Reflecting on 2019


I’ve seen numerous posts across social media pertaining to 2019 being total and complete garbage. While the cattle industry probably feels the same way we, at Nebraska Cattlemen, went ahead and “grabbed the bull by the horns”.

The year started off wide-eyed and giddy for most of us. With big dreams and new resolutions, NC developed a wonderful relationship with the Harry A. Koch Co., forming a joint venture entity known as the Nebraska Cattlemen Insurance Group (NCIG), offering members a variety of insurance products. Think that is good? It gets even better.

February 21st Nebraska Cattlemen staff officially moved into their brand-new office on Cattle Drive. Staff just began settling in when disaster struck. Bomb cyclone Ulmer hit Nebraska impacting lives across the state. “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade” and that’s exactly what NC did. Staff sprung into action and within one week of the devastating blizzard and floods Nebraska Cattlemen Disaster Relief Fund, a 501c3, was taking monetary donations.  By the end of the 4-month process the fund generated over $1.7 million from 46 states as well as Canada and Mexico. I’d call that a pretty dang good glass of lemonade.

On another note: while we may feel like nothing got accomplished on the property tax front behind the scenes discussions were had, meetings were held, ideas were summoned and steps were taken in order to gear up for hopefully, what we see as, action on property tax relief in 2020.

Just as the flood waters began to reside, low and behold, a fire broke out at the Tyson Plant in Holcomb, Kansas causing significant financial and emotional hardship on cattle and beef producers. NC, in conjunction with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, actively worked with a variety of entities, including Tyson Fresh Meats, for ongoing transparency to producers; the U.S. Department of Agriculture, to emphasize oversight in all phases of government functions; Commodity Future Trading Commission, to actively monitor market manipulation; CME, to ascertain that market trading activity is not abused; the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, to allow federal hauling and facilitate the needed hours for transport; and the Food Safety and Inspection Service, to move federal meat inspectors to plants increasing harvest levels.

Back to grabbing the bull by the horns, NC Animal Health and Nutrition committee brought an exciting new educational opportunity to producers to learn about traceability. The meeting was held November 14th in Kearney hosting numerous industry professionals and leaders from across the Nation.

A little over two weeks later members met back in Kearney for Annual Convention and Trade Show. We all read about what happened there and if you missed it, read it here. As for the last part of this month we saw big wins with new trade deals on the federal front.

Looking on to 2020 don’t forget “If you want the rainbow you must have the rain.”

Written by: Talia Goes

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