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Old Dec 13th 2012, 07:54 PM   #1
  Nov 2012
  Ayr, NE
Cervid Industry Leaders Workgroup

CWD Issues and Governmental Challenges

Conference Call Minutes

Thursday, December 13, 2012


Call In Number: 605-475-4700

Access Code: 835295#

1. Call Meeting To Order by moderator Eric Mohlman. Time: 7:04pm CST

2. Roll Call

Andrew Azcarraga Vice-President Colorado Elk Breeders Assoc.

Debbie Erwin Director of Operations Deer Breeders COOP

Charly Seale Executive Director Exotic Wildlife Association

Jerrilee Cave, DVM Director Indiana Deer & Elk Farmers

Dan Lonneman Producer Iowa Elk Producer

Rhonda Brakke Producer Iowa Whitetail Producer

Richard Garrels President Iowa Elk Breeders Association

Todd Landt President Iowa Whitetail Deer Breeders

Travis Lowe President Kansas Cervid Breeders

Gary Olson Director Minnesota Deer Breeders

Brenda Hartkopf Executive Secretary Minnesota Elk Breeders

Brain Wagner Director Minnesota Elk Breeders

Kevin Hinkebein Director Missouri Elk Farmers

Bill Pittenger President MO WT Breeders & Hunting Ranch Assoc.

Shawn Schafer Executive Director North American Deer Farmers

Ray Burdett President North American Deer Farmers

Kim Kafka President North American Elk Breeders

Josh Lundberg Vice-President North American Elk Breeders

Eric Mohlman Executive Director North American Elk Breeders

Chad Lawler Director North Dakota Elk Growers

Glen Dice Vice-President Pennsylvania Deer Breeders

Larry Pittenger Director Pennsylvania Deer Breeders

Kelly Pittenger Executive Secretary Pennsylvania Deer Breeders

Bob Burry Treasurer Pennsylvania Elk Breeders

Mark Cobb Vice-President West Virginia Deer Association

Skip West Director Whitetails of Oklahoma

Laurie Seale President Whitetails of Wisconsin

Shannon Thiex Vice-President Whitetails of Wisconsin

Keith Warren

David Smith, Attorney at Law

3. Formation of American Cervid Alliance- the industry leadership council

• Over the last month we have had great participation from associations across the entire country. We have received countless phone calls from people offering help, information, donations, and questions about where we go from here.

• We have privately been referring to this cervid leaders group as the American Cervid Alliance.

• We would like to get all the associations on this call to pledge support for the ACA or if they need to go back to their Board of Director and get a vote of support that they do so.

• ACA should be everyone on this call, we would like this leadership council to consist of all 32 elk, deer, and exotic associations and we are adding new ones every week.

• We have started the process to create a 501c organization in the name the American Cervid Alliance. This is not a subsidiary of NAEBA, NADeFA, or EWA. It’s not a new association- it is a leadership council of all these associations where the leaders of your respective association can come to the table with an equal voice.

• All funds and transactions of this 501c will be transparent and everyone will have a say on how the money is spent.

• This group will examine the various battles, discuss the options and collectively decide which route to take.

• We have been asked by several associations and individuals where funds can be sent, we have a mailing address in Nebraska. The mailing address will be sent out to the group ASAP along with the minutes of this call. We will also be posting a release on & along with any other relevant place to inform the cervid industry as to that the ACA is about and trying to accomplish.

• We want to list the call participants as part of the ACA. If any association wishes to be removed from the list, please let us know now.

• We have already started a list of fundraising donations we have received but do we have any questions about the ACA before we get to that?

Eric Mohlman asked for a vote or comment of any association that was not willing to participate in the ACA. No one stated any opposition.

4. Federal options-

• Everyone should have been receiving the updates from the USDA working group with Dr. Klein. Shawn, Charly and I have been on there. We have made some progress but there are a few things we can’t change as noted in the first update

• We have an attorney that with experience in this area – David Smith. David Smith stated options of logistics of how a federal suit would work in the event the industry is not satisfied with the product of the standards. Federal court does move a little faster perhaps a year.

• There was discussion of what items the industry could not live with. For example, some Wildlife officials seek 10 ft fence requirements for whitetail breeders.

5. Fundraising

• We have been approached by numerous people wanting to donate funds, auction items, and even people wanting to host benefit auctions in the name of this cause.

• Last week the NAEBA directors voted to send $5,000 to the ACA. The EWA is planning to match the donation as well.

• Our list of committed donations has already reached six figures.

• We are truly seeing this industry come together.

• Charly Seale gave an update that there were a couple auction houses in either accepting donations for already planned auction or having a stand alone fundraising auction to benefit the ACA

6. Iowa battle options

• As you see from the Iowa update by Rhonda Brakke, they have been forced to move forward with legal action. As we stated on the last call, this was the final resort.

• The Iowa DNR wants the Brakke’s to depopulate their 500 remaining whitetails without compensation. The Brakke’s need this industry and alliance to stand behind them.

• Butcher value for whitetails is not acceptable as compensations.

• Charly has worked with people to find two reputable epidemiologists. He has found one in Texas and one in Georgia. Both of the individuals come highly recommended and Charly has begun conversations with them to start the process.

• There were comments from several state leaders asserting the need for the industry to come together behind the Iowa battle, to make an example of this for other states to see.

7. PA Update- The two escaped deer have been killed and tested negative for CWD. Progress is being made with state agencies

8. MO Update- They are waiting on their Department of Conservation to meet. They will know more in January.

9. NY Update- Due to PA finding CWD, NY is halting interstate travel of cervids and severly limited intrastate movement.

10. Next meeting- There will be another ACA meeting after the first of the year. Each leader was ask to start and think about their spring meeting and earmarking fundraising for the ACA.

11. Meeting closed at 8:35pm CST.

Respectfully submitted by Eric Mohlman- Executive Director, NAEBA

Minutes taken by Travis Lowe- President, Kansas Cervid Breeders Association

Sorry if some formatting is lost in the copy and paste into this forum, it's not especially user friendly when pasting items such as this.
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Old Dec 14th 2012, 05:32 AM   #2
  Apr 2009
  Fombell PA
This is awesome......this is what we have needed for a long time........we need to donate to this group and get them the funds needed to address the issues we now only question is this group going to be different from NADefa? What are the differences?
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Old Dec 14th 2012, 06:47 AM   #3
 Clearview Whitetails's Avatar
  Sep 2010

Cervid: raising deer
They are working on a standard form for donations that associations/journals can use to print and publish. Eric could you post the address to send donations to for the regulars on this site (that already said they would donate)? The Iowa issue will be the first big fight and we need to get the funds rolling for that issue as I'm sure a lot of legal expense has already occurred. It could make or break us as an industry, so those who already said they would pledge please get in your donations.
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Old Dec 14th 2012, 07:38 AM   #4
  Nov 2012
  Ayr, NE
Dennis and all,

It has become painfully obvious that attacks on our way of life have become more frequent and severe. A small group of deer, elk and exotic producers started the discussion before, during and immediately after the USAHA meetings this year and raised the simple question "How can we as an industry better deal with these challenges we are facing?". After much discussion that ran the gamut from can we use an existing structure all the way to should we create an entirely new association. It was unamiously agreed that we didn't need to do any more than get all interested parties to sit down at one table with one common goal - fiercely defend the cervid industry!

To that end we started the task of gathering not just support but the enthusiastic committed support from 32 local, state and national associations and their membership. We have had countless representatives come to us and say this is what they have been looking for.

As to what is different, I think you have to realize that the ACA isn't a competing association, it isn't an association at all. It is a leadership council where the leaders of any and all cervid associations can come together and sit at one table and everyone has an equal voice. Take Pennsylvania your home state, we have Beverly Gruber-Executive Director, George Hazard-President, Glen Dice-Vice-President, Larry Pittenger-Director and Kelly Pittenger-Executive Secretary all participating on the process to formulate a plan on how we are going to respond to the attacks we as an industry are facing.

One thing I can tell you for certain is this group is going to start playing offense instead of read and react defense. We had an attorney on last nights call that gave an update on how a federal lawsuit could proceed if the standards document isn't revised to a level that allows for the cervid industry to reasonably conduct business. We also had an update on a couple epidemiologist one from Texas and one from Georgia that the ACA could use as expert witnesses to start to contest some of the bogus so-called facts that is being put out to the public and used against us to make regulatory policy. We have also been looking at legal options to help producers in the states that are currently under attack, such as Iowa, Pennsylvania, and Missouri.

This group isn't going to get lost in it's mission. We aren't having conventions or worrying about publishing magazines or newsletters - pure and simply aggressively protect and preserve the cervid industry. Get pertinent information to the leaders, bring them together to make informed decisions and put their plans in motion.

Hope this helps, Eric Mohlman
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Old Dec 14th 2012, 07:40 AM   #5
  Nov 2010
  Lanesboro, Minnesota
Eric is doing a great job helping to organize this. His email is

You and/or your state org. need to figure out what you can pledge. This is the most important fight of our industries life, so dig deep.

If your state is not on this list, and would like to support this cause, email Eric. I think they would like to add more states. This is a united effort by ALL cervid breeders and ALL states. We need to support each other when cases such as Iowa and Pa. happen, and WILL happen again. We are all just one positive case away, from being put out of business.

If you have any questions about this committee, feel free to call anyone on it that you know. i don't think they will mind.

Gary Olson

Minnesota Deer Breeders
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Old Dec 14th 2012, 07:43 AM   #6
  Nov 2012
  Ayr, NE
The address for donations for the ACA is:

Any donations may be sent to:

American Cervid Alliance

4985 West Blue Hill Rd

Ayr, Nebraska, 68925
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Old Dec 14th 2012, 08:32 AM   #7
  Nov 2012
  Garnett, Kansas
Deer and elk breeders everywhere,

I read posts by people on this forum that ask what is the next step? Where do we go from here?

It is clear there are frustrated breeders that seek a solution.

The American Cervid Alliance is that answer.

The American Cervid Alliance is not a new association. It is what it says it is, it is an alliance. An alliance of leaders of 32 different elk, deer and exotic associations.

These leaders have been meeting to see what can be done about the over-regulation and double standards we are forced to live with. We have met with industry lobbyists, attorneys, and scientists.

And for the first time in the history of cervid breeding, we see 32 separate groups come together and say “enough is enough” and fight under the same flag.

But we need everyone- all the breeders to be with us, supporting this charge. Or we will lose.

There is a battle going on in Iowa right now. Breeders are fighting to survive. We have to stand behind the Iowa battle and support them.

Imagine if you are in your home in Texas, in your home in Pennsylvania, or Indiana and after you feed your animals, after you eat your dinner and kiss your children goodnight, you have to then sit in your chair and figure out what you will do when your state government is telling you to depopulate your 500 deer with no indemnification. What would you do? Would you look for help?

That is the reality in Iowa.

The American Cervid Alliance is asking everyone to put yourself in the Iowa breeders’ shoes and support this. We are building a warchest to fund the legal fees and experts to testify that their regulations are unnecessary, unproven to science, and just plain wrong.

Breeders, please send $100 or $200 to the American Cervid Alliance. $1,000. Anything. No donation is too big or too small. Your donation will not be forgotten and lost in the shuffle.

Donate a straw of semen. Big buck or big elk. Your local association or the ACA will make sure it is auctioned off and appropriated for the ACA legal battle. Donate a hunt. Donate a fishing trip. Anything will help. We have auction hosts offering to help provide the benefit venue.

The people in Iowa need us. They need all the breeders to help. There is also a very real possibility there will be battles brewing in Missouri or even the federal level soon.

Let’s come together and win this battle. Let’s beat this agency. Other states will take notice.

We just have to win a few of these before they realize they can’t do this or they’ll face the same fate.

We have top attorneys guiding us. This is a professional and well planned endeavor.

We call this the American Cervid Alliance because that’s what it is. An alliance of Americans. And in America, we fight for freedom.

Fight with us.

Travis Lowe

President, Kansas Cervid Breeders Association

Please send donations to:

American Cervid Alliance

4985 West Blue Hill Rd

Ayr, Nebraska, 68925
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Old Dec 14th 2012, 08:35 AM   #8
  Apr 2009
  Fombell PA
Eric and Gary this is just what we need and have needed for a VERY long time......this is the most encouraging news I have heard since I began Deer Farming........we all need to step up to the plate here and donate.......I will be sending you a check the first of the year would be sooner but Christmas has kind of put a hurt on my funds at the moment....LOL.....I can assure you that I will be donating though.....awesome ......awesome...News guys! If your a Deer Farmer and you love what your doing.....I would highly recommend you donate to this could be the life saver our Industry has desperately needed for a long time now!! With our WILL be the life saver our Industry has needed.......
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