South Dakotans travel to Phoenix for Cattle Industry Convention
PIERRE — The 2018 Cattle Industry Convention held Jan. 31 – Feb. 3 in Phoenix was well attended this year. Several South Dakota farmers, ranchers and beef industry leaders were part of the nearly 7,500 in attendance. The convention served as a gathering place for a multitude of people in the beef industry; providing a chance to share information about the checkoff and upcoming industry issues.
Holding their meetings at this event were the Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB), National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, the American National CattleWomen, CattleFax and the National Cattlemen’s Foundation. Early arrivers to Phoenix had the opportunity to attend a pre-convention agriculture tour on Tuesday with stops at the Caterpillar Eloy Dealership, T & K Dairy, Caywood Farms and Queen Creek Olive Mill. On Tuesday afternoon, Cattlemen’s College, which is famous for stimulating and thought-provoking sessions that can help generate high returns for producers’ operations, kicked off by celebrating its 25th anniversary.
Several leadership positions were determined for the Federation of State Beef Councils at the meeting. Dawn Caldwell (Nebraska) was elected chair of the Federation Division, and Laurie Munns (Utah) was elected vice chair. Dawn Caldwell will also serve as vice-chair of the Beef Promotion Operating Committee. The SDBIC congratulates Gary Deering, Hereford, SD (Federation) and Tammy Basel, Union Center, S.D., (CBB) on their selection to the Operating Committee.
The meeting continues to be a starting point for checkoff committee discussion on strategic priorities for the upcoming year. SDBIC board member Becky Walth of Glenham, S.D., who serves as a Nutrition and Health committee member states, “The two most important things that came out of committee were to ensure beef’s inclusion in dietary recommendations and research and communicate beef’s nutritional benefits,” Walth continues to emphasize, “Research is important because it is the foundation for education and communication.”
SDBIC President Eric Sumption, Frederick, S.D., said the convention overall was a positive experience. As a member of the Export Growth committee, Sumption stated, “It was interesting to hear that the volume was up again on the export side of it. Beef exports return on investment was over $250 to added value in carcass.”
SDBIC’s own executive director, Suzy Geppert, was nominated and elected to serve on the Federation Advisory Council. The committee consists of nine state beef council executive directors, who provide insight about state issues to Federation leadership.
South Dakota is proud to have four cattle producers serving as directors on Cattlemen’s Beef Board. Recently appointed to the board was Bill Slovek of Phillip, S.D. He will join current beef board members Cory Eich of Canova, S.D., Tammy Basel and Eric Sumption.