North Dakota Stockmen’s Association
“The North Dakota Stockmen’s Association’s strength as an organization lies within its members – the people who are the ‘boots on the ground,’ producing the world’s best beef, caring for the land and the livestock and embodying what makes this nation great,” said NDSA President Warren Zenker, a rancher from Gackle, N.D.
The NDSA will be celebrating its grassroots members who make it happen for the association and the industry at the 88th Annual Convention & Trade Show, “Boots on the Ground,” Sept. 21-23 at the Ramada Hotel & Conference Center in Fargo, N.D. The event will feature a mix of educational workshops, inspirational speakers, policy-development sessions, business, networking and fun.
Thursday, Sept. 21
The convention begins on Thursday morning at 9 a.m. with a Golf Scramble and Hole-in-One Contest at the Village Green Golf Course in Moorhead, Minn., and a board of directors meeting at the hotel at 10 a.m.
Buses will load from the latter at 1 p.m. for the Cattlemen’s College program on the North Dakota State University (NDSU) campus. Convention-goers will rotate amongst four stations at the NDSU Equine Center, Greenhouse, Advanced Imaging & Microscopy Laboratory and new Veterinary Diagnostics Laboratory.
After the Cattlemen’s College, the buses will return to the hotel for the Welcome Reception and the opening of the Trade Show, which features 46 vendors this year. Supper will follow and close out the evening.
Friday, Sept. 22
The Trade Show will reopen on Friday morning at 8 a.m., and the opening business session will begin at 8:45. The session will include a welcome from Gov. Doug Burgum, as well as business, NDSA Nominating Committee reports and the Candidates’ Forum. It will also include a presentation by Jolene Brown entitled, “Stop the Fighting on the Way to the Funeral Home.” During this “tell-it-like-it-is” presentation, Brown will discuss in-laws and outlaws, money expectations, daily communication and important meetings and help convention-goers realize that, if they want to honor the family, they have to do the business right.
Following lunch, the “meat and potatoes” of the convention begin with the policy committee meetings. Members will hear from industry experts on current topics, such as animal disease traceability, ag land property taxes and section-line law, and discuss and debate policy resolutions and directives in the ag policy, animal health, brand and theft, environmental issues, feeding and marketing and research and education committees.
When the work is done, it will be time to have some fun at the Boot-Scootin’ Boogie Night Supper, followed by the Deuces Wild! Piano Show. The pair will have guests on their feet singing, dancing and howling at the high-energy music and insane lyrics.
Saturday, Sept. 23
On Saturday morning, convention-goers will hear from a powerful line-up of speakers. Dr. Art Douglas is a renowned meteorologist who has been the long-range weather forecaster for CattleFax since 1977 and the Ag Trade Group at Gavilon since 1998. He will explain why Mother Nature dealt North Dakota cattle producers such a difficult hand in 2017 and offer a forecast for what lies ahead.
Paul Clayton, senior vice president of export services for the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF), will share information about how U.S. beef is being promoted abroad and what discussions with China and Japan, the renegotiation of NAFTA, the EU-Japanese trade agreement and troubles in Brazil mean for the domestic beef industry. USMEF focuses on market access solutions in foreign countries.
Back by popular demand, Mike Murphy from CattleFax will close out Saturday morning. The Denver, Colo.-based market analyst focuses on risk management analysis for the beef, cattle and grain sectors in his work. Murphy will discuss industry trends and what they mean for the market moving forward.
The Foundation Luncheon will follow at noon. In addition to lunch, it will include eight scholarship presentations, intern and Tomorrow’s Top Hand class recognitions and a salute to the Black Leg Ranch of McKenzie, N.D., this year’s national Environmental Stewardship Award Program winner.
Business resumes that afternoon in the closing session. Committee chairmen will offer their reports and members will discuss and vote on policy resolutions and select officers and directors to lead the organization. They will also give a special thanks to four retiring directors, Doug Bichler of Linton, N.D.; Paige Burian of Manning, N.D.; Mark Giedd of Washburn, N.D.; and Jeff Schafer of New Rockford, N.D. Top-recruiter prizes will also be awarded.
A banquet social begins at 6 p.m. A reunion reception for alumni of the Tomorrow’s Top Hands Beef Leadership Summit also begins at 6.
The annual banquet follows at 7 p.m. and will include the recognition of several long-time employees, as well outstanding members selected for the Outstanding Local Brand Inspector, Honorary Membership, Rancher of the Year, Environmental Stewardship and Top Hand Awards.
First Sergeant Matt Eversmann will close out the convention with his talk, “Dedication, Pride and Commitment: Lessons Learned from Black Hawk Down for Business and for Life.” A true American hero, Eversmann will illustrate the importance of leadership, courage and selfless service to succeed when ordinary circumstances become extraordinary challenges. As an Army ranger deployed to Somolia, Eversmann experienced the horrors of war when he and fellow soldiers were trapped in a hostile district and marked for death by an angry mob. His inspiring story of survival was immortalized in the epic film, “Black Hawk Down.”
Full, one-day and student registrations are available.
A block of rooms has been reserved at the Ramada Hotel & Conference Center. To make reservations, call (701) 235-3333 and mention the NDSA to get the discounted rate of $89 plus tax.
For more information, visit www.ndstockmen.org.