Washington's cattlemen set focus on trade, wolves, ID and the beef checkoff

Sep 23, 2011
by WLJ

The Washington Cattlemen’s Association (WCA) is set to hold their annual convention in Walla Walla at the Marcus Whitman Hotel, Nov. 9-12, 2011, to discuss current events in the beef industry and set direction for efforts to affect state and national policy in 2012.

Thursday, November 10, the WCA Animal Health and Research Beef Cattle Improvement committees will address a variety of animal health issues such as trich research and regulations, and a discussion about an in-state brucellosis slaughter surveillance program. The committees will also be introduced to four new employees at Washington State University; Min Du, Muscle Biology; Tom Spencer, Reproductive Biology and Endowed Chair; Steve Norberg, Forages and Don Llewellyn, regional area educator in Animal Sciences.

The Public Lands and Wildlife/Rancher/Sportsman/ESA committees will receive an update from Todd Nash, President of Wallowa County Stockgrowers and Rod Childers, Oregon Cattlemen’s Association Wolf Committee Chairman on the past year’s activities in North East Oregon with wolves. Nash and Childers are sure to provide a hard-hitting, realistic, first-hand account of problems and challenges associated with living with wolves. If you live in wolf habitat, you cannot afford to miss this presentation. Charley Orchard, founder of Land EKG, will talk about range monitoring and the value it adds to the bottom line of every ranch. Yakima County WSU Extension Agent Frank Hendrix will be telling ranchers how they can become energy independent.

During the Trade and Marketing, and Livestock ID Committee Meetings on Friday morning, Greg Hanes, Assistant vice president, U.S. Meat Export Federation, will provide an update on Japanese relief efforts and the role age source verification plays in export markets. Neil Hammerschmidt, USDA APHIS, and Dr. Leonard Eldridge, WSDA State Veterinarian, will provide a briefing on the USDA’s proposed animal traceability rule.

Friday morning will also feature a onetime only opportunity for producers in the Northwest to hear directly from beef industry leaders about the beef checkoff and how to improve the program. The panel will feature: Bill Donald, President, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association; Chuck Kiker, vice president, US Cattlemen’s Association; Weldon Wynn, Vice Chair, Cattlemen’s Beef Board; Sid Viebrock, WCA past president, WSBC past chairman, director, Federation of State Beef Councils; and Beef Promotion Operating committee member. The panel will be moderated by Pete Guglielmino- WCA past president and current Cattlemen’s Beef Board Member. — WLJ