North Dakota Stockmen’s Association (NDSA) members will be celebrating the organization’s achievements, selecting new leaders and forging plans for the continued journey during the NDSA’s 90th Annual Convention & Trade Show, “This is Stockmen’s Country,” Sept. 19-21 at the Grand Hotel in Minot, N.D. The event will feature a mix of educational workshops, inspirational speakers, policy-development sessions, business, networking and fun.
Thursday, Sept. 19
The convention begins on Thursday morning at 9 a.m. with a Golf Scramble and Hole-in-One Contest at the Souris Valley Golf Course in Minot. Golfers can enter by contacting Jason Zahn, the Golf Scramble chairman, at (701) 720-7247.
The NDSA Board of Directors will also be gathering for its quarterly meeting at the Grand Hotel at 11 a.m.
The Cattlemen’s Educational Series will follow at 3:30 p.m. In light of several recent cattle-related fraud cases close to home and around the country, the program, “Protecting Your Investment,” will arm members with tips and tools to protect their financial interests. Attorney and cattleman Todd Wilkinson of De Smet, S.D., will kick off the series with his talk entitled, “Keeping What’s Yours: Contract Advice For Livestock Producers.” At 4:30 p.m., Chelsea Good of the Livestock Marketing Association; Blaine Northrop of the NDSA; Lynn Paulson of Bell Banks; Shaun Quissell of the North Dakota Department of Agriculture; and Kraig Roesch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Packers and Stockyards Division will join Wilkinson as he moderates the Protecting Your Investment Panel Discussion. They will discuss what protections are in place for producers and what advice they have for them to fortify their positions.
After the Cattlemen’s Educational Series program, there will be a social for the opening of the NDSA Trade Show, which features 48 agribusiness vendors this year. Supper and the presentation of the golf awards will close out the evening.
Friday, Sept. 20
The NDSA Trade Show will reopen on Friday morning at 8 a.m., and the opening business session will begin at 8:45 a.m. Besides business, NDSA Nominating Committee reports and the Candidates’ Forum, the session will include a presentation by Troy Applehans entitled “Cattle Market Situation and Outlook.” In it, Applehans, a CattleFax analyst based out of Denver, Colo., will offer perspective on the current cattle market situation and the outlook for the year ahead.
At noon, past presidents and executive vice presidents will gather for a 90th anniversary photograph and a private luncheon.
Following lunch, the “meat and potatoes” of the convention will begin with the policy committee meetings. Members will hear from industry experts on current topics like the legislative land access study, Animal Disease Traceability program changes, freeze branding tips, noxious weeds control, CHAPS program updates, health insurance changes and block chain technology applications to the beef industry. Members will also discuss and debate policy resolutions and directives in the Ag Policy, Animal Health, Brand & Theft, Environmental Issues, Feeding & Marketing and Research & Education Committees.
When the work is done, it will be time to have some fun at “A Night at the Races.” A social begins at 6 p.m., with supper following at 7 p.m. and simulated horse racing and games at 8 p.m. Convention-goers are encouraged to wear their best Derby or horse-racing attire to take part in the costume contest and compete for prizes.
Saturday, Sept. 21
At 8 a.m. Saturday, convention-goers will hear from a powerful line-up of speakers.
Dr. Alex Turner will be the first to take the stage. Turner is the animal disease traceability (ADT) staff veterinarian with the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service in Fort Collins, Colo.
Attendees will learn more and offer feedback about the ADT program and upcoming changes — some of which will take effect as early as Jan. 1, 2021 — in Turner’s talk, “Impending Changes to America’s Animal Disease Traceability Program.”
Dr. Eric Berg, North Dakota State University meat scientist and recent American Meat Science Association president, and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President Jennifer Houston will tag-team a discussion entitled “Fake Meat: The Science and Politics of Imposter Foods.” They will discuss the science behind fake meat products and the policy action begin taken at the state and federal levels to safeguard beef’s nomenclature and ensure that food labels are not misleading.
Gregg Doud, the chief agricultural negotiator with the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, will round out the morning. The Kansas native will offer insight into important trade discussions impacting the U.S. beef industry, including recent announcements regarding Japan and the European Union.
The Foundation Luncheon will follow at noon. In addition to lunch, it will include eight scholarship presentations and intern and Tomorrow’s Top Hands Beef Leadership Summit 2018 class recognition.
Business resumes at 1:30 p.m. 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 for the 2019-2020 year.
Top-recruiter prizes, including a Henry Lever-Action .17 Rifle and $2,000 in Bull Bucks, will be awarded that afternoon. New members and the recruiters of new members are eligible for the Bull Bucks drawing. The winner must be present to win.
A banquet social with entertainment from the 2018 Pro Cowboy Country Artist Association entertainer of the year, Greg Hager, will begin at 6 p.m.
Hager will continue to entertain the crowd with his original country music throughout supper.
The annual banquet follows at 7 p.m. and will include the recognition of long-time employees, as well as outstanding members selected for the Honorary Local Brand Inspector, Honorary Membership, Rancher of the Year, Environmental Stewardship and Top Hand Awards.
Dr. Sean Stephenson will be the keynote speaker. Born with a rare bone disorder, Stephenson will use personal stories and therapeutic metaphors to equip the audience with lessons to help them map out their lives, navigate challenging times, relieve everyday stress and handle change — lessons that are imperative for people who feel stuck, discouraged or need momentum toward their vision. He will share his most popular talk, “The Unstoppable Formula,” to close the convention.
Full, one-day and student registrations are available ahead of time or on site. Discounted prices are available for those who pre-register by Sept. 5. A pre-registration form can be downloaded at www.ndstockmen.org.
A block of rooms has been reserved at the Grand Hotel until Sept. 4. The cost is $79 plus tax before Sept. 4. To make reservations, call (701) 852-3161 and mention the NDSA to get a discounted rate.