KISSIMMEE, Fla. – More than 500 attendees at the 2011 Cattle Industry Summer Conference in Kissimmee, Fla., filled a crowded auditorium to hear a speech from Herman Cain, the co-owner and former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza who is also a 2012 Republican presidential candidate, on Aug. 2. After recounting how he grew up modestly in Georgia and touted the courage and innovation of his father, Cain quickly addressed concerns of the day charging restrictions on business are stifling economic growth.

“We are all suffering and problems are not getting solved,” he said. “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. You mess with free-market principles and you start messing with what makes this country the greatest economic engine in the world.”

Cain said cattlemen are the victims of overregulation 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,” Cain urged. “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. EPA needs to be reined-in.”

Cain identified several issues requiring 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 US border.

“We must secure the border,” Cain stressed. “Ranchers are being killed. We need to enforce laws that are already in place. 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 National Cattlemen's Beef Association members 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.