Cattle industry convention is set for December

Posted November 7, 2013 at 1:58 pm

The 2013 Iowa Cattle Industry Convention, “Grab Reality by the Horns,” is a mix of education, social activities and, for those who are members of the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association, policy work on key issues. The convention will be held Dec. 9-11 at the Prairie Meadows Events Center in Altoona.

“Although we topped 10,000 in our membership drive this past year, we know there are cattle producers in the state who are not ICA members,” said ICA CEO Matt Deppe. “Nonetheless, we’re reaching out with an invitation to all Iowa cattle producers to come for a few days of education, inspiration and networking.

“Our theme is a nod to the challenging weather and pricing issues for all cattle producers this past year. While cattle producers acknowledge regular challenges in their business, the convention in December will encourage them to grab those issues and bring them under control,” he said.

Early registration for the event ends Dec. 2.

One of the keynote speakers, CattleFax market analyst Lance Zimmerman, will talk about cattle and corn market outlooks and strategies, and how developments with both through the fall months will drive profit opportunities through next year. Zimmerman will speak at Cattlemen’s College on Dec. 9.

A second keynote speaker, Bob Fields, the senior director of meat and gourmet foods at Sam’s Club, will outline for the consumer view for producers. With more than 600 store locations worldwide, Sam’s Club stores are well-tuned to the interests of their customers, who also happen to be customers of Iowa’s beef cattle producers. Fields will speak on Tuesday, Dec. 10.

Other speakers at Cattlemen’s College on Dec. 9, will talk about cattle handling facilities and fencing, new feeding rules and pre-harvest technology; heifer development strategies, the use of high density profile DNA for seedstock, Tyson Foods’ FarmCheck Program, the breeding herd health issue Trichomoniasis, and hedging and other market tools.

The first day wraps up with a President’s Reception, and entertainment by Iowa’s own Jason Brown Band.

On Dec. 10, educational sessions will again cover all aspects of cattle production in Iowa. A panel of cow-calf producers will talk about their pasture management, feeders can learn about a feedyard benchmark study and what information they can apply to their facility, and seedstock producers can learn about many different ways to market their genetics. Additionally, Stephen Koontz from Colorado State University will talk about alternative marketing methods and how they impact cash prices for cattle producers. And for those county cattlemen active in grilling activities, an educational session on SafeBeef will earn them a wallet card certificate.

That day, the evening wraps up first with a Trade Show Social with the more than 50 vendors registered for the event. Inspirational speaker Mike Schlappi will motivate convention-goers to take on and overcome their limitations. Following a tragic accident as a teenager, Schlappi has proven that just because “you can’t stand up, doesn’t mean you can’t stand out!”

On Wednesday, Dec. 11, the consumer advocate from Iowa’s Insurance Division will speak at the convention about the new health insurance marketplace and what individuals and small businesses need to know about the laws regarding health care.

ICA members will also hold their annual meeting, which will include policy discussion of ideas put forth by its three policy committees, and then adoption of policies.

ICIC attendees have some registration options. Early registration ends at 5 p.m. on Dec. 2. Those who register before that time can enjoy all convention events and meals during the three days for just $75. Full registrations after that time will be $125.

For those who want to attend the meeting at a lower cost, a registration level that doesn’t include any meals is available. The cost is $25, and allows attendance to educational sessions only.

Registration forms are on the ICA website, www.iacattlemen.org, or check the Iowa Cattleman November magazine, or call the ICA offices for registration or other questions, 515-296-2266.

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