Author Archives: stevenscountycattlemen

Cattlemen to host fat stock sale Aug. 22


Sale will go on despite NEWA Fair cancellation

The Stevens County Cattlemen’s Association (SCCA) recently announced that they will continue to host the SCCA Fat Stock Sale this summer for youth, despite the fact the NorthEast Washington (NEWA) Fair has been canceled due to Covid-19 uncertainties. The SCCA Fat Stock Sale is set for Sat., Aug. 22.

SCCA has coordinated the fat stock sale for decades, ensuring the details of the sale from the auctioneer to the bookkeeping are arranged. SCCA President Scott Nielsen said this year will be no different.

“We want parents to be assured that this sale will go on and the efforts of their kids to raise a quality animal will be recognized at a live sale,” Nielsen said. “We are looking forward to the same strong community support we see every year at the SCCA Fat Stock Sale.”

Nielsen emphasized the sale will be a live sale, not a virtual sale, and SCCA will work to meet state guidelines on the event. The location details are still being determined, but Nielsen said it is important to let the community know the sale will go on.

“We will be releasing more information as we work out the details, but we will have a fat stock sale this year and look forward to seeing the market ready animals raised by our community’s youth,” he said.

Youth interested in participating in the SCCA Fat Stock Sale need to complete an entry form available on the SCCA website: Questions regarding the event can be sent to

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Where is your beef from?

Do you know where your beef is from? Unfortunately, even beef that is labeled “Product of the US” may not actually be from the United States, according to the Stevens County Cattlemen’s Association (SCCA).

SCCA recently launched an informational campaign on its website and social media outlets to let consumers know that during a time when beef prices at the grocery store are reaching record highs, it can be impossible for consumers to know where their beef was raised. In some cases, beef labeling is deliberately deceiving consumers.

“SCCA has always been for letting consumers know where their beef was born, raised and processed. For several years, consumers could easily find this information under the Country of Origin Labeling passed by Congress in 2013. Since that labeling was repealed in 2015, consumers can no longer tell if their steak is from the US or Brazil,” said SCCA President Scott Nielsen. “There are also many cases where beef is being labeled ‘Product of the US’ when it is in fact from another country.”

The deceptive “Product of the US” labels on beef are being allowed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture due to a loophole regulation that says if beef is processed or repackaged in the US, regardless of its country of origin, a “Product of the US” label can be applied. That means a chuck roast or beef tri-tip from Australia that was repackaged at a US plant can bear the “Product of the US” label.

“At a time when grocery stores are having a hard time keeping their meat cases stocked and beef prices are climbing every week, we feel consumers deserve to have all the information they need to make an informed choice when they spend their money,” Nielsen said. “Allowing companies to deliberately deceive consumers with false labels is wrong and we don’t want people to be taken advantage of.”

The new SCCA campaign includes a downloadable brochure that clarifies what the current labels on beef mean, including pictures of misleading labels.

“Right now if you want to be certain where your beef comes from, you should buy from a local producer,” said Nielsen. “Our affiliate, R-CALF USA, has recently started a website,,  where you can find suppliers in your area.”

To search local beef producers, visit Click here to download the PDFs of our informational brochure:

SCCA beef info brochure side 1

SCCA beef info brochure side 2



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County wildlife specialist busy during winter months

Predator complaints still high in NE Washington

Although many would assume winter is a time when challenges with predators like cougars and wolves would decrease, Stevens County Wildlife Specialist Jeff Flood said he has been very active during this time.

Deputy Flood is a special deputy with the Stevens County Sheriff’s Office. Flood’s position is funded by a grant from the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) to address complaints related to wildlife. Flood handles wildlife calls involving threats to livestock, pets and people. Flood often works with area cattlemen to address concerns related to the safety of their livestock from predators like cougars and wolves.

The Stevens County Cattlemen’s Association (SCCA) said they are appreciative to have a deputy at the sheriff’s office available to handle wildlife complaints.

“Having Jeff available for the last three years has made a tremendous difference to us because we have someone who is vested in the safety of our community,” said SCCA President Scott Nielsen. “We appreciate having a local resource to address the increasing pressure from predators against our ranch families and livestock.”

Since winter closed in, Deputy Flood said he has been responding to calls about predators, as well as working with other agencies to collect better predator data.

“We still get lots of predator complaints in the winter. It’s harder for everybody to survive in the snow, so we have prey animals like deer coming down low and the predators are following them,”  Deputy Flood explained.

Deputy Flood said most of the predator complaints this winter have been related to cougars killing livestock, but wolves are still a particular concern.

“We are coming into breeding season for wolves and wolves can be very territorial,” Flood noted. “It’s important for people with pets, especially dogs, to be thinking about this. You don’t have to be out deep in the woods to see a wolf. Anymore, we can have a wolf anywhere.”

Deputy Flood has been working closely with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) to get more wolves in the area collared for data collection. Deputy Flood has also been working with the Kalispel Tribe to collar cougars to determine their patterns of movement. He also has game cams out in various parts of the county to aid in data collection.

For those who may be concerned about predator activity in their area, Flood said being mindful of the behavior of pets and livestock is important.

“Pet and livestock owners should be mindful of their surroundings and any unusual behavior of their animals. Cattle that are getting pushed out of pens or are bunching up may be experiencing pressure from a predator, for example,” Flood explained.

No matter what the situation, Flood emphasized that citizens are legally able to defend themselves and their animals.

“If you feel threatened or your animals are threatened, you are within your rights to remove the animal,” Flood said. “You can also call the Stevens County Sheriff and we will respond. If I get a wildlife call, I will respond. I don’t care what day or time it is, call me.”

Flood can be reached by calling the Stevens County Dispatch at 684-2555.

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SCCA Annual Banquet this Sat., Feb 8!

Social hour at 5pm, prime rib dinner at 6pm. Held at the Colville Community College, 985 S. Elm. Tickets are $30.

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SCCA continues R-CALF affiliation


George Wishon is an SCCA member who also acts as the Region 1 Director for R-CALF.

The Stevens County Cattlemen’s Association is starting 2020 by continuing their affiliation with the Ranchers and Cattlemen’s Action Legal Fund (R-CALF), a national grass roots cattlemen’s group fighting for ranch families.

R-CALF was founded in 1998 when three independent cattle producers launched an anti-dumping lawsuit against Canada and Mexico, accusing them of exporting their products below market prices and production costs in the US. The group successfully convinced the U.S. Dept. of Commerce to implement anti-dumping tariffs against Canada.

R-CALF represents U.S. cattle and sheep producers on domestic and international trade and marketing issues and has a membership of more than 5,000 cow-calf producers, cattle backgrounders, and feeders.

SCCA member George Wishon serves as the R-CALF Region 1 Director, representing members in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington. SCCA and R-CALF began their formal affiliation in 2018.

SCCA President Scott Nielsen said the group has chosen to continue their affiliation with R-CALF based on the group’s strong advocacy for U.S. producers.

“Over the last year, R-CALF has continued to fight against unfair trade policies, market manipulation and government regulations. It’s a group working to bring government policies and agreements back on the side of U.S. cattle producers,” Nielsen said.

Nielsen noted R-CALF has continued to be a strong advocate for reinstating Country of Origin (COOL) labeling for meat products so consumers can make informed choices.

“Consumers have the right to know where their steak and hamburger is from and that can’t be done without clear, accurate labeling,” Nielsen said.

COOL was passed by Congress in 2002 and, for a time, products in the grocery store meat case were accurately labeled to show what country the meat came from. But due to trade agreement related lawsuits from Mexico and Canada, Congress repealed the labeling regulations for beef and pork in 2016.

Working with R-CALF to solve COOL and other issues helps SCCA join a nationwide effort to support and protect America’s ranch families.

“We are proud to be working with R-CALF and look forward to sharing more wins for cattle producers with them in the future,” Nielsen related. For more information about SCCA, visit

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SCCA opposes grizzly bear recovery (for the third time)

SCCA recently submitted comments to the National Parks Service opposing a recent proposal to reintroduce Grizzly Bears to the North Cascades. This is the third time SCCA has spoken up against this idea and we will continue to do so until this terrible idea is finally dead.

Below are our comments:


This is formal comment from the Stevens County Cattlemen’s Association to record our opposition to any reintroduction or “recovery” of grizzly bears into Washington State. We have previously submitted our opposition to this wrongheaded proposal in 2015 and 2017. Unfortunately the idea does not seem to have died, so we are again submitting our grave concerns about this idea.

Over the last four years since NPS first put the grizzly bear recovery plan out to the public, the dangers posed by encouraging the proliferation of predator species have moved beyond the realm of theory.

As the Grey Wolf has saturated the landscape of Eastern Washington it serves as a poignant example of why predators should not be reintroduced to the landscape. As their numbers have climbed, the amount of conflict between wolves and livestock, as well as wolves and people, has also increased.

Along with annual cattle attacks, wolves have also regularly threatened people. From treeing a woman in Okanogan County to menacing a hiker in Stevens County, wolves are not showing a fear of people and are regularly encroaching on homes and domestic animals and the consequences are serious. Wolves have attacked domestic animals and are also pushing other predators, like cougars, closer to backyards and pastures. Grizzly Bears, with their imposing size and often aggressive behavior, will create similar conflicts with humans, especially in orchards and feedyards as they look for food.

The result of these negative, albeit predictable encounters, with wolves has been that residents of Eastern Washington live in a state of cautionary fear and the state has been forced to remove wolves that continue to attack livestock.

The public backlash has been considerable, with residents feeling apprehensive and anxious for their children and pets. Trust in the state agency that is tasked with managing the wolf has dwindled and local sheriffs have been forced to take on wildlife management tasks.

With this example clearly in front of us, it is stupefying to consider that NPS thinks increasing the number of grizzly bear won’t have a similar dismal result.

In addition this rationale for rejecting plans to reintroduce the grizzly, it is important to note that such actions would be in violation of state law. RCW 77.12.031 notes that, “Grizzly Bears shall not be transported or introduced into the state.”

The legislators of Washington, on behalf of the people of Washington, have already clearly spoken on this issue. We did not want grizzly bears reintroduced in 1995 when the legislation when it was written, in 2000 when it was revised or in 2015 or 2017 when NPS again forwarded this idea.

SCCA stands in firm opposition to any efforts to recover or reintroduce the grizzly bear. We do not want another predator, with the help and protection of government agencies, to do any further harm to the residents of Washington State.


Scott Nielsen

SCCA President

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2019 Fat Stock Sale a success

2019 Fat Stock Sale a success

Over 100 youth participated in SCCA sponsored event

The Stevens County Cattlemen’s Association (SCCA) is proud to report the closure of another successful Fat Stock Sale at the Northeast Washington Fair. The Aug. 24 event pulled in a record $196,495 that was distributed to the 127 youth selling at the event. Animals sold at the event included 63 swine, 18 sheep, 6 goats, 2 rabbits and one chicken.

The Fat Stock Sale, sponsored by SCCA, gives young people in the Eastern Washington community the chance to raise an animal for the fair and make money by selling it to members of the public, according to SCCA President Scott Nielsen. Both individual buyers and businesses often participate in the sale, creating a positive, competitive market environment at the auction.

“We are pleased to be able to again report that the sale was a success and that young people had a chance to participate in raising and selling livestock,” said SCCA President Scott Nielsen. “When young people have this opportunity, it can encourage them to think about their future in the industry. We need more ranchers in this country.”


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SCCA offers reward for info on retaliatory cattle kills

$15,000 reward for info leading to conviction

The Stevens County Cattlemen’s Association is offering a $15,000 reward for information that leads to a conviction of those responsible for shooting, killing and maiming cattle in Stevens County. Several cattle have been shot and left for dead since the situation with the Old Profanity Wolf Pack worsened earlier this summer. State wildlife managers recently renewed the kill order for the pack after they have continued to attack and kill cattle, despite non-lethal deterrents and the removal of one wolf. As Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) plans to remove more wolves from the pack, SCCA is concerned this will cause extreme environmentalists to retaliate by harming cattle.

Since cattlemen in Stevens County began to experience consistent wolf attacks in 2012, cattle have been the target for malicious opportunists who are shooting cattle while they are grazing near public roadways. The animals are often shot at random and left to die.

“We recently had cattle shot at various locations in the county this summer. We believe the cowards taking these actions are doing so in retaliations for state managers deciding to remove problem wolves,” said SCCA President Scott Nielsen. “If you don’t agree with the wolf management, there are a number of ways to engage on the issue. Shooting or harming cattle will not bring about any management changes and it is a wrongheaded way to act.”

Nielsen noted there are several radical environmentalists promoting harming cattle as retaliation on social media sites.

“The people promoting this kind of tactic are desperate actors who do not care who or what they hurt in the name of their cause. We are serious about making sure these people are held accountable and that’s why we continue to offer this reward,” Nielsen related.

Nielsen said SCCA will pay out $15,000 a year for information leading to a conviction related to the cattle deaths. Those with information regarding the attacks on cattle are encouraged to call the Stevens County or Ferry County Sheriff’s offices or call SCCA directly at 680-3497.

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Cattlemen, wildlife group sponsor billboard

Groups urge calling sheriff if a predator attacks

A pair of local organizations concerned with the climbing numbers of predators in Stevens County have recently sponsored a billboard urging residents to call their local sheriff if they experience a predator attack.

The Stevens County Cattlemen’s Association, in partnership with the Northeast Washington Wildlife Group, recently sponsored a billboard along HWY 395 with the messaging, “Predator attack? Fight back! Call your local sheriff!”

SCCA President Scott Nielsen said the message is needed so citizens understand their best resource for addressing predator attacks is the local sheriff, not the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife.

“We know that WDFW has a very different mandate than the local sheriff when it comes to public safety,” Nielsen related. “When WDFW approaches a situation where a predator has attacked or threatened domestic animals or a person, their first response has often been to blame the person for not doing enough to prevent the attack. This is a problem, especially as predators in the area are becoming more aggressive.”

Nielsen noted an elected sheriff has a mandate to protect public safety and is not quick to blame the affected person but rather how to remove or alleviate the threat.

“We have a much higher confidence in our local sheriff’s ability to recognize and respond to a public safety threat than a group of unelected agents in a wildlife-focused agency,” said Nielsen.

Northeast Washington Wildlife Group Chair John Magart said his group also lacks confidence in WDFW’s response and wants to see changes to predator management.

“Our group supports local control by the Sheriff for predator attacks because the WDFW has a history of doing nothing except chastising the victims of these attacks,” Magart noted. “In the past WDFW has been slow to respond to depredation attacks if they respond at all. The sheriff is an elected official who is responsible for public safety whereas the WDFW say they are not. The local sheriff has firsthand knowledge and local resources to take care of public safety and depredation issues in a timely fashion without rhetoric and blaming by WDFW.”

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Old Profanity Wolf Pack Needs to be Culled

SCCA disapproves of “incremental” wolf removal strategy

A recent announcement by the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife that it plans to “incrementally” remove wolves from the Old Profanity Wolf pack is not being welcomed by the Stevens County Cattlemen’s Association who believes the pack needs to be culled.

The Old Profanity wolf pack has attacked over 20 cattle in the last year, killing at least 13. The recent WDFW removal order from WDFW is a continuation of an effort last year to remove the pack due to its chronic pattern of attacking cattle, despite numerous non-lethal methods taken by producers.  However, WDFW only removed two wolves last year.

WDFW cites their “incremental” removal policy is done in an effort to “change the wolves’ behavior.”

However, WDFW’s efforts are actually ensuring that chronically depredating packs are never fully removed and can rebound to create more damage for ranchers, according to SCCA.

“We are having more problems than other states with wolves because we are allowing cow-killing wolves to breed,” said SCCA President Scott Nielsen. “This ‘incremental’ approach has not worked from the beginning and is still a failed policy.”

In addition to the hardship and economic damages wolves are causing ranch families, Nielsen said the wolves are changing the behavior of other predators in the area, including bears and cougars.

“We are seeing increased numbers of bears and cougars coming down into people’s pastures and near their homes looking for an easy meal due to the increased competition from wolves,” Nielsen explained. “This situation means that if you live in rural Washington, you live in fear. You don’t go out into the woods or by rivers and meadows without something to defend yourself. You worry about your kids and pets outside. This is wrong—our residents should not have to live this way.”

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