Cowboy Boots Go to the City
Young Cattlemen’s Conference 2017
By Naomi Loomis, Circle L Ranch
Featured in the National Cattlemen’s Newsletter.
“Raising beef is my job and sometimes in our business we don’t realize just how big the Ag industry really is. This opportunity really opened by eyes about pasture to plate. I learned about all the different segments of the beef industry, from the cow-calf operation to the feed yard, and ultimately the harvest.”
Sixty other potential agriculture leaders and myself from across the country attended the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association 2017 Young Cattlemen’s Conference (YCC) to gain more leadership skills and expose us to all aspects of the beef industry.
My class and I began at the NCBA headquarters in Denver, Colo., we got an inside look at many of the issues affecting the beef industry, we got an comprehensive overview of the current cattle market and emerging trends from Cattle Fax Senior Analyst, Kevin Good, we did personality testing and we heard from Safeway and Cargill representatives about the power of meat. “It’s not just moms that are going to the grocery store now. Our consumers are not traditional anymore and we need to make sure that they all understand how safe and nutritious that beef is, said Steven Campbell. We all have a story that the consumer wants to hear.
While in Denver, we were given an organizational overview of NCBA and the Beef Checkoff Program. NCBA’s vision was my go to statement during my trip. I realized that myself and our YCC class really have some work to be done and it started when we arrived in Denver. “To be the trusted leader and definitive voice of the beef industry.” We then had a great opportunity of touring the JBS Greeley packing and processing plant and the JBS Five Rivers Kuner feedyard, one of the largest feedlot in the nation. We ended our seconded day with a tour and supper at Greeley Hat Works.
From Denver on our way to Chicago, we received a first-hand account of the retail perspective of the beef business in Safeway and Albertsons stores. In Chicago, we ate famous Chicago pizza and took in the lights of the city from the Hancock building. While in there we also visited McDonald’s Campus and OSI, one of the nation’s premiere beef patty producers. It is at Chicago that I learned about the Uber App. We just don’t have that luxury in Western Nebraska. After our brief stop in Chicago, we made our way to Washington, D.C., for an in-depth briefing on current policy issues including international trade and increasing environmental regulations.
Following the issues update, we were given an awesome opportunity to visit one-on-one with our state’s congressional delegation; we got to express our viewpoints regarding the beef industry and our own cattle operations. John Deere then hosted a reception for us at the NCBA DC roof top office.
The Young Cattlemen’s Conference (YCC) provided me with a platform to become a better Ag leader in the beef industry. This conference not only helped me with my leadership skills but I also gained some new lifetime friends. Our involvement in the Ag community is so important for our industry’s policy making, research, education and marketing. “As a beef producer, I thought I knew everything from pasture to plate until I sat down with the executives from McDonald’s. Then I realized that I didn’t fully understand how much influence is on the beef industry from the hamburger side. Another huge moment for me was when I walked on Capitol Hill, and started talking with our Congressmen, Congresswomen and our Senators who ultimately influence the laws that dictate how we run cattle on our own ranch.” I would like to give a sincere thank you to the Nebraska Cattlemen for giving me the opportunity to go on the YCC trip this year!