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PRESS RELEASE: Independent Cattlemen of Nebraska (ICON)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 20, 2012
ICON president David Wright, 402-929-0339,
Treasurer, Al Davis, 308-458-2220, or
Communications Director Linda Wuebben, 402-357-3778

ICON Testifies in Support of Nebraska LB 927

Several directors of the Independent Cattlemen of Nebraska (ICON) spent last Tuesday, February 14, in Lincoln testifying in support of LB927 at a hearing in front of the Agriculture Committee.

LB927, sponsored by Senator LeRoy Louden, is a bill which would offer an alternative to the animal ID program currently being considered by the USDA. Louden described the bill as follows: “LB 927 would authorize cattle brands as official identification as prescribed and to provide that cattle brands are official identification for export or import as prescribed. A brand shall be accepted as official identification of cattle for purposes of animal disease traceability.”

Testifying in Lincoln were Dave Wright of Neligh, Chris Abbott of Gordon and Al Davis of Hyannis .

“We believe branding has been an effective tool for a hundred years in identifying cattle and tracking disease,” said Wright. “ICON believes this is a good tool for animal ID and its long history shows how well it has worked.”

ICON supported a bill in 2007 which protected Nebraska farmers and ranchers from being forced to register for the USDA alternative, NAIS or National Animal Identification System. It was successfully passed and one of the first cracks in the newly proposed NAIS program. The USDA did not have success implementing the NAIS program.

The proposed bill LB927 was initially brought to the legislature by ICON directors and since the first of the year, they have been making contact with several senators to make them aware of the newly proposed bill and its advantages by making several trips to Lincoln. ICON lobbyist Jim Pappas has also been working hard at spreading the word and garnering support from state senators.

ICON efforts to spearhead this important piece of legislation for Nebraska ranchers and farmers were supported by Farmers Union and the Livestock Marketing Association (LMA) at the hearing last Tuesday. Several Nebraska ranchers also gave testimony including Richard Strunk of O’Neill.

ICON also received several pieces of written testimony from ranchers in Wyoming , Kansas , Montana and the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association which were submitted at the hearing last week. Farm Bureau and Nebraska Cattlemen remained neutral on the issue and Greg Ibach of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture testified against the proposed LB927.

Independent Cattlemen of Nebraska

"Solid as a windmill. Always working for the independent producer."