The Iowa Cattle Industry Leadership Summit will be Dec. 5-6 at Prairie Meadows in Altoona. The lineup of speakers for the annual meeting, sponsored by the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association, will tackle topics such as fake meat, foreign animal disease threats, and how to protect the cattle industry against legal attacks.
“In addition to a large tradeshow on Thursday, Dec. 5, attendees will dive deep into issues affecting Iowa’s beef cattle industry,” says Katie Olthoff, director of communications for ICA.
Andy Curliss, CEO of the North Carolina Pork Council, will headline the event on Dec. 5, starting at 11 a.m. His presentation, “Up-close and Personal: How Unfair Attacks Hurt Us All,” will take attendees through his experience dealing with nuisance lawsuits in North Carolina. He’ll share his ideas and recommendations on how livestock producers can protect their livelihood.
More than two dozen nuisance lawsuits in North Carolina have been filed against Murphy Brown LLC, a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods. Jurors have ruled against the pork company in all five cases that have made it through the court system. More than $550 million in penalties have been awarded to defendants.
Nuisance lawsuits affect all producers
Although the individual farmers aren’t the ones being sued, they are being affected. Curliss will share the story of Joey Carter, a hog farmer who not only met the requirements of the law in North Carolina, but also exceeded them.
However, members of a nearby housing development, which was built after the hog barns, took part in a class-action lawsuit. The lawsuit, filed by the same lawyers who are well-known for filling class-action lawsuits regarding asbestos, eventually led to the depopulation of Carter’s barns.
Following the keynote presentation on nuisance lawsuits to start the conference in the morning, breakout sessions on other topics will be held in the afternoon. Starting at 1:30 p.m. Dec. 5, the program offers two simultaneous sessions:
Fake Meat: The Industry Responds. Danielle Beck of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association will share the strategies used by NCBA teams as they advocate for beef as the No. 1 protein on consumers’ plates. As senior director of government affairs, Beck is the lead lobbyist on all issues pertaining to tax, credit, appropriations, nutrition, food safety, labeling and research.
Impact FMD Could Have on Your Cattle Business. With African swine fever threatening the world’s hog operations, now is a good time to consider what would happen if a similar disease such as foot-and-mouth disease were to affect Iowa’s cattle industry.
The session is led by Andrew Hennefent, the Iowa Department of Agriculture’s emergency management coordinator, and Danelle Bickett-Weddle from the Center for Food Security and Public Health at Iowa State University. They will lead attendees through a mock “stand-still order.”
In the case of a foreign animal disease outbreak in Iowa, movement (transportation) of all susceptible livestock would be halted for a minimum of 72 hours. When movement resumes, it would be on a permit-only basis for those in areas where the disease is present. Attendees will be asked to think through scenarios on their farm and learn what will be required to receive a movement permit.
ICA policy committee to meet
Following the afternoon sessions, ICA’s policy committee meetings will be held. These meetings are open to all ICA members. Attendees will review expiring policies, hear updates on hot topics in the industry and debate new policies.
“Throughout the year, ICA staff and leaders compile input on various topics affecting the beef cattle industry. From transportation to taxes and everything in between, the issues cattlemen are dealing with need constant attention,” Olthoff says. “ICA’s policy committee meetings are the culmination of the policy development process, where our position on issues is solidified, guiding ICA staff and leaders’ advocacy work throughout the next year. Policies developed in these meetings are ratified during the ICA annual meeting the next day on Friday.”
In preparation for the policy committee meetings, ICA’s Feedlot Council, Cow-Calf Council and various task forces will meet to gather information. Topics to be discussed include Iowa’s Green & Gold Tag Preconditioned programs, traceability and cattle marketing. Attendees will hear a summary of ICA’s October Cattle Marketing Listening Sessions, and work on related policy to carry forward to the NCBA Convention in early 2020.
Cattlemen’s Foundation fundraiser
Dec. 5’s events will cap off with the Iowa Cattlemen’s Foundation Banquet and Fundraiser Auction. The auction will accompany presentations honoring Iowa’s outstanding cattle producers. Cattle industry supporters are encouraged to support the ICA Foundation through the auction, in person or online. Auction items will be posted at iowacattlemensfoundation.org.
Dec. 6 will begin with a breakfast for ICA board members and county board members. Following breakfast, ICA will hold its annual meeting, followed by the Iowa Beef Industry Council annual meeting.
Registration ends Nov. 20. Three registrations are being offered this year: ICA member full registration at $75; non-member full registration at $90; or only the ICA foundation banquet at $50.
Hotel rooms can be reserved at prairiemeadows.com using group code 12042019IOW or by calling 515-957-3000. Rooms must be booked by Nov. 20 to receive the discounted rate.