More than 500 attendees jockeyed for a seat in a crowded auditorium to hear Herman Cain, candidate for president, during the 2011 Cattle Industry Summer Conference in Kissimmee, Fla., Aug. 2, 2011.
Cain told an inspiring story of growing up with very little in Georgia and the courage and innovation of his father who followed his dreams.
Cain, co-owner and former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, said restrictions on business are stifling economic growth.
“We are all suffering and problems are not getting solved. We must fuel the engine of the economy. We must value businesses. We must value people like you and allow you to operate in a free and open marketplace,” said Cain. “You mess with free market principles and you start messing with what makes this country the greatest economic engine in the world.”
He said cattlemen are the victims of over-regulation and government intrusion into the private marketplace. Specifically, he mentioned the “overreach” by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
“We must remove one of the biggest barriers to business, to your business, and that’s the EPA. We have an EPA that has gone wild. When I heard that EPA is contemplating regulating dust at levels that are twice as stringent as current levels, I just couldn’t believe it,” said Cain.
“EPA needs reined-in. Who knows best the overreach of EPA than those — like you all — who have been abused by EPA.”
He identified several issues that require immediate action in Congress. The greatest applause came when Cain told the audience that the estate tax, more commonly known as the death tax, must be “killed.” He also spoke about immigration reform and securing the U.S. border.
“We must secure the border. Ranchers are being killed. We need to enforce laws that are already in place,” said Cain. We also have to oppose rules and laws that allow the government to control private business. We must let the market decide.”
Cain, who was also the CEO of the National Restaurant Association, encouraged members of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association  to speak strongly against policies and positions that negatively affect the cattle industry and to speak in favor of “commonsense” policy that will help secure the future of the industry.