The Tennessee Cattlemen’s Association (TCA) had record-breaking turnout at this year’s Convention and Trade Show in Murfreesboro from January 25-26. More than 1,150 people from across the southeast attended and one hundred trade show vendors participated. TCA was also joined by the Tennessee Dairy Producers Association for their annual meeting and hosted the veterinarian’s Continuing Education Program.
It was standing room only during the presentation from the new Tennessee Governor, Bill Lee. He spoke on the importance of improving the rural areas of the state and the value of Tennessee’s farmers. Other speakers included the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s CEO, Kendal Frazier; Dr. Justin Rhinehart and Dr. Gary Bates from the University of Tennessee; Dr. Scott Brown of the University of Missouri and Meghan Grebner of Brownfield News; Tennessee Commissioner of Agriculture, Dr. Charlie Hatcher; Dennis Beavers, State Executive Director for the USDA Tennessee Farm Service Agency; and several others.
This year’s convention marked the end of the presidency of Steve Anderson of Gordonsville. Roger Radel of Sevierville will now serve in this role for a two-year term.
“It’s been an honor leading this state’s cattle producers and I hope I can continue to make an impact,” said Steve Anderson.
During the awards luncheon on Friday, TCA presented seven individuals with the 2018 Awards of Excellence. These included:
Dr. Emmit Rawls Outstanding Stocker Producer Award: Blake Holder – Hartsville, TN
Dr. Clyde Lane Outstanding Cow-Calf Producer Award: Greg Buckner – Ten Mile, TN
Dr. Jim Neel Outstanding Work in Beef Extension Educational Programs Award: Larry Mitchell – Meigs County
Business Person of the Year: Steve Medlin – Cookeville, TN
TCA President’s Award: Lauren Neale, Director of Communications for TCA
John Bartee Distinguished Service Award: Lafayette Williams
TCA Legislator of the Year: Rep. David Kustoff – United States House of Representatives for Tennessee’s 8th Congressional District
Both Congressman Kustoff and Congressman John Rose attended the convention.
Also during the luncheon, Rep. Lowell Russell, State Representative 21 from Vonore, Tenn., read a proclamation stating Tennessee is in support of Jennifer Houston of Sweetwater becoming the president of NCBA during its Cattle Industry Convention and Trade Show in early February.
More than 150 youth attended the first annual Youth Awards Banquet on Friday evening.
“We had a great turn out of young people,” said Melinda Perkins, Director of Youth Programs and Outreach. “We recognized approximately 30 students on Friday night, and many participated in the programs on Saturday morning. We’re making youth activities a greater priority since they are the future of our industry, and it paid off.”
These activities included an opportunity to show off their livestock knowledge in the Quiz Bowl. The team from Lincoln County 4-H took first place and Bradley County 4-H took second. New this year were training sessions on Youth for the Quality Care of Animals. TCA and Farm Credit Mid-America awarded the Youth Beef Heifer Initiative Scholarships. These scholarships ranged from $2,000 to $1,000. These winners were: 1st place Youth – Rose Mary Johns of Williamson County; 2nd place Youth – Jake Ozburn of Bedford County; 1st place Junior High – Mary Carter Shirley of White County; 2nd place Junior High – Tyler Burks of Wilson County; 1st place Senior High – Lena Sims of Humphreys County; 2nd place Senior High – Jacqueline King of McMinn County.
“There was a lot of excitement surrounding this year’s convention,” said Charles Hord, executive vice president of TCA. “From our speakers like Governor Lee to the networking opportunities in the trade show, people didn’t want to miss this great event. We thank everyone who supported us through sponsorships, attendance, and membership.”