The 2016 Ohio Cattlemen’s Foundation Young Cattlemen’s Conference (YCC) hosted 18 cattlemen and women for a 3-day leadership development program in Columbus and the central Ohio areas, Aug. 18-20. The conference was made possible by Farm Credit Mid-America and the Ohio Soybean Council.
YCC kicked off Thursday evening at the Crowne Plaza North in Columbus with a beef dinner and participants were present for the 2016 Ohio State Fair Commercial Cattle Show carcass contest awards presentation. Guest speaker, Justin Sexten, Ph.D., Director of Supply Development for the Certified Angus Beef Brand, discussed the challenges and opportunities currently facing the beef industry.
Conference attendees also participated in a spokesperson training program by Daren Williams, Senior Executive Director of Communications. Williams lead participants through a media training session that strengthened their communication skills, taught attendees how to tell their beef production story, and become a more effective cattle industry leader.
Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) staff discussed the value of membership and the role OCA plays in representing the interests of beef producers on legislative and regulatory issues. The Ohio Beef Council staff presented an overview of checkoff funded beef promotions designed to increase consumer demand for beef.
Participants had the opportunity to have lunch at Cameron Mitchell’s The Pearl restaurant in Columbus to learn about the checkoff’s partnership with the restaurant chain built around beef promotions. Following lunch, participants traveled to the Ohio State House where they met with Senator Bob Peterson (District 17). Senator Peterson, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, spoke about current Ohio legislation affecting the beef cattle industry and answered questions from the group.
The group was able to attend a Columbus Clippers baseball game, where they gained firsthand experience in telling their beef story to game attendees, while promoting beef at the ballpark.
The final day included a session with Dr. Lyda Garcia, Assistant Professor at The Ohio State University Department of Animal Sciences, for a Mini-BEEF 509 class. Dr. Garcia provided hands-on learning on how meat is graded, fabrication of wholesale and retail cuts, and other issues that can affect beef quality and pricing. Participants also viewed champion carcasses from the 2016 Ohio State Fair. Participants also heard from Hank LeVan, OSU’s recent addition to the Animal Sciences staff. LeVan is also serving as the Livestock Judging Team coach and provided goals set for the upcoming teams and avenues provided to achieve them.
A special tour of the Ohio State University Woody Hayes Athletic Center was a highlight of the program thanks to a continuing relationship between OCA and the OSU football team. OCA annually prepares and serves beef for the Champions Dinner and other team events. Participants learned about the history of OSU football and toured the training and practice facilities.
The purpose of the YCC is to offer emerging Ohio beef industry leaders and young producers the opportunity to build their own leadership skills as they network with beef industry leaders, government officials, businesses and media. Young beef producers interested in attending the 2017 YCC should contact the Ohio Cattlemen’s Foundation at 614-873-6736 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.