Conference to Address Shrinking Cattle Herd

NCBA Summer Conference to Address Shrinking U.S. Cattle Herd
By  National Cattlemen’s Beef Association

WASHINGTON (July 20, 2010) The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) will be hosting its Summer Conference July 28 through Aug. 1, 2010, in Denver, Colo. According to NCBA President and Illinois cattle producer Steve Foglesong, cattle producers attending the event will receive firsthand information pertaining to issues affecting the beef industry.

“The Summer Conference is more than determining NCBA’s policies,” said Foglesong. “The event is a portal of excellent information for cattle producers. For example, the shrinking U.S. cattle population is concerning to this organization and to me, personally, as a producer. We have a panel of the industry’s finest to address the beef cattle population and offer any predictions for the future.”

Foglesong is referring to NCBA’s first ever “Rebuilding the Herd” panel that specifically addresses the shrinkage in the U.S. cattle herd. Beyond that, Gregg Doud, NCBA chief economist, said the panel is also about rebuilding the people involved in the industry. Doud said it is more important than ever to engage younger generations in farming and ranching.

“The future of this industry depends on sustaining farms and ranches for younger generations,” said Doud. “In order to make that possible, we have to address issues that serve as potential barriers for the future of this industry. The one we will be focusing on during this unique panel discussion is rebuilding the U.S. cattle herd.”

The panel will feature Mike Thoren, president and CEO of Five Rivers Cattle Feeding; Kevin Good, senior market analyst with Cattle-Fax; Ben Neale, The Beef Connection and NCBA Young Producer’s Council vice chairman; and Jack Reich, president of the North Dakota Stockmen’s Association. Doud said there will be lively conversation and an array of perspectives.

“The shrinking cattle herd is a major issue and one that is too often left out of the discussion,” said Doud. “We’ve shrunk the beef cow herd for 12 of the last 14 years even though the average cow calf producer has made money in all but three of these years. We want to extend this discussion beyond what it takes to retain and develop heifers and the cattle cycle. There are obviously other factors at work here and this discussion is an attempt to flesh out these challenges to the future growth of our industry.”

Foglesong said another panel at the meeting will focus on the trade relationship between the U.S. and Mexico Dr. Salvador Alvarez, Secretary (Vice President) of Mexico’s Confederation of National Livestock Organizations (CNOG); Alejandro Gomez, CNOG legal consultant; Steve Foglesong, NCBA president; and Jay Whetten, Chihuahua Cattlemen’s Association.

For more information about NCBA’s Summer Conference visit

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