Become More Than Just a Member
My name is Mark Goes. Since 1982, my wife, Patty, daughter, Tricia, and brother, Bruce, have owned and operated M&P Gelbvieh near Odell. I am a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) with a teaching endorsement from Peru State College. I have been employed by UNL’s Veterinary Diagnostic Center, the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center and UNL’s Dalbey-Halleck Farm. I have also served as assistant manager of livestock operations at UNL’s Animal Science Complex, and I have been a livestock instructor at Southeast Community College’s (SCC) Beatrice campus since 1994, where I have had the privilege of being impacted by more than 2,500 former students.
M&P Gelbvieh has enjoyed many successes and supported Tricia in her efforts with the American Junior Gelbvieh Association. We have also enjoyed serving the Junior Gelbvieh Association in Nebraska as sponsors for more than 10 years. We have built lifelong relationships and strived to contribute toward the growth and sustainability of the Gelbvieh breed and association. During those times, our family celebrated several junior national champions and a futurity champion. I also was honored to be elected to the American Gelbvieh Association’s Board of Directors and serve as treasurer, vice president and president. A key accomplishment was the formation of the American Gelbvieh Foundation (AGF) and being elected charter president of the AGF Board.
Successes with the SCC beef herd followed, as well, with classes producing cattle that were named national champions and marketed through many state consignments. These efforts allowed students to gain experience working with cattlemen of diverse backgrounds, preparing them for careers in the beef industry. I feel great pride attending ag functions where my current students are being recognized with scholarships and awards, which are often presented by former students, who, as SCC alumni, are leading the drive to keep the beef industry positively moving forward.
Several years ago, I was asked to serve as vice chair and eventually chair of the Nebraska Cattlemen Seedstock Council. Through that position, I was elected to serve on the Nebraska Cattlemen’s Classic Board of Directors. I now serve as the vice chair of Member Services for Region 8 as well as an NC Nominating Committee member, which is very humbling. These positions have all enveloped me with a myriad of people who all have skin in the game of the beef industry.
“What an opportunity life has given me to work with all these great people who strive to create positive change and heartfelt stability to a dynamic industry where the only constant is change.”
Today, the biggest challenge facing our industry is cannibalistic in its nature. Our great country of free enterprise allowed the evolution of the greatest business on earth. That is the American beef cattle industry, in which hundreds of thousands of dollars of beef can be traded, with eye contact and a handshake nearly always ending in a legitimate exchange due to the integrity of those involved. Yet, due to some changes in business interpersonal relationships, the brutality of a rapidly shrinking world with “business model” stressors and the vulnerability of a segmented industry, we find fracturing and divisiveness gaining influence, opening the door for negative propaganda, ill repute and a less-than-desirable environment for the next generations.
Why is it important to be a member of an organization like your local NC affiliate, Nebraska Cattlemen or even National Cattlemen’s Beef Association? Because none of us are large enough to independently speak for ourselves loud enough to ensure that our industry does not fall into a top-down monopolistic industry where participants and consumers operate under heavy-handed government mandates and regulations. We ALL need to be part of something bigger than ourselves, and if you think you have already created something bigger than yourself and you don’t need to belong, then wait and watch as something even bigger waiting by the side of the trail gobbles YOU up.
Throughout my life, I have viewed organizations like NC and their leadership with admiration, respect and awe. There is such great diversity in approach due to generational differences, experiences, interest areas, competencies and technological savvy. In these tumultuous times, I hope that a few bad apples cannot spoil the entire batch. To prevent this, we all need to assume leadership roles and be willing to listen, understand, compromise and endeavor for the greater good of all. Emotion, personal feelings and even strong personal conviction sometimes need to be quelled as we endeavor to construct sustainable pathways to the future that everyone in the beef and cattle industry can travel safely.
Don’t simply settle with becoming a member. Become an industrious member of something that will create and produce positive, specific and measurable results for a sustained and healthy local, state and national beef cattle industry.
Written By: Mark Goes NC Member Services Vice Chairman – Region 8