcement Aug. 10 that, with the help of lawyers staffed by the HSUS, it was seeking an injunction of the beef checkoff, filing suit against the USDA, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, The Cattlemen's Beef Promotion and Research Board, the Beef Promotion Operating Committee, and the Agricultural Marketing Service.
Amid criticism of the partnership between OCM and HSUS, Mike Callicrate, president of OCM, countered that the two organizations have a lot in common. In an interview with AgriTalk Radio, Aug. 14, Callicrate asserted, "I don't care where they've been, I care where they're going."
CICA, as represented by the Board of Directors, identified the OCM's partnership with HSUS as the crux of the matter. "It is because of HSUS association that we're choosing to drop our affiliation with OCM," said CICA President Gerald Schreiber.
One of the chief reasons CICA has taken a staunch opposition to HSUS is its promotion of Agenda 21, an action plan created through the United Nations that many view as the beginning of the end for private property rights. In 2009, CICA implemented policy stating that it adamantly opposes Agenda 21 because it alienates individuals from owner rights in private property and functions as a collectivist planning document.
Agenda 21 and the historical friction between private livestock producers and the HSUS are the two main grounds CICA cited in the decision to no longer be affiliated with OCM. Speaking in reference to the HSUS, Schreiber emphasized the need for caution as he stated, "Based on the HSUS track record and past history, we don't want to have anything to do with it."