The 2013 Ohio Cattlemen’s Foundation Young Cattlemen’s Conference (YCC) hosted 10 cattlemen and women for a 3-day leadership development program in Columbus, Ohio, Aug. 22-24. The conference was made possible by Farm Credit Mid-America, Ohio Soybean Council and Steve R. Rauch.
Seth Miller, West Unity, Ohio, attended YCC. Seth grew up on a club calf operation and showed cattle for many years. His family built their herd to roughly 75 cows where they utilize artificial insemination and embryo transfer extensively. He is currently in his senior year at Iowa State University, majoring in agricultural business. He has a sincere appreciation for his family’s cow herd and raising healthy and functional cattle that would fit in the show ring, but have real-world value.
YCC kicked off Thursday evening at the Crowne Plaza North in Columbus with a beef dinner and participants were present for the 2013 Ohio State Fair Commercial Cattle Show carcass contest awards presentation. Guest speaker, Dr. Ronald Kensinger, The Ohio State University Department of Animal Sciences Chair, discussed the importance of cattlemen working together, the value of new technologies in beef production and the need for transparency in consumer communication.
Friday morning at the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) office, attendees participated in a spokesperson training program by Daren Williams, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Executive Director of Communications. Williams led participants through mock media interviews and provided them with the tools necessary to effectively share their story with consumer audiences. They also heard from OCA staff on the value of membership and the roles that OCA plays in legislative and regulatory issues.
Following lunch, participants travelled to the Ohio State House where they met with Representative Gary Scherer (92nd District). Rep. Scherer spoke about current Ohio legislation affecting the beef cattle industry and answered questions from the group.
YCC participants attended Beef Night at the Ballpark with the Columbus Clippers on Friday evening. They spoke with attendees about beef production and passed out recipes and giveaway items prior to taking in the game at Huntington Park.
Saturday morning was spent with Dr. Henry Zerby, Assistant Professor at The Ohio State University Department of Animal Sciences, in a Mini-BEEF 509 class. Dr. Zerby provided hands-on learning on how meat is graded, fabrication of wholesale and retail cuts, and other issues that can affect beef quality and pricing. Participants also viewed champion carcasses from the 2013 Ohio State Fair.
A special tour of the Ohio State University Football Complex was a highlight of the program thanks to a continuing relationship between OCA and the OSU football team. OCA annually prepares and serves beef for the Champions Dinner and OSU Coaches Dinner. Participants learned about the history of OSU football and walked through training and practice facilities.
YCC concluded with a discussion led by Ohio Beef Council staff regarding its role in checkoff collection and beef promotional efforts in Ohio and a “State of the Industry” podcast provided by John Grimes, Ohio State University Extension Beef Coordinator, that tackled a variety of factors contributing to the current state of the industry and predictions for the future market outlook.
The purpose of the YCC is to offer emerging Ohio beef industry leaders and young producers the opportunity to build their own leadership skills as they network with beef industry leaders, government officials, businesses and media. Young beef producers interested in attending the 2014 YCC should contact Emily Griffiths at 614-873-6736 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association is an affiliate of the NCBA and is the state’s spokesperson and issues manager for all segments of the beef cattle industry including cattle breeders, producers and feeders. Through OCA, cattle producers work to create a positive business environment, while providing consumers with a safe and wholesome product.