The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association gathered for another fantastic meeting where they hashed out policy, recognized award winners and set goals for 2017.
OCA president Joe Foster discussed the accomplishments of the organization in the last year and highlights from the meeting.
“One of the high points was a new dues structure for student members. We are going to try to engage some of the college level students and get them more involved in the organization,” Foster said. “We are coming off a record membership last year. We are down just a few from last year but are very comparable to last year and we’re confident we will have another record year in 2017.”
The group also heard from Kendal Frazier, CEO of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, on the national outlook for 2017.
“We’re going to be focused on the new Trump Administration and the new Congress. We will be working on regulations like Waters of the United States that the EPA put out. We are hopeful the Trump Administration will pull that back. Taxes will be something we will be very interested in. The Administration has indicated that they want to do tax reform. We’d like to repeal the estate tax, which is a long-standing goal of the NCBA,” Frazier said. “Trade will be a big issue for us too. We export 13% of U.S. beef production overseas and that is worth $250 per head on fed cattle. It is very important to us. We’re anxious to sit down and talk to the Administration about what the trade strategy will be. He has basically said that we should renegotiate NAFTA and Mexico and Canada are two of the most important markets for U.S. beef. He has said he does not support the Trans Pacific Partnership. In America, we export 27% of all agricultural production. If he does not support these trade deals, what is the trade strategy for agriculture? Trade has deep roots in rural America and those are the conversations we will be interested in having with the Trump Administration.”
He said the key positions in the Trump Administration for the NCBA are the Secretary of Agriculture, Secretary of Interior, the U.S. trade representative, and the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.
“American agriculture will have to continue to speak out to accomplish the interests of rural America,” Frazier said. “Rural America did support Trump for a number of reasons and we look forward to the new positions being confirmed so we can go in, sit down with them and talk about the issues that are important to the beef industry.”
The OCA also recognized another great group of award winners. Pat Hord and Dave Neef of Hord Livestock in Crawford County were recognized with the Environmental Stewardship Award. The Hord family is in its fifth generation of farming hogs, cattle and grain with a dedication to environmental care.
The Vollborn Family from Gallia County was honored with the Commercial Producer of the Year Award for four generations of cattle production and the tireless work with the current herd of Angus and Charolais genetics.
Dave Felumlee and family with Claylick Run Angus Genetics in Licking County were recognized with the Seedstock Producer of the Year Award. After graduating from Ohio State University with a degree in agricultural economics and working briefly as a nutritionist, Dave came home to farm with his dad full time in 1996. David had gradually expanded his Angus herd since 1983, and in 1998 he bought all his dad’s beef cows and took over management of the farm’s beef operation.
J.L. Draganic of Fayette County was named the Young Cattleman of the Year. He works full time for Ricketts Farm, Inc., and he and his wife, Jessica, own Paint Creek Cattle, an Angus-based cow-calf operation in South Solon.
Stan Smith with Fairfield County Extension received the Industry Service Award. His duties include education in all areas of natural resources including agriculture and horticulture production. He also serves as editor of the Ohio BEEF Cattle letter, a weekly publication of the OSU Extension Beef Team since 1996.
Tom and Susie Turner were the recipients of the Industry Excellence Award for their dedication to Ohio beef producers and the work on their Perry County Shorthorn operation, Turner Shorthorns. As a professor at Ohio State, Tom coached 32 intercollegiate livestock judging teams that included 266 students and is the longest serving coach in the 105 year history of the program at Ohio State and the second longest in the U.S. He has judged livestock around the world and was a crucial part of the development of OCA’s popular BEST program.