The annual convention of the Louisiana Cattlemen's Association hosted the first joint appearance by incoming leaders of two national cattle organizations. National Cattlemen's Beef Association President-elect Mike John, a cattleman from Huntsville, Mo., shared the stage Saturday morning with Chuck Kiker of Beaumont, Texas, incoming president of R-CALF USA.
About 125 cattle producers were in the audience, and many posed questions of John and Kiker. The forum was moderated by Dr. Jason Rowntree, extension service beef coordinator with Louisiana State University.
The discussion brought out clear policy differences between NCBA and R-CALF, as well as contrasting outlooks of the cattle industry. John urged cattlemen to use advancements in the industry to their advantage, in order to extend the current period of strong profitability.
"I have never in my life been so optimistic about the future of our industry," John says. "Yes, change is inevitable. But this time it comes with a premium. There are programs out there now that are paying producers added premiums for their calves that we have never had before. These premiums are due to producers embracing the change."