NCBA Kicks off Young Producers' Council
PHOENIX – The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) held the first meeting of its newly-formed Young Producers’ Council (YPC) today at the 2009 Cattle Industry Annual Convention.
The YPC was created in 2008, and is open to members ages 18 to 35. It is intended to promote youth participation in both the beef industry and NCBA.
At the meeting today, YPC members elected officers and representatives to serve on NCBA’s policy committees and voted on the structure of the YPC and the organization of future meetings.
Dustin Dean, PhD was elected council Chairman. Dean, 32, is the Southwest Regional Director of Pfizer Animal Genetics in Pleasanton, Texas. “This meeting was a great start to the YPC,” Dean said. “It was crucial that we got this group off the ground quickly to build enthusiasm and support. We’re eager to start making an impact right away.”
The committee chose Steven Yardley of Yardley Cattle Company in Beaver, Utah, as the Vice Chairman. Yardley, 25, is excited about the potential of YPC to cultivate young leaders in the beef industry. “The average age of an NCBA member is 60 years old,” he explained. “We’re going to see a void in member leadership in a few years, and we need to develop young producers capable of filling that void and providing direction for our industry.”
Dean said that the top three goals of the YPC would be decreasing the average age of NCBA membership by recruiting young members, creating an attractive environment within NCBA for youth involvement, and developing YPC as a strong and influential voice within NCBA.
NCBA President and Arizona cattle producer Andy Groseta said the creation of this group was one of his main priorities during his term in office. “Young people are the future of our industry,” he said. “We surveyed young producers recently, and although 90 percent said they had opinions about NCBA policies, a third of them didn’t feel they had an outlet for those opinions.”
Already, the YPC is seeing substantial interest from young people in the cattle industry. On the social networking site Facebook, the group has more than 800 members.
“We’re seeing a new era of enthusiasm and participation from young members within NCBA,” Dean said. “The excitement is spreading like wildfire.”