R-CALF President Leo McDonnell speaks at Philip Livestock Auction

“R-CALF USA is proof that change does not come easy,” said Leo McDonnell. He will officially end his R-CALF presidency at the annual cattlemen’s meeting during the Denver Stock Show on January 19.

“We’ve been criticized mainly by those who benefit from the United States cattle producers not being organized. Cattlemen, though, have to be pretty good businessmen or they wouldn’t have made it. My wish is for every ranching community to continue to improve the economy of the cattle industry, to improve their lives and have a successful industry. When we benefit, main street of rural America benefits.”

McDonnell said that after his term, “I’ll do what I’ve always done. I have always felt the greatest asset of any organization is an informed member. I have learned that the demand for beef is there; even in the current market, people want to and will eat it. Our production is there, we don’t need to import from BSE infected countries.

“Philip and all of Western South Dakota is where it all started; it’s like home to me. Jerry Roseth is a great supporter of ranchers. Support in these parts is great – from main street businesses, bankers, retailers – they all benefit from a healthy cattle industry. These are the people who care to get out and help. I'd come back every year if someone invited me.”

Philip Livestock Auction had over 5,600 cattle sell Tuesday, with $1.00 going to the checkoff for each one. Roseth estimated that $4 million was generated, if not over, from the day’s auction. The estimated 100 cattlemen in the audience gave a standing ovation to McDonnell and his speech. The members of the audience then bid in a rollover auction on a black Angus steer donated by Mike and Terry Karrels of Terry, MT.