The United States Cattlemen's Association earlier this month concluded its annual Board of Directors and general membership meeting, electing new officers and hearing from North Dakota legislators on key policy issues affecting cattlemen.
The annual conference was held in Bismarck, N.D., in conjunction with the Independent Beef Association of North Dakota's Annual Meeting.
USCA members began the annual meeting with the election of a new slate of officers for 2015. Nominated for the position of USCA President was Danni Beer, Keldron, S.D.
Chuck Kiker was nominated for USCA Vice President and Jane Wooster was nominated for Treasurer.
Regional Directors were nominated for the following regions: Region I: Washington, Oregon, Alaska and Hawaii, Kent Wright; Region IV: Utah, Wyoming and Colorado, Adam Redland; Region VII: Nebraska and Iowa, Rod Gray; Region X: North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota: Kenny Graner.
USCA Committee Chairs reported on issues ranging from membership, beef checkoff, COOL, animal health and welfare, marketing and competition and environment.
Members heard a report on policy issues and Congressional items the group has faced in the past year and expectations for the coming months.
Senator John Hoeven, R-N.D., State Director for Senator Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., and Congressman Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., addressed attendees regarding multiple issues they continue to face in congress.
Issues included the Clean Water Act, country of origin labeling, implementation of the Farm Bill program, increasing Section 179 expense limits, and proposed rules on trade parameters with regions of Argentina.
Brian Klippenstein, executive director of Protect the Harvest, addressed members regarding ongoing efforts of the organization to combat state-based propositions crafted against production agriculture. Klippenstein focused on the Humane Society of the United States and their targeted efforts against various sectors of the industry.
American Farm Bureau Federation Senior Director of Congressional Relations, Mary Kay Thatcher, addressed the group on issues currently facing the industry and items that should be flagged for producers across the country.
Thatcher noted specifically the issue of "big data" and how producers will need to be cognizant of any agreements entered into on behalf of their respective operations.
USCA members will vote on all proposed policy resolutions, Board of Director appointments and elected Officers via mail-in ballot.
Source: U.S. Cattlemen's Association