MARYSVILLE — In mid-August, a Preble County resident took part in the Young Cattlemen’s Conference through the Ohio Cattlemen’s Foundation. Gabrielle Cooper of West Alexandria, participated in this three-day event designed for young people with interest in the cattle industry.
The 2019 Ohio Cattlemen’s Foundation Young Cattlemen’s Conference (YCC) hosted 19 cattlemen and women for a three day leadership development program in central Ohio from Aug. 8 through 10. The conference was made possible through the support of program sponsors: Farm Credit Mid-America, Ohio Beef Council, Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association, Ohio Soybean Council and the Rick Malir & Bonnie Coley-Malir Beef Leadership Fund.
YCC kicked off Thursday evening at the Ronald McDonald House of Columbus where participants were able to tour the house and learn about its mission. Attendees also had the opportunity to network over a beef dinner with members of the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association’s Board of Directors, program sponsor representatives and other industry professionals. Vice President of Protein Procurement and Innovation, Wendy’s Quality Supply Chain Co-op, Inc. (QSSC), Dr. Henry Zerby, served as the guest speaker for the evening and shared his thoughts on the future of the beef industry and some of the challenges it faces moving forward.
On day two of YCC, conference attendees participated in a mini-Beef 509 session with Dr. Lyda Garcia, assistant professor of meat science for The Ohio State University’s Department of Animal Sciences. This hands-on experience included learning how meat is graded, the fabrication of wholesale and retail cuts, and other issues that can impact beef quality and pricing. Participants also viewed the champion beef carcasses from the 2019 Ohio State Fair and visited The Ohio State University’s football practice facilities.
Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) staff then discussed the value of membership and the role OCA has in legislative and regulatory issues; participants also heard from Executive Director of Government Affairs for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), Allison Rivera, about the latest federal issues impacting the cattle industry. The afternoon was spent at the Ohio Statehouse where participants met with Representative Darrell Kick (District 70). Representative Kick, who sits on the House Agricultural and Rural Development Committee, spoke about current Ohio legislation affecting the beef cattle industry and answered questions from the group.
That evening, participants were hosted at the home of program sponsor, Rick Malir and Bonnie Coley-Malir. While there, attendees were able to network with one another and learn more about the couple’s agricultural roots and their passion for the beef industry and professional development.
The final day of the conference was kicked off by Ohio Beef Council (OBC) staff, with a discussion regarding OBC’s role in checkoff collection and beef promotional efforts in Ohio. Attendees also participated in a spokesperson training program coordinated by Director of Grassroots Advocacy and Spokesperson Development for NCBA, Ryan Goodman. Goodman led participants through a media training session that strengthened their communication skills, encouraged attendees to tell their beef production story and helped them become more effective cattle industry leaders.