I have no problem debating with the NFU over whether or not the Competition Bureau should approve the sale of Lakeside to XL. I definitely have my opinions on it and so does the NFU but boy have they wore out their welcome by spending collaborative time with R-Calf. From the moment that the story broke last week the fire is burning under their feet as farmers and the media want answers as to why they would even be talking to the Canadian cattleman’s number one enemy. As a result ever since Kevin Hursh of Hursh Communications wrote about the meeting the NFU has been trying the separate itself from R-Calf.
The NFU, they said Thursday, “it is not working with the U.S. cattle organization R-CALF, we have no plans to do so in the future, and we have no agreements to collaborate with R-CALF on any initiative.”
The CCA released a statement yesterday saying “the two groups deserve each other.”
My personal opinion is that finally the NFU has done something to show just how radical and ridiculous it is willing to be to accomplish its goals. I think that it is fine to debate over issues like the Canadian Wheat Board, GMO vs non-GMO and whether or not there should be captive cattle but this latest stunt has a lot of people wondering where the NFU’s interests really lie. R-Calf’s mission has been to close the US border to Canadian beef and has willingly drug the Canadian beef product through the mud for a decade. You cannot attend a meeting with the most radical agricultural group in North America (R-Calf) and then afterwards say you have nothing in common. The funny part is that two NFU Board members were quoted at the conference basically celebrating the collaborative efforts of the two groups and about how much they have in common.
If the NFU had any hope of getting the Canadian cattle sector on board with its challenge to the Lakeside sale it has been evaporated whether they were going to work more closely with R-Calf or not. It appears that for once in the NFU’s history they are having a hard time spinning the story and have weakened their position with Canadian farmers and cattleman forever.