NCBA Young Producers’ Council Takes to the Blogosphere
WASHINGTON - This is not your father’s cattle industry any more. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s (NCBA) Young Producers’ Council (YPC) has motivated the newest faces of U.S. cattle production to tell their story on the organization’s blog, Cattle Call (http://thecattlecall.wordpress.com/).
“Our generation gets its information through media outlets that our predecessors never dreamed of,” said Cari Rincker, chair of the YPC Public Relations Committee and an attorney based in New York specializing in agricultural law. “It’s important that we take advantage of those outlets to reach out to our membership and consumers at large to tell our story.”
To accomplish that goal, the group established a blog that was launched on Sept. 22, 2009. This effort compliments the group’s existing presence on Facebook. Cattle Call bloggers are from throughout the United States and make up a diverse group of young cattle farmers and ranchers.
Blair Hunewill, is a sixth generation rancher from California who authored the blog’s first installment. “The purpose of this blog is to discuss current issues that we feel are important to the cattle industry and of particular importance to America’s young producers,” wrote Hunewill.
Other bloggers for Cattle Call are Richard “Ricky” Booth (Fla.), Chelsea Good (Kan.), Doug Ferguson (Neb.), Jenna Feusener (Wash.), Matt Hardecke (Mo.), Traci Middleton (Tenn.), Katlin Mulvaney (Ala.), Travis Reid (Penn.), Brian Spitzer (Kan.) and Crystal Young (Mo.). Rincker will serve as editor of the blog.
The blog and other outreach activities were a culmination of discussions held during the YPC business meeting at the 2009 NCBA’s Summer Conference in July. Three committees were formed to assist the group in its goal of expanding NCBA membership. In addition to the Public Relations Committee chaired by Rincker, the members voted to create a Membership Committee chaired by Ben Spitzer (Ga.) and a Governance/Structure Committee to be chaired by Ben Neale (Tenn.).
During the business meeting, which was led by YPC Chairman Dustin Dean (Texas), YPC members discussed NCBA policy positions and provided guidance for the YPC executive committee members that represent the Young Producers’ Council on various NCBA committees. “It was exciting to see this room full of young producers holding up their voting cards and taking a position on important issues that will impact their future in the cattle industry,” said Dean.
Members of the YPC Executive Committee and their respective committee include Evan Tate (Ky., Agricultural Policy), John Schroeder (Neb., Live Cattle Marketing), Ben Spitzer (Ga., Membership), Holly Foster (Calif., Property Rights and Environmental Management), Brandon Carlson (Calif., Cattle Health), Ty Kelly (Ariz., Federal Lands), Ben Neale (Tenn., Tax and Credit) and Cari Rincker (N.Y., Resolutions). Steven Yardley of Utah serves as vice chairman of the YPC.
NCBA's Young Producers’ Council was created in July 2008 to promote youth participation in both the beef industry and NCBA. The group is open to NCBA members between the ages of 18 and 35. Opportunities include a voting membership on NCBA policy group committees, professional development and leadership activities, networking, continuing education and career information, targeted communications and special offers and services. The next business meeting will be held at the annual Cattle Industry Convention and Trade Show in San Antonio, January 27-30, 2010. For more information on YPC, visit www.beefusa.org/ypc.