Arizona Rancher's Legal Defense Fund Litigation Raffle
1st Place: 6'x20' CM Trailer donated by Farm Credit Services Southwest
2nd Place: 2 Bred Heifers or 1 Bull from Bar T Bar Ranch donated by Bob & Judy Prosser
3rd Place: 10 Tons of Hay donated by Dobson Family Farms
To purchase a litigation raffle ticket contact Maria at the office, 602-267-1129 or do so online here.
ACGA first became involved in lawsuits on behalf of its members in the early 1980’s when the Center For Law in the Public Interest brought suit against the State Land Department to invalidate all State grazing leases, alleging that grazing fees were set at an unconstitutionally low rate. That lawsuit went on for about two years, cost the ACGA, in donations raised from its members and spent on legal fees, about $80,000, and resulted in a victory for State grazing lessees by saving their leases from cancellation by court order, and upholding the then existing grazing fee system – a system which has since been modified by the Legislature.
In the 1990’s a number of lawsuits by environmental groups against the Forest Service resulted in increasingly more harmful court rulings regarding protecting the goshawk, a “threatened” but not “endangered” species, and later the Mexican spotted owl, which in turn caused problems that Forest Service grazing permittees continue to deal with today. Later, the BLM was sued for a long list of endangered species related reasons, some of which our industry, again, is still dealing with.
In order to stem the tide of unanswered lawsuits producing increasingly adverse results, ACGA raised litigation money to comment on, and then sue over, a Forest plan amendment which imposed drastic reductions in grazing capacity in order to preserve ground cover for the Mexican spotted owl. In the end, ACGA lost its case, but not before receiving an order from the trial judge limiting the effect of Forest Service actions.
Sometime afterwards, the cactus ferruginous pygmy owl was listed as endangered and the BLM was sued to remove all grazing in Southern Arizona because cattle might harm the owl’s habitat.
By then, ACGA’s leadership concluded it necessary on an ongoing basis to provide counterweight to the “cattle free” side, and to inject reason into the legal arguments. It soon became clear that our Association needed a sustainable fundraising mechanism to deal with this continuing series of legal challenges that, to this day, are a fact of life for both State and Federal land lessees.
To address this, Farm Credit Services Southwest agreed to help its ranching customers by assisting in the ACGA litigation fundraising more directly - the trailer raffle was born.
The Arizona Rancher’s Legal Defense Fund Litigation Raffle is now an anticipated annual event. Members often add the $300 to their membership dues for a ticket, as well as buy tickets at the special cattle sales or at ACGA’s summer convention. This year Farm Credit Services Southwest has again joined to support the Arizona Cattle Growers’ Association through sponsorship of the ACGA Litigation Fund stock trailer. As of 2013 the raffle has raised $675,140 to benefit Arizona ranching.
In the years since the trailer raffle began, Bob and Judy Prosser of Bar T Bar Ranch have added a second place prize of one bull or two bred heifers and Dobson Family Farms has continued to donate 10 tons of hay for a third place prize. Still others have offered specialty items to raise even more awareness for the cause. Taken together, these efforts have permitted the ACGA to respond to, on an as needed basis, legal actions which threaten our members’ ranches. The results of those efforts have benefited us many, many more times than their cost.
Final Knight Victory Press Release
Past Trailer Winners
Ann Jeffers - 1998
Hugh & Joyce Foraker - 1999
Norm Hinz, Jr., - 2000
Pinal Feeding - 2001
OX Ranch, John & Joan Murphy - 2002
Shelby Bennett -2003
Sands Ranch - 2004
Walter Lane - 2005
Willcox Livestock Auction - 2006
Vaca Ranch - 2007
Tom Hendrickson -2008
Oswald Cattle Co. -2009
Marvin & Marcia John -2010
Gary Peterson Gable - 2011
Wally & Lew Armer - 2012
Allen & Julieana Grantham - 2013
Manny & Aurora Ruiz - 2014
Nichols Cattle Co. - 2015
X-One Ranch - 2016
2013 Winners, Allen & Julie Ann Grantham (center), with ACGA President, Dan Bell (left), and Doug Norton of Farm Credit Services Southwest (right).