WASHINGTON, DC (NCBA) — Members of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), the largest organization dedicated solely to representing the interests of U.S. beef producers, are gearing up for their Summer Conference in Denver, Colo., July 28 through Aug. 1, 2010. According to NCBA President and Illinois cattle producer Steve Foglesong, the Summer Conference is “where the rubber meets the road” regarding industry priorities.
“The Summer Conference is where we dig into issues affecting all segments of the beef industry and the organization,” said Foglesong. “We gather as an industry and discuss in great length how to best address critical issues affecting today’s beef producer while also looking at the future. Producers are afforded the opportunity to ask questions, provide insight and, most importantly, serve as a guiding light for the organization and the industry. Their input is absolutely vital to the success of NCBA and the sustainability of the U.S. beef industry.”
Foglesong said there are many issues that will be on the table for discussion at the conference. One of the most important, he said, is the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration’s plans for a proposed rule (as required by the 2008 farm bill and through existing authority under the Packers and Stockyards Act) regarding livestock and poultry marketing practices. The issue will be discussed during the organization’s Policy Division Forum.
“While we’re still looking at the details of the proposal, in general, we have serious concerns with any efforts to increase government intrusion in the marketplace. Cattle producers support free-market principles and we deserve the right to enter into private negotiations between willing buyers and sellers—just like other sectors of American business. NCBA will fight to protect the use of contract and alternative marketing arrangements in the cattle industry to satisfy the demands of our consumers,” said Foglesong. “We absolutely need to hear from our producers on this matter. We have to have a policy in place that is representative of U.S. cattle producers.”
Federation Chair Scott George said working with members of the Federation of State Beef Councils to collectively clarify its role within NCBA will be one of the most prominent priorities.
“We plan to have very candid conversation with representatives of State Beef Councils,” said George. “We have successfully partnered with NCBA for 14 years. We want to ensure we are on track to continue our track record of successful initiatives on behalf of U.S. cattle producers.”
The Summer Conference also offers participants the opportunity to hear from several speakers including Jude Capper, Ph.D., assistant professor of dairy science at Washington State University; Frank Mitloehner, associate professor and air quality specialist at the University of California; and Jason Clay, senior vice president of Market Transformations, who leads the World Wildlife Federation’s forests, fisheries, agriculture, aquaculture and finance initiatives. Temple Grandin will be honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Grandin is a world-renowned designer of livestock handling facilities, a professor of animal science at Colorado State University, and one of the world’s highest functioning autistics.
For more information about NCBA’s Summer Conference visit www.beefusa.org.