Jennifer Houston of Sweetwater, Tenn., was named president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association at the organization’s annual meeting in New Orleans, La., Feb. 2. Houston had served as 2018 president-elect.
Houston and her husband, Mark, own and operate East Tennessee Auction Market in Sweetwater. She has been active in the beef industry for more than 30 years, first serving at the state level then being elected to positions in national posts. She has been an NCBA board member since 1996.
Elected NCBA president-elect was Marty Smith (Florida). Jerry Bohn (Kansas) was elected vice president. Don Schiefelbein (Minnesota) was elected chair of the NCBA Policy Division and Todd Wilkinson (South Dakota) was elected vice chair. Laurie Munns (Utah) was elected chair of the NCBA Federation Division and Buck Wehrbein (Nebraska) was elected vice chair. Past president is Kevin Kester (California).
Elected to serve on the Beef Promotion Operating Committee from the Federation of State Beef Councils, joining Munns, Wehrbein and ten members elected from the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board, were: Katie Brenny (Minnesota), Gary Deering (South Dakota), Bradley Hastings (Texas), Chris Jeffcoat (Pennsylvania), Clark Price (North Dakota), Jeff Rudolph (Nebraska), Don Terry (Tennessee) and VeaBea Thomas (South Dakota).
NCBA policy priorities were also established at the meeting. These priorities included 2019 work in Fake Meat; Trade and Market Access; Dietary Guidelines; and Regulatory Reform and Implementation. In addition to the NCBA annual meeting, the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board, CattleFax, American National CattleWomen and National Cattlemen’s Foundation also conducted business meetings.
Capping a Huge Event
The Board meeting followed a highly successful 2019 Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show. A total of 8,774 people attended the event, one of the most well-attended cattle industry conventions ever.
Attendees of the event enjoyed a wide array of events that enlightened, educated and entertained Jan. 30 – Feb. 1. The proceedings began a day earlier, on Jan. 29, when more than 1,500 producers attended Cattlemen’s College, sponsored by Zoetis. Cattlemen’s College keynote speaker was Bill Cordingley, head of wholesale banking North America, RaboBank. Cordingley spoke on “Greater Expectations, Bigger Opportunities.” Eight Cattlemen’s College session tracks followed to educate attendees.
Entertaining a full audience at the Opening General Session Jan. 30, sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim, was four-time Super Bowl champion quarterback Terry Bradshaw. Singing the National Anthem at the session was Kari Wheeler of Biggs, Calif., winner of NCBA’s fifth annual National Anthem contest, sponsored by Norbrook.
CattleFax held its popular U.S. and Global Protein and Grain Outlook SeminarThursday, Jan. 31. Sponsored by Purina Animal Nutrition, LLC and Zoetis, the session looked at the factors that drive the market, such as domestic and international supplies and demand. Dr. Art Douglas presented his outlook for 2019 U.S. and world weather at the session.
The Closing General Session Friday, Feb. 1, sponsored by American National, featured an appearance by Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, who encouraged the audience to tell its story to today’s consumers. At the session Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter John Ondrasik, better known by his stage name Five for Fighting, asked his audience What If? Harnessing Inspiration and Creativity to Design the World that You Want, offering insights from someone who has lived the process.
Entertainment was prevalent in New Orleans. For instance, a Mardi Gras Masquerade along the Mississippi River the evening of Jan. 31, allowed attendees to experience much of what makes New Orleans a popular tourist location. Sponsored by Central Life Sciences, the event featured dancing and fabulous food, as well as songs from country singer Paul Bogard.
Wrapping up the Convention on Friday night, Feb. 1, was the 2019 Cowboy Concert Series, sponsored by IMI Global, with popular headliners Big and Rich. After the concert the Louisiana Last Call After Party, also sponsored by IMI Global, with beef donated by BPI and Dos Rios, allowed the good times to continue to roll.
Cattle industry members honored fellow producers throughout the Convention. Stewards of the nation’s natural resources, for instance, will again be recognized in the National Environmental Stewardship Award Program, while on Friday the Best of Beef Breakfast honored others with many different awards.
Opportunities to engage and educate at Convention were endless – especially during the NCBA Trade Show. More than 350 exhibitors showcased their profit-enhancing products and services on more than seven acres.
The NCBA Trade show is just one part of the most important national event for anyone in the cattle business. The 2019 Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show was a great chance for cattle producers to charge up their personal and industry batteries for 2019; get re-acquainted with cattle industry friends from around the country; see the newest and most innovative products in the industry; be captivated by outstanding entertainment and presenters; and enjoy some of the flavor of Louisiana food and entertainment.