Convention 2019 – One for the Books!


What a week convention was! We had nearly 600 cattlemen and women walking the halls of the Younes Convention Center in Kearney the latter half of the first week of December. This year convention was jam packed with discussion. If you didn’t hear the word “brand” at convention, then you weren’t there!

Nebraska is unique in the fact, geographically just under 2/3’s of our state is in the brand inspection area and the far eastern part of the state is not. Some people like it, others do not and some simply don’t care. As you can imagine this creates friction among our membership. In order to work together to come up with a solution the Brand and Property Rights committee formed a sub-committee to fully examine a particular policy and unique perspectives involved in this discussion.

On a lighter note, no just kidding, property tax relief was once again discussed. I wish I was here to report that we came up with the magical cure all for this hot topic but let’s not kid ourselves. However, we are geared up for this legislative session with high hopes of the senators getting something accomplished. In other Taxation news, policy was developed in strong support for preserving stepped-up basis. If you don’t already know, stepped-up basis is a critical tool to meet cattle producers’ unique needs for protecting assets for future generations.

Ever heard of a Secure Beef Supply Plan? I hope so! I also hope that if you’re a producer you have at least considered developing a plan to ensure the movement of cattle following, heaven forbid, a catastrophic event. Animal Health and Nutrition Committee Chair Dr. Jeff Fox and past president Mike Drinnin gave an example of a plan during the Animal Health and Nutrition committee meeting. Tons of information on this can be found at, I encourage you to go take a look and strongly encourage you to work up and enforce a plan.

I’m not real well-versed in marketing nor am I fluent in all the acronyms, so I’ll stick with the information that Jeff Stolle provided to me! Remember back in August when a fire destroyed parts of the Tyson Holcomb, KS plant, shutting down beef cow slaughter for a few months? Of course, you do! Well, cattle and beef market reactions in response to that fire was one of many topics on the agenda for the Marketing and Commerce committee meeting. Members also reviewed and renewed 2017 vintage resolutions and policy statements as well as adopting new resolutions. The new pieces of policy supported regulatory or legislative mechanisms specifically defining “beef” as only including products derived from cattle production; encouraged the use of USDA-APHIS approved electronic ID methods for disease traceability and surveillance and helping add value; and supported an increase in CME Live Cattle spot month position limits, commensurate with increases in deliverable supply resulting from the addition of new physical delivery points in recent years.

Finally, on to the actual lighter news but none the less important. Education and Research committee heard from numerous post-secondary institution representatives, giving an outlook on new programs, institution changes and student recruitment efforts. Natural Resources and Environment committee met with a focus on resources needed to ensure all sizes of cattle feeding operations can remain profitable while implementing controls needed to help protect natural resources. Pesky invasive cedar trees were also on the agenda. They wrapped up the meeting with policy discussion focused on property owners water rights and protecting the rights of farmers and ranchers in Nebraska to expand the livestock sector.

Before I wrap this up, did anyone check out the Trade Show presentations that were happening every hour on Thursday? What a great addition to convention! We as staff and leadership look forward to critiquing this event and making it better each year. By the way, if you attended would you please take a moment to fill out the following survey, click here.

This may sound cliché, but we could not pull of such a great convention without sponsorship dollars. Huge thank you to all sponsors especially our platinum level sponsors, Arthur J. Gallagher and Co., Farm Credit Services of America and Gold level sponsor American Foods Group – Gibbon Packing Co. All in all, it was a productive convention. As always it was nice to see members from across the state gather together in one place to engage in conversation about the future of Nebraska Cattlemen. See you all December 2020!

Written by: Talia Goes

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