The United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) concluded its annual meeting this weekend, in conjunction with the inaugural Cattle Producer’s Forum. Over 200 producers made their way to Billings, Montana for the event which featured panel discussions on issues facing the U.S. cattle industry. Contributing to the Forum’s success were co-hosts Intertribal Agriculture Council, Montana Cattlemen’s Association, Bitterroot Stockgrowers, Beartooth Stockgrowers, and the Marias River Livestock Association; Presenting Sponsor Silveus Insurance; along with special media coverage from the Northern Ag Network.
Amongst the topics discussed were next generation producers and consumers, trade, and market volatility. Producers had the opportunity to hear from a variety of experts in the industry, including:
• Dan Halstrom, Sr. VP Global Marketing, USMEF
• David Cooper, Editor, Progressive Cattleman
• Amanda Radke, Contributor, BEEF Magazine
• Zippy Duvall, President, American Farm Bureau Federation
• Craig Morris, Deputy Administrator, Livestock, Poultry and Seed Program, USDA Agricultural Marketing Services
• Dow McVean, Managing Partner, McVean Trading & Investments
• Peter Haller, Representative, IEX Group, INC.
• Dr. Shannon Neibergs, Director, Western Extension Risk Management Education Center, Washington State University Extension
• Terry Stewart, Managing Partner, Stewart and Stewart
• Sheridan McKinney, Vice President, TRADEWINS, LLC.
• Meredith Rutherford, Senior Advisor to the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Negotiations, Department of Commerce
• Tim O’Byrne, Editor, Working Ranch Magazine
• Chelsea Good, Vice President of Government and Industry Affairs, Livestock Marketing Association
• Steve Hilker, President, Hilker Trucking Inc.
Outgoing USCA President Danni Beer commented on the inaugural event, “In today’s industry, it is becoming more important than ever for industry stakeholders to sit down and have these discussions. The representation of industry groups and representatives present at the Forum was impressive. On behalf of USCA, I want to thank all of our speakers, sponsors and co-hosts for making the event such a success.”
USCA Vice President Kenny Graner added his thoughts, “The Forum’s panelists did an incredible job of shedding light on many of the intricacies involved with several of the issues we are facing today. Cattle producers from across the country were able to attend a one-day session and receive critical information direct from the source, along with a chance to ask questions and present ideas to the group. This type of forum and structure hasn’t been done elsewhere and we look forward to continuing it in the years to come.”
Graner concluded, “The topics covered during the Forum will be the focus of USCA efforts in 2017 and will be the key issues brought to D.C. during the spring 2017 fly-in. Specifically, USCA and its membership departed from this meeting with a commitment to bring back transparency and true price discovery in the marketplace. If you would like to be involved in that effort and take your voice to Capitol Hill, I urge you to join USCA today.”