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Big year for Minnesota cattle producers

Cattlemen Roundup: The MSCA ensures beef producers’ concerns are being heard at the state and federal levels.

January 17, 2024

3 Min Read
beef cattle grazing in a pasture
LEADING THE HERD: The Minnesota State Cattlemen’s Association promotes beef producers’ priorities at the state, federal and even international level so cattle production remains a relevant, safe and sustainable way of life for generations to come. Kevin Schulz

Editor’s note: This is the debut of Cattlemen Roundup, a quarterly column by Kaitlyn Root, executive director of the Minnesota State Cattlemen’s Association.

by Kaitlyn Root

I have been working for the Minnesota State Cattlemen’s Association for just over one year now, and it has been a year filled with opportunities, achievements, friendships, travel and learning.

I am currently putting together the 2023 MSCA Annual Report, and as I reflect on this past year with the cattlemen, I am in awe of the dedication our volunteer-leaders have to the industry and what the MSCA has achieved.

April was a busy month for the MSCA. We grilled steaks at the Minnesota Capitol in St. Paul for legislators and staff to enjoy while discussing top cattle producer priorities. We served more than 750 steaks in one hour, with many coming back for seconds, saying how delicious the steak was.

MSCA representatives headed to Washington, D.C., in April and met with U.S. representatives to discuss Minnesota cattle producers’ top priorities, including support for the Beef Checkoff, farm bill priorities, modernizing the Endangered Species Act and delisting the gray wolf, and the importance of voluntary, incentivized conservation programs for cattle producers.

The summer months at the MSCA tend to revolve around two major events — Summer Tour and Farmfest. This year’s tour was hosted by the Murray County and Pipestone County cattlemen’s groups, featuring operations and businesses in southwestern Minnesota. It was a hugely successful tour, with beautiful weather and great networking opportunities for all.

The MSCA serves Big Beef Sandwiches at Farmfest in August as a fundraising event, and we once again had a phenomenal turnout. Not only does Farmfest serve as an opportunity to fund the MSCA, but we also use this time to meet with state and national leaders to discuss issues cattle producers are facing in Minnesota.

Building relationships

We had boots (and cowboy hats) on the ground in Japan during September. MSCA member Mike Landuyt and I traveled to Tokyo and Osaka with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and other ag commodity leaders for the MDA’s Ag and Food Mission Trip. Japan is a key trade partner for U.S. beef, so building and maintaining relations in Japan is crucial for beef imports.

The year rounded off, as always, with the Minnesota Cattle Industry Convention Dec. 15-16 at the Arrowwood Resort in Alexandria. The theme was “Creating a Dynasty, Leaving a Legacy,” with educational sessions geared toward the theme of providing for future generations on the farm.

Wow, what a year it has been!

For those of you who are MSCA members, thank you. We could not do this work without you, and we value your membership.

I encourage all of you who are not already MSCA members, join today. The MSCA is made up of Minnesota cattlemen and cattlewomen working to defend producers and members of the beef industry within Minnesota — join us in the fight. We strive to ensure cattle production remains a relevant, safe and sustainable way of life for generations to come.

For more information, or to become a member, visit mnsca.org or email me at [email protected].

Root is the executive director of the Minnesota State Cattlemen’s Association.

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