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NCBA Convention Sets Record

by Ken Root

Listen Here: Agribusiness Matters 2-7-17

A record number of cattle producers were in Nashville, Tennessee last week as the industry looks to cope with slipping prices and talk about a new trade environment.

More than 9,300 attended this year’s Cattle Industry Convention, breaking the previous record by more than 1,000 attendees.

Part of that success was credited to the location; Nashville is within driving distance of high number of cattlemen and cattle-women.

Kendal Frazier, the CEO of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, says increased participation happens during tough times.

“Historically in my 40 year career working for both state and national associations, what I’ve seen is when you have markets that are lower, you seem to have more interest in joining, and having someone advocate for your interest. When the markets are higher, there is a tendency for some to be more complacent.”

Frazier says not only were the numbers solid at this year’s convention, but he’s also noticing a youth movement.

“One of the things I’ve seen here that I have not seen for a few years is a tremendous amount of young people here. The younger generation is at this convention, and they are active. All our meeting rooms have been full and people are really participating. It’s been quite a week here in Nashville.”

At the close of the meeting, outgoing president Tracy Bruner handed over the reigns to Craig Uden. Uden, is a Nebraska cattlemen that served last year as NCBA’s president-elect. When asked about his priorities for NCBA’s policy activity during his time as president, he offered a couple of familiar topics.

“Trade and regulations are two of our top priorities.”

Kevin Kester from Parkfield, California, will serve this year as NCBA’s president elect, and Tennessee cattle-woman Jennifer Houston was voted NCBA’s new vice president.