Colorado livestock organizations join forces to improve leadership

Jun 29, 2012
by WLJ

The inaugural Joint Convention held at the Embassy Suites in Loveland, CO, was a group effort between the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association (CCA), the Colorado Livestock Association (CLA), Colorado CattleWomen, Inc., the Junior Colorado Cattlemen’s Association, and the Future Livestock Leaders to host the largest gathering of agricultural producers in the state. The convention ran from Monday, June 11 through Wednesday, June 13 and included several joint speaker sessions, as well as individual committee meetings.

Nearly 700 people attended the three-day convention, with participants spanning a variety of producers and professions, from cow/calf operations to feedlots, and dairy to swine. Everyone was invited to hear topics covering animal safety to current market perspectives, to how women judge brands and advertising. With over 60 trade show vendors present, members were able to learn about the latest in products, services and equipment between discussions. The highlighted panel of the convention, “Joining to Feed the World,” provided fascinating insights into the methods of past agricultural techniques and the current responsibility of providing food for a growing world with fewer ranchers on less land. Attendees enjoyed donated beef from Cargill Meat Solutions and US Premium Beef, as well as a murder mystery, during Tuesday night’s dinner, performed by Talent Denver.

Glenn Benjamin, president of CLA, commented, “I thought the convention was a smashing success, and that it was great that both associations could be a part of such a historical event. There was a good turnout, and I know that everyone learned from this first convention how to make the next even better.”

David Mendenhall, president of CCA, also thought the convention went well. “Everyone really did their best to pull this off, and the effort showed. It was great to see members from different associations connecting and learning together; and realizing that it’s going to take a joint effort to feed the world in the future.”

T. Wright Dickinson of Maybell was inducted as the new CCA president during the convention.

Dickinson was raised on his family’s Vermillion Ranch in northwestern Colorado, which extends into both Wyoming and Utah. Not only does Dickinson work as the ranch’s main mechanic, he has been a long-term member of CCA and the Public Lands Council, and now follows in his father’s footsteps as CCA president. He served two terms as a Moffat County commissioner, was on the board of Great Outdoors Colorado, as well as numerous other civic and leadership activities throughout the state and nation.

“I look forward to serving the members of the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association over the next year. This organization is a true leader in Colorado, and nationally, on issues important to each and every beef producer, private landowner and federal land grazing permittee. I intend to carry on the tradition of this leadership and represent values and priorities of CCA’s membership,” said Dickinson.

The Wineinger-Davis Ranch, owned by Russell and Tricia Davis, was awarded the Leopold Conservation Award on Tuesday, June 12 to honor their efforts to preserve the natural habitat and establish sustainable agricultural practices while meeting the needs of a successful beef operation. The Leopold Conservation Award is a competitive award that recognizes landowner achievement in voluntary conservation, and consists of an Aldo Leopold crystal and a check for $10,000. — WLJ