Immediately following the 2010 Cattle Industry's Annual Convention and Trade Show in San Antonio, TX last week, I hopped on a plane and headed to Minot, N.D. where I had the opportunity to take part in the 2010 N.D. Young Farmer and Rancher Leadership Conference. The theme of this year's event was, "Weathering Change," and we heard from speakers on topics ranging from commodity marketing, to climate change, to developing relationships with the media. Of course, since the event was focused on young farmers and ranchers, there was also plenty of advice offered to all of us interested in or in the process of getting started in production agriculture.
In addition to taking part in the offered workshops, I was the keynote speaker following the luncheon. I presented my speech, "Stand Up, Speak Out and Tell Your Story," to the group, challenging each of them to stand firm in their beliefs and to not be afraid to reach out to consumers, the media or policy makers in explaining the beef production story. After the conclusion of my speech, I was a part of a panel answering the question, "Beef, what's the future?" Joining me on the panel were Sarah Gustin, KXMB Bismarck Farm Director; Dave Dockter, Select Sires; and Rob Bodine, beef producer.
The panel took questions from the audience. I thought I would share some of the questions and concerns from this group in order to spark a conversation on today's blog. Questions included: What advice do all of you have for today's young producers? Should we try to get into organic farming? How do we compete with other proteins in today's economy? Consistency is a problem in beef products, how can we address this? Hamburgers in school lunch programs lack quality, who can we talk to about this problem? How can we work to improve our domestic market? What do you think of COOL and NAIS? Should producers source and age verify their cattle? What is the future of the N.D. processing plant being built by Korea?
What are your opinions on some of these topics? What questions would you have asked the panel? What topics would you like to hear about in the upcoming weeks? Leave your thoughts in the comments box; I would love to hear from all of you! Stay tuned for additional updates from both conferences, as there were a lot of outstanding topics covered that I will share with you throughout the week. Finally, I was both thrilled and honored to have met so many BEEF Daily Blog readers in my travels last week. BEEF Daily reached over 328,000 people in 2009, and it's very humbling to meet those of you who tune in each day over your morning coffee. Thank you, thank you, thank you for your support and continued readership. It truly means the world to me.
BEEF Daily Quick Fact: Cattle and beef prices are expected to average slightly higher than year ago levels in 2010 (CattleFax 2010 Executive Summary)