Oct. 27, 2008 - Membership and revenues increased significantly for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) in its 2008 fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30. NCBA membership grew 6.7 percent over the previous year to 30,647, while revenues from membership grew by 8.3 percent over fiscal 2007. Membership in the organization has grown 24 percent in the last three years.
“Our country is going through some tough economic times, and our industry is dealing with those financial issues and its own,” says Bill Donald, a beef producer from Melville, Mont., and chairman of the NCBA Policy Division. “But that doesn't mean we don't need a strong national voice. It's good to know that cattlemen are recognizing this need and joining forces with the nation's oldest, strongest and largest cattlemen's organization.”
Donald points out that 38 of the country's 45 cattlemen and livestock affiliates increased NCBA member revenue in 2008, and 36 of them increased their national member numbers. Membership retention rate was about 74.5 percent for the year, a 3.7 percent increase over 2007.
“We realize the tremendous financial challenges producers in our industry are facing,” Donald says. “Input costs are high, the economy is weak and the demands on disposable income are incredible. But we're also facing conditions requiring our vigilance in Washington D.C. and with consumers. With the increasing size and strength of NCBA, we'll be able to provide the protection and aggressive action needed by our cattle producers and industry.”
At least one state in each of the seven NCBA regions had more than 20 percent increase in national membership growth, demonstrating the nationwide resurgence in the organization and interest in its efforts, Donald says.
NCBA also increased its membership in 2007, adding 8 percent to its membership base from 2006. Among the reasons for the upswing, he says, are four field representatives who have been working in the different regions, attending local meetings and providing another conduit for NCBA members to reach the organization while carrying policy and issue information into the field.
In addition, increased membership benefits, including educational opportunities through NCBA's National Cattlemen magazine, Cattlemen to Cattlemen television show on RFD-TV and events at the annual convention, are providing new methods for enhancing successful cattle businesses. A new Young Producers Council will also provide techniques to keep new producers in the cattle industry.
“As cattlemen we've got a lot of challenges to face,” Donald says. “Only by joining forces can we hope to overcome those challenges and collectively become stronger. With experience that dates back to 1898 and a respected staff and operation in Washington, D.C., NCBA has the foundation and the tools to make a difference for our industry. I encourage other cattlemen to join me in this fight.”