Canadian cattle trade urged to resume
(Note: Ah, how apparently short the step from what "legislators" / politicians in "eleven states" in the Midwest want, to what the People LIVING in those eleven states want! Pitiful, isn't it, the way an Election Year can and does turn many politicians into what a Kansan friend of mine is wont to call "presstitutes"? The Midwestern Legislative Conference is the name of this bunch of "legislators". See below the articles for more on this part of a global change agent organization.)
July 15, 2004
Fort Francis Times
P.O. Box 339, 116 First Street East
Fort Frances, Ontario, P9A 3M7
807-274-5373 or 800-465-8508
Fax: 807-274-7286
To submit a Letter to the Editor: (300-word limit)

Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada (CP) - Legislators from 11 states in the U.S. Midwest endorsed a resolution yesterday that the border should be fully
reopened to cattle trade with Canada.

Wayne Elhard, member of the Saskatchewan legislature for Cypress Hills, said he left the Midwestern Legislative Conference in Des Moines, Iowa feeling encouraged.

“The more voices that are lent to the demand to reopen the border, the more likely it is to happen,” said Elhard, who sponsored the resolution.

“At least we've got a resolution on the books that is going to encourage the next administration, whether it’s a Republican or Democratic administration ... to act quickly and responsibly on this issue.”

However, Saskatchewan politicians at the conference acknowledged there are pockets of strong opposition from U.S. border states such as North Dakota.

There also is apprehension among some elected officials about publicly supporting a border opening with the presidential election nearing.

Len Taylor, Saskatchewan’s government relations minister, said the resolution from the state level won't have any direct clout with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, where the decision will be made, but it could spark debate that spills over into federal communication.

“I do think it’s important that U.S. politicians, whether they're federal or state, are talking about the issue and are raising it in political circles,” said Taylor.

It’s cold comfort to Canadian ranchers gripped by anxiety that there won't be a market for this fall’s large calf crop.

Brian Ross, head of the Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association, said spirits among cow-calf producers are at the lowest point since the discovery of mad cow disease led to the trade restrictions more than a year ago.

“It’s really getting discouraging at this point,” Ross said from his ranch near Estevan, Saskatchewan. “There’s last year’s calf crop out there yet and then the new 2004 calf crop is on the ground.

“It could be a very tough fall marketing feeder cattle,” he warned.
Copyright 2004 Fort Francis Times.
Related article / slightly different information:
Midwest states want border opened for cattle, beef


July 15, 2004

CBC Canada

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

1-866-306-4636 or 416-205-3700

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Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada - A group of U.S. Midwest state legislators has passed a resolution calling for the reopening of the border to Canadian cattle and beef.

The Midwestern Legislative Conference passed the resolution this week. The group is made up of legislatures from the 11 Midwest states -- including large urban states, such as Illinois, and small rural states such as the Dakotas.


Every year, members of the state legislatures get together to discuss common concerns and, every year, a delegation of Canadian legislators attends.


For a couple of years now, the Canadians have been promoting a resolution calling on Washington to reopen the border to Canadian cattle and beef.


Wayne Elhard, Saskatchewan Party MLA for Cypress Hills, says the strongly worded resolution has a lot of symbolic importance.


"The resolution itself doesn't have a time frame attached to it," Elhard says. "So it's kind of open-ended in that respect. But the fact we have policymakers looking at the importance of getting the beef trade underway again is pretty significant."


Elhard says much of the support for reopening the border comes from states such as Illinois and Ohio, where large urban blocks of voters are facing rising beef prices.


He says the farm states, such as the Dakotas, came onside because the closed border is beginning to affect the feedlot industry. Other states, such as Nebraska, are concerned about how the border closure is affecting the packing industry.


However, Elhard says, he doesn't want to raise false hopes. He says, with a U.S. election coming this fall, he doubts [he will] see the border open to Canadian beef before the end of November.
Copyright 2004 CBC
Additional researched information:
The Midwestern Legislative Conference, The Council of State Governments Midwestern Office
CSG Midwestern Office
641 East Butterfield Road, Suite 401
Lombard, Illinois  60148-5651
Fax: 630-810-0145
For a copy of current MLC resolutions: (Ilene Grossman)
The following is VERY IMPORTANT to all American beef producers: every single word of this two-page .pdf "Resolution for Rapid Reintegration of the North American Beef Industry"
58th Annual Meeting of the of the [note: this is the way it is spelled at the originating URL/website, with 'of the' repeated twice] Midwestern Legislative Conference of The Council of State Governments 
August 24-27, 2003 
Hyatt Regency Hotel 
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 
Resolution for Rapid Reintegration of the North American Beef Industry 
WHEREAS, the U.S. and Canadian Beef Industry has a long history of integration in both the production and processing of beef; and 
WHEREAS, the normal trade relationship of the North American Beef Industry has been interrupted by the discovery of one case of BSE in Alberta, Canada; and 
WHEREAS, as a result of this discovery, the trade of all Canadian beef products between the U.S. and Canada was halted; and 
WHEREAS, the Canadian federal government in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture successfully conducted an exhaustive program to trace the origins and risk factors associated with this discovery; and 
WHEREAS, the support of the American Beef Industry, the leadership shown by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and State Departments of Agriculture, working together with Canadian interests has led to a recent announcement by the U.S. Federal Government that the border will open to trade of selected beef products with Canada; and 
WHEREAS, international guidelines for addressing and resolving BSE incidents were not designed for a closely integrated market such as exists within the North American Beef Industry; now therefore be it 
RESOLVED, the Midwestern Legislative Conference recognizes the importance of maintaining an integrated North American Beef Industry; and be it further 
RESOLVED, that the Midwestern Legislative Conference urges the U.S. and Canadian federal governments to develop a responsible timetable to expedite the re-opening of a fully integrated North American Beef Industry; and be it further 
RESOLVED, that the Midwestern Legislative Conference urges the federal governments of the U.S. and Canada to engage their international counterparts to review and more fully develop science-based international guidelines for re-opening borders following a phytosanitary incident. 

The members of the Midwestern Legislative Conference include the legislatures of the 11 Midwestern states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin.  MLC affiliate members include the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Saskatchewan.

All state legislators and provincial parliamentarians representing these states and provinces are entitled to participate in MLC activities and receive MLC products and service.

For more information, contact:
Mike McCabe

Mission Statement:

The Council of State Governments (CSG) was founded in 1933 with the sole purpose of pursuing excellence in state government.  As the only nonpartisan, nonprofit association representing all three branches of government [executive, legislative and judicial], we are committed to helping put the best ideas and solutions into practice.

The mission of The Council of State Governments’ Midwestern Office is to focus on those issues of greatest interest to policymakers in our nation’s heartland – providing state leaders with the resources and tools they need to effectively address today’s public policy challenges.  To that end, we provide our members with:

  • Access to information and research
  • Opportunities for networking and exchanging innovative ideas
  • Leadership training

CSG Midwest supports the efforts of state legislators and their staff through the Midwestern legislative Conference (MLC), a regional association of state legislators in 11 states – Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin.  The Canadian provinces of Ontario and Saskatchewan are affiliate members of the Midwestern Legislative Conference.

We also provide services to the region’s governors and their staff through the Midwestern Governors Association (MGA).  Governors in 13 states:  Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota,  Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin -- are members of the MGA.

For more information, contact Laura A. Tomako