USCA conducts annual membership meeting; elects new slate of officers

Farm Forum

USCA — The United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) recently concluded its annual Board of Directors and general membership meeting. The annual conference was held in Bismarck, North Dakota in conjunction with the Independent Beef Association of North Dakota’s (I-BAND) Annual Meeting. USCA and I-BAND conducted their respective meetings over the course of two days, with guest speakers and presentations on Friday, October 3rd and Saturday, October 4th.

USCA members began the annual meeting with the election of a new slate of officers for 2015; nominated for the position of USCA President is Danni Beer, Keldron, South Dakota; Chuck Kiker for USCA Vice President and Jane Wooster for Treasurer. Regional Directors were nominated for the following regions: Region I: Washington, Oregon, Alaska and Hawaii, Kent Wright; Region IV: Utah, Wyoming and Colorado, Adam Redland; Region VII: Nebraska and Iowa, Rod Gray; Region X: North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota: Kenny Graner.

USCA Committee Chairs reported on issues ranging from Membership, Beef Check-off, COOL, Animal Health & Welfare, Marketing & Competition and Environment. USCA Executive Vice President, and full time representative in Washington, gave a comprehensive report on policy issues and Congressional items the group has faced in the past year and expectations for the coming months.

Senator John Hoeven (R-ND), State Director for Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) and Congressman Cramer (R-ND) addressed attendees regarding multiple issues they continue to face in congress. Issues included the Clean Water Act, Country of Origin Labeling, implementation of the Farm Bill program, increasing Section 179 expense limits, and proposed rules on trade parameters with regions of Argentina.

Brian Klippenstein, Executive Director of Protect the Harvest, addressed members regarding ongoing efforts of the organization to combat state-based propositions crafted against production agriculture. Klippenstein focused on the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and their targeted efforts against various sectors of the industry. In addition to Protect the Harvest, Cassandra Fish gave a market update, highlighting her new publication, “The Beef”. Fish’s presentation gave market trends in today’s industry and what producers should expect in the coming months and years ahead. American Farm Bureau Federation Senior Director of Congressional Relations, Mary Kay Thatcher addressed the group on issues currently facing the industry and items that should be flagged for producers across the country. Thatcher noted specifically the issue of “big data” and how producers will need to be cognizant of any agreements entered into on behalf of their respective operations. The evening finished off with I-BAND’s banquet which included industry awards, a silent and live auction, and concluded with live entertainment from singer/songwriter Bren Hill.

USCA members will vote on all proposed policy resolutions, Board of Director appointments and elected Officers via mail-in ballot. For more information on the United States Cattlemen’s Association, visit