Tim Albion, Mayor of Wright opened both days of the ICOW convention, November 11 & 12th, 2011, held at the brand new Wright Hotel and Open Range Steakhouse. His message to get involved in government fit with the conference theme, “Wilderness in the West”. It was considered by the 70 plus people in attendance to be the best ICOW conference, yet, as everyone enjoyed the facilities and speakers.
Friday’s speakers were Jeff Hymas, John Birch Society, and Dr. Michael Coffman, Executive Director of Sovereignty International, a world-wide speaker on the environmental agenda who has been on the forefront of the battle to stop the “Wildlands” project in the United States. He urged ICOW members to know the U.S. Constitution and get involved in county government.
Saturday’s speakers were GB Oliver, Executive Vice President of The Paragon, (known for the Cowboy Way magazine), Bill Bullard, CEO of R-CALF USA, David Wright, of the Independent Cattlemen of Nebraska and a Cattlemen’s Beef Board member, Bill Bensel, Agricultural Staff for Powder River Basin Resource Council, Dr. Eric Barlow, Wyoming Livestock Board President and a founding director for ICOW.
There was great concern over the UDSA Animal Disease Traceability rules that are open for comment, the lack of true competition in the marketplace with packer concentration, corruption in the Beef Checkoff program, and loss of private property rights through wilderness designations, the endangered species act, wet-lands, and other unconstitutional takings.
ICOW member committees formed to write and introduce new resolutions on property rights, constitutional rights, holding government accountable to the people, Animal Disease Traceability Rules, and marketing. All resolutions that passed and nominations for directors will be placed on mail-in ballots and sent to ICOW members, making ICOW a member driven, grassroots organization that sets policy from the members up to the board of directors.