(Jan. 31, 2007) – Over 6000 cattle producers from across the nation have descended on Nashville for the U.S. cattle industry's largest meeting, the Cattle Industry Annual Convention and NCBA Trade Show. The convention is hosted by the National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA), the Cattlemen's Beef Board, American National CattleWomen, the National Cattlemen's Foundation and Cattle-Fax.
Wednesday's activities begin with Cattlemen's College®, a full day of hands-on instruction and producer education. Sponsored by Pfizer Animal Health, this year's session is the most comprehensive Cattlemen's College® ever. It features 18 breakout workshops, on a wide range of topics including estate planning, low-stress cattle handling, conservation easements, the 2007 Farm Bill, calf weaning strategies and preconditioning, and improving genetics.
Wednesday afternoon, the cattle industry's largest trade show opens a four-day run, featuring over 270 exhibitors. For the first time ever, the trade show will conclude on Saturday with a day that is free and open to the public.
Wednesday's general session will feature Kevin Freiberg, who will discuss unconventional business practices and how entrepreneurs can use unique strategies to gain a competitive edge. This session will also provide a preview of NCBA's
Cattlemen to Cattlemen, the new weekly television program that makes its debut Feb. 6 on RFD-TV.
Thursday is also an information-packed day for cattlemen, beginning with the annual Cattle-Fax Outlook Seminar. Top experts from Cattle-Fax will discuss the cattle market outlook for 2007, including the impact of exports and rising feedgrain prices. Beef Industry Issues Forums will offer insights on animal identification, natural and organic beef, the impact of ethanol and bio-fuels on the livestock industry, facts about foot-and-mouth disease, and recent task force recommendations for enhancing the Beef Checkoff Program.
Friday's keynote speaker will be U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns. Cattlemen look forward to hearing from Sec. Johanns on such issues as the upcoming Farm Bill debate and USDA's ongoing efforts to expand foreign market access for U.S. beef.
Friday also features committee meetings in which NCBA members debate specific policy issues. Separate committees governing checkoff-funded programs will also receive program updates and evaluate the progress this year's checkoff program goals. These committee meetings lay the groundwork for Saturday, when the convention concludes with meetings of the Cattlemen's Beef Board and the NCBA Board of Directors.
NCBA President Mike John, a cattleman from Huntsville, Mo., is pleased to conclude his term with one of the largest cattle industry conventions in recent memory.
“I'm glad to see so many cattlemen bringing energy and enthusiasm to the annual convention,“ John said. “It tells me that despite some difficult challenges, U.S. cattlemen want to play an active role in shaping their business climate and take charge of their future.”