Policy Debate, Educational Sessions to Highlight Cattle Industry Convention

Early registration still open for NCBA annual convention.

Published on: Dec 9, 2005

Early registration is currently open for cattle producers and others attending the 2006 Cattle Industry Annual Convention & Trade Show. Most events will be held at the newly-expanded Colorado Convention Center in downtown Denver, from Wednesday, Feb. 1 to Saturday, Feb. 4. The theme for the Convention and Trade Show is "Cowboy Up!"

More than 5,000 cattle industry participants are expected at the Annual Convention and Trade Show, which will be hosted again by five organizations: the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, the Cattlemen's Beef Promotion & Research Board, American National CattleWomen, Inc., National Cattlemen's Foundation and Cattle-Fax.

Cattlemen's College, sponsored by Pfizer Animal Health, leads off the week's educational offerings on Wednesday morning, Feb. 1. Cattlemen's College sessions will be held at Denver's famous National Western Stock Show Complex. A demonstration in low-stress cattle handling will be featured in the morning. One-hour afternoon breakout sessions will enable participants to customize a full day of education to their specific needs. Breakout session topics include animal I.D., weaning strategies, live cattle and feeder cattle contracts, and a guide to conservation programs.

Wednesday afternoon will also feature the very popular Cattle-Fax Outlook Seminar, sponsored by Purina Mills, LLC and Pfizer Animal Health. The Outlook Seminar will offer an insightful look ahead at cattle markets, including the impact of rapid herd expansion and the changing cattle cycle. The seminar is free to Cattlemen's College® registrants and to Cattle-Fax members.

Critical policy issues will be discussed throughout the Convention, with international trade, BSE testing and regulatory policy, animal I.D., environmental issues and property rights certain to take center stage. The Convention is a critical opportunity for NCBA members to determine the organization's policy direction in coming months, in both the legislative and regulatory arenas.

"It's really important for members to participate, because NCBA has a process where every member's opinion and vote does count," says Jim McAdams, a Texas cattle rancher and NCBA president. "All members have the opportunity to influence policy after Convention through a mail ballot, but there's no substitute for being on site. We're going to make crucial decisions on many issues, and we need input from everyone."

Checkoff-funded programs will also be reviewed during the Convention, with Friday's committee meetings featuring discussion of industry efforts focused on promotion, education, nutrition, beef safety, and new product development. Convention attendees will also review and take action on the beef industry's new Long Range Plan, which is currently available in draft form at http://longrangeplan.beef.org/.

The NCBA Trade Show opens with a Wild, Wild West Welcome Reception on Wednesday, Feb. 1 and continues through Friday, Feb. 3. The reception is sponsored by Micro Beef Technologies, co-sponsored by Schering-Plough Animal Health, and features music by The Elana Trio. Over 250 exhibitors are expected for this year's Trade Show, making it the industry's largest showcase of cutting-edge products and services.

Dr. Barry Ausmus of the National Center for Policy Analysis will be the keynote speaker at the Opening General Session on Thursday, Feb. 2. Dr. Ausmus is considered one of the most requested public speakers in the nation, bringing expertise in management, marketing and entrepreneurship.

The Convention's social events will also feature exciting activities and world-class entertainment. On Friday, the NCBA Political Action Committee (NCBA-PAC) will hold a team penning competition and barn dance at the National Western Complex, sponsored by Fort Dodge Animal Health. The dance will feature music by James Lann and Branded. Saturday's Grand Finale Evening Event is a Ranch Dance sponsored by Fort Dodge, Schering-Plough, Purina Mills and U.S. Premium Beef. Mark Powell and Lariat will provide an evening filled with western swing and contemporary music.

NCBA-PAC also invites Convention attendees to extend their stay in Colorado through the weekend by boarding the Ski Train to Winter Park. The Ski Train departs Denver's Union Station Sunday morning, Feb. 5, and returns the same evening. A magnificent excursion for both skiers and non-skiers, the Ski Train to Winter Park offers a full day of terrific Rocky Mountain scenery, camaraderie and outdoor fun.

"Attendance and participation at the Cattle Industry Convention and Trade Show is one of the best investments cattlemen can make in the future of their operation and their industry," McAdams says.

For more information about the 2006 Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show, please contact the Convention Department at 303/694-0305 or go online at: www.BeefUSA.org/AnnualConvention.aspx. To sign up for the NCBA-PAC events, please contact Erin Vincent at (202) 347-0228 or evincent@beef.org.