Oregon Cattlemens Association annual convention a huge success
The Oregon Cattlemen’s Association’s (OCA) Annual Convention was a huge success in terms of attendance as well as the quality and significance of the information cattle producers were provided. The following officers were elected unanimously and will serve on the OCA Executive Board: Treasurer—Curtis Martin of North Powder, OR; District 3 Vice President—Don Gomes Jr., Antelope, OR; District 4 Vice President— Marilyn Kasch, Culver, OR; District 5 Vice President— Julie Laird, Plush, OR; District 6 Vice President—Don Santos, Roseburg, OR. Congressman Greg Walden, R-OR, addressed the assembly during lunch Nov. 13. He stressed the importance, now more than ever, of informing the public about cattle producers’ good stewardship of the land and the benefits they provide to society as a whole. There was definitely a crowd to hear Katy Coba, Oregon Department of Agriculture director, speak during the opening session on Friday.
Informational presentations were aimed at helping producers survive these economically challenging times, identifying management priorities, understanding the effects of cross breeding, and turning carbon credits into cash. Updates were given on Country of Origin Labeling requirements and age and source verification. There was significant discussion on industry issues expected to be addressed during the 2009 Legislative Session such as compensation for wildlife damage, water rights, animal welfare, tax increases and climate change. A new OCA committee was established and charged with addressing cattle industry concerns with regards to proposed climate change legislation.
Updates were given on various research projects funded by the Oregon Beef Checkoff including the wolf/ cattle research by John Williams and Mike Borman of the Department of Rangeland Ecology and Management. The project included collaring 60 cows this past grazing season on six ranches, three in Oregon without wolves and three in Idaho where wolves are present. They have gotten some very good data so far. They will be returning to the Oregon Beef Council for a third year of support.
Other topics of interest included the future of the brand program, an update on the wolves present in Oregon, survey results on potentially renewing a state meat inspection program, and new programs now available to producers through the Farm Bill. Attendees also received updates on both the wins and losses of recent litigation affecting private property rights by Reed Hopper of Pacific Legal Foundation, and public lands grazing permits by Elizabeth Howard of Dunn Carney. Sharon Beck of Cove commented it was like a breath of fresh air to hear about the Western
Resources Legal Center at Lewis and Clark Law School exceeding all expectations for its first year. The convention was not only informative but also included some time for fun with a casino night held in the Trade Show for the first time and the ever popular Western Fun Night held at Ankony in Terrebonne.
Many of the attendees remarked on the quality of speakers and how valuable the information presented during the convention was to them and the future of their operations. — WLJ