President-elect Addresses Next Generation of Beef Industry Leaders
DENVER - National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President-elect John Queen addressed over 150 cattle industry youth leaders on Sunday, March 19, at the Youth Beef Industry Congress in Starkville, Miss. Junior officers from most national breed associations and leaders of several state junior cattlemen’s associations attended the conference, representing a total of 31 states. The group gathered at Mississippi State University, and spent four days attending leadership seminars, educational workshops and tours.
Queen, a cattleman from Waynesville, N.C., said his visit to the conference confirmed his optimism about the future of the cattle industry.
“I’m always upbeat about this industry, but especially when I see the talent, knowledge and determination that your generation brings to the table,” he said.
Queen noted that there has never been a better time for young people to apply their education and ability to a career in the beef industry, and that new developments in industry research, production and marketing present a wide range of opportunities.
“You no longer have to make a choice between the cattle business and an exciting, dynamic, high-tech industry,” Queen said. “We are an exciting, dynamic, high-tech industry.”
Queen said that in several key areas, the Beef Checkoff Program has served as a catalyst for beef industry development and product improvement, leading to growth and opportunity for all that participate in the beef business. He cited product safety research and the development of Beef Value Cuts as two areas of recent success that have expanded markets and improved profitability for cattlemen.
Queen also introduced the group to the new Beef Industry Long Range Plan. The plan was recently adopted at the Cattle Industry Annual Convention. It includes goals of growing domestic beef demand by 10 percent by 2010, and regaining overseas export markets for U.S. beef.
“I’m excited about the new Long Range Plan because it will take the beef industry to new heights,” Queen said. “But you should really be excited about it, because it’s the road map that will guide you as you chart your career path.”
Queen closed by encouraging the participants to remain active in the cattle industry. He noted that NCBA welcomed more than 4000 first-time members in the past year, many of them being young cow-calf producers and cattle feeders.
“This tells me that young people are energized and ready to help NCBA grow the beef industry, and I hope you’ll choose to take part as well,” Queen said.
He also challenged the group to be active regarding public policy, encouraging them to contact their members of Congress on issues critical to the beef industry.