U.S. Cattlemen’s “Bully for COOL” fundraiser slated to begin this fall

Farm Forum

USCA – The United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) is pleased to announce a new country of origin labeling (COOL) defense fundraising campaign for the fall of 2013. Building on the momentum and success of USCA’s “COOL in the Country Tour” held during the summer, this fundraising effort is focused on USCA’s continued legal defense of the U.S. country of origin labeling (COOL) law. Together with the National Farmers Union (NFU), the American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) and the Consumers Federation Association (CFA), USCA and its allies have been working throughout the summer to raise funds for the U.S. COOL Defense Fund. The four groups were granted defendant-intervor status in the case on August 19. Through an online campaign via http://www.uscooldefensefun.org and the summer tour, efforts are well underway to meeting the groups’ monetary goal.

“Defending COOL in this lawsuit, which was filed by nine groups on July 8 in the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. is a costly endeavor,” said Jess Peterson, USCA Executive Vice President. “The court’s denial of the plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction was a victory for COOL, for U.S. producers and for consumers. However, plaintiffs in the lawsuit are now appealing the court’s decision denying the preliminary injunction to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, which puts more pressure on our financial resources. As defendant-intervenors in the district court, USCA, NFU, ASI and CFA are permitted to file documents and participate in arguments before the court of appeals. This is crucial as it allows the court of appeals to hear from producers and consumers who support the USDA’s revised regulation and believe it is lawful and consistent with the Constitution. Our counsel is in the process of preparing our response to the appellants’ challenge to the district court’s denial of the preliminary injunction.”

“The defense of COOL is actually a two-pronged effort,” continued Peterson. “Canada has asked for a review of the Department of Agriculture’s revised COOL regulations at the WTO by requesting a compliance panel. This means we are required to devote resources to a defense of COOL in that arena as well.”

During October, Peterson will be on the road, touring the countryside to keep cattle producers and consumers informed on both the domestic anti-COOL lawsuit as well as the WTO challenge. “During the summer tour, cattle producers asked how they could stay involved and support the COOL effort in the months moving forward,” noted Peterson. “That’s why we’re introducing the ‘Bully for COOL’ campaign, which encourages cattle producers and livestock markets to help defend COOL. Multiple roll-over sales took place during the summer tour where ranchers and markets generously donated the proceeds from a yearling or feeder steer to the U.S. COOL Defense Fund. For many producers, the fall run represents an opportunity to donate the proceeds from a cull cow or bull to the fundraising effort. We welcome that concept and will do everything possible to support these individual efforts.”

“Without question, USCA appreciates the commitments we are receiving. Plaintiffs in this lawsuit want to see COOL blocked, terminating U.S. producers’ ability to differentiate their product for consumers and adding to consumer confusion at the meat case.” USCA encourages anyone interested in holding a U.S. COOL Defense Fund event in the coming weeks during the ‘Bully for COOL’ tour to contact Jess Peterson for more information.