Hall represents North Dakota Stockmen’s Association in nationwide beef industry tour

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Farm Forum

Bismarck, N.D., cattleman Zac Hall represented the North Dakota Stockmen’s Association (NDSA) in the recent National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s (NCBA) 35th Young Cattlemen’s Conference (YCC). YCC is a comprehensive, nationwide tour of beef industry sectors, created to enhance leadership skills in young beef industry professionals.

“YCC is a prestigious and competitive program designed to foster the future leadership of our industry,” said Jason Zahn, NDSA president. “Zac was selected to attend YCC because of his exceptional contributions to the beef industry and his potential to be a strong voice in our future development.”

Hall is a nine-year NDSA member. He is active in his family’s cattle operation, Hall Stock Farm, where they raise registered Angus, SimAngus and commercial cattle. He also has worked in the livestock DNA industry for seven years, assisting producers with an array of genetic prediction tools.

“YCC is an excellent opportunity to network with other young industry professionals while learning about the opportunities and challenges that face beef producers daily,” said Hall.

St. Anthony, N.D., rancher Julie Ellingson, who represented the American Angus Association and Foundation, and Golden Valley, N.D., native Cassi Jo Schriefer, who represented Elanco Animal Health, were also among the YCC participants this year.

The eight-day tour began at the NCBA headquarters in Denver, Colo., where participants were given an organizational overview of NCBA and the beef checkoff program. While in Denver, the group also heard from representatives of Cattle Fax and the U.S. Meat Export Federation. They toured a Safeway retail store and learned about Rancher’s Reserve brand beef marketing efforts. The group spent a day in Greeley, Colo., visiting a JBS Five Rivers feedyard and processing facility.

In Chicago, the group met with the senior management of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange at the Chicago Board of Trade. They had the chance to watch the activity on the trading floor and witness futures trading firsthand. Participants also visited Otto & Sons Industries, a family-owned company providing quality products and custom solutions for the food industry since 1909. This tour offered a view of how boxed beef is turned into custom-order portions for major restaurant chains and some of the nation’s top steakhouses.

The group then traveled to Washington, D.C., where participants received an issues briefing from NCBA’s government affairs staff about policy issues currently facing the cattle industry. The group then traveled to Aldie, Va., for a tour and barbeque at Whitestone Farms, a purebred Angus operation.

The next day, Hall, Ellingson and Schriefer visited one-on-one with members of North Dakota’s Congressional delegation teams, expressing their viewpoints regarding topics such as the overreaching and burdensome waters of the United States proposed rule and the Dietary Guidelines.

The NDSA has sent a representative to YCC since the program’s inception 35 years ago. For application information, call the NDSA office at (701) 223-2522. The NDSA’s application deadline for next year’s tour is March 1, 2015.