California ranchers celebrate 95th annual convention

Nov 25, 2011
by WLJ

“It Smells!” Photo by Crystal Berrymand of Worland, WY., 2nd place winner of the Wyoming Business Council’s Agribusiness Division 4th Annual Ag Photo Contest.

Nearly 600 cattlemen and women came together for the 95th Annual Convention of the California Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) and California CattleWomen, Inc.

(CCW) earlier this month at John Ascuaga’s Nugget in Sparks, NV. The event proved to be exciting as industry professionals shared educational insight and beef producers and promoters worked to develop policy to drive their associations forward.

As the largest annual policy-making and educational event for California beef producers, CCA was pleased to present a knowledgeable lineup of agriculture experts to the CCA and CCW membership. This year, the annual Pfizers’s Cattlemen’s College addressed current issues in beef production and, as a preface to committee meetings, the educational forum featured prominent speakers addressing cattle health, marketing, environmental and land use issues.

CCA President Kevin Kester, a rancher from Parkfield, CA, said the convention is not only a chance for produc ers to educate themselves on topics that can impact their way of life but also to show up and make their voices heard on the issues that matter to them.

“This year’s convention was a tremendous success. From learning about how we can make our ranching operations more successful, to helping CCA prioritize its goals and policies for the upcoming year, there was no shortage of involvement from our members up and down the state,” said Kester. “The purpose of these meetings is for our membership to speak out about issues that concern them as they develop policy to drive the direction of this great organization. With so many passionate individuals in attendance, I think it was evident that the future of the beef industry is bright.”

The theme for this year’s convention, “The Future is in Our Hands,” presented the opportunity for young beef industry enthusiasts to learn about the issues facing them and network with individuals throughout the production chain. At this year’s meeting, more than 100 Young Cattlemen’s Committee members were in attendance and directly participated in the policy process.

“It is important that our future generation know what lies ahead of them so they may adequately equip themselves with the information necessary to succeed in this way of life. I was pleased to see so many young people excited about their future in the beef business,” Kester said.

In addition to developing CCA policy, the event also served as a venue for CCA to recognize numerous individuals and groups for their industry contributions. Most notably was CCA’s highest honor—the annual Gordon K. Van Vleck Memorial Award, which went to John Maas, DVM, a longtime beef industry advocate, educator and supporter, whose countless contributions to the beef industry are not bound by state lines.

“Dr. Maas has played an integral role in the California ranching community.

His dedication has been felt in the animal health arena as well as the public policy arena. While he has been instrumental in the success of California ranchers, his efforts have also been felt throughout our nation as he has dedicated himself to so many educational causes that have benefitted ranchers everywhere,” Kester said.

For a complete list of awards and event recognitions given at this year’s CCA/CCW Convention, as well as any new policies adopted, contact Stevie Ipsen in the CCA office at (916) 444-0845 or by email at — WLJ