Tennessee Cattlemen’s Recognizes Outstanding Leaders in the Industry

Steve Medlin

Steve Medlin, Medlin Angus in Cookeville, with his family. He received the Business Person of the Year Award. 

The Tennessee Cattlemen’s Association (TCA) awarded eight individuals for their hard work and dedication to the beef cattle industry during the 34th Annual Tennessee Cattlemen’s Convention and Trade Show in Murfreesboro on January 25, 2019.

These awards were created to recognize outstanding individuals in the various sectors of the cattle industry in Tennessee. Nominated by their peers, the awards presented recognized individuals who have excelled in stocker and cow-calf production, educational programs, business, and service to the beef cattle industry.

“Our award winners represent the best of our industry,” said Charles Hord, executive vice president of TCA. “One common theme among all our winners this year was service. They believed in helping their communities, the youth and their fellow cattle producers. We are lucky to have individuals such as these in our association.”

The award winners were as follows:

  • 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
  • Outstanding FFA Beef Program: Rod Barnes – Selmer, TN
  • TCA President’s Award: Lauren Neale, Director of Communications for TCA
  • John Bartee Distinguished Service Award: Lafayette Williams – Knoxville, TN
  • TCA Legislator of the Year: Rep. David Kustoff – United States House of Representatives for Tennessee’s 8th Congressional Distric

These individuals were presented a commemorative plaque during the Awards Luncheon, which was attended by near 1,000 convention attendees

TCA looks forward to working with these individuals and other great people in the cattle industry for years to come. Applications for next year’s awards will be available in the fall of 2019.

Sevier County Cattleman Elected President of the Tennessee Cattlemen’s Association

Roger RadelDuring the Tennessee Cattlemen’s Association’s (TCA) Convention and Trade Show in late January, Sevier County cattle producer, Roger Radel, became president of the association. Radel has served on the Executive Committee for six years, along with other leadership roles in his local community such the local Co-op Board of Directors, Farm Bureau, Sevier County Fair Board, Sevier County Agricultural Committee, and the Sevier County Cattlemen’s Board. TCA’s nominating committee selected him as the next presidential candidate, which he believes “is a privilege” and is “excited become more involved in the organization.”

Radel, his wife, Madeline, and their children, moved to Tennessee in 1983 where he was a full-time hotel manager. With a deep love of agriculture that stemmed from growing up on a dairy farm, Radel knew he wanted to farm. “I must have made my dreams known to my wife because, in 1985, she bought me a calf,” said Radel. “The little guy made me quite happy, but I told my wife that he couldn’t be alone and that we needed a few more so that he would not be lonesome. Thankfully, she bought that.”  Now, the Radels have a 250-head cow-calf operation, consisting of 110 momma cows, their calves, and some background cattle. Radel retired in 2014 and took on cattle production on full-time.

“Roger will provide the steady leadership we need to grow our organization and continue to represent and improve our industry,” said Charles Hord, executive vice president of TCA. “We appreciate his willingness to serve the beef industry in this capacity.”

There are many facets of leading an association, but Radel is most excited to help the youth programs grow. “We need young people to become more involved in the cattle industry.  We also need to educate our younger generation about agriculture.  This is also a great opportunity to work with cattlemen to make Tennessee Cattle more marketable.”

Radel will serve in this role for a two-year term.

CattleFax Cow-Calf Survey Released

6-1CattleFax has introduced its annual Cow-Calf Survey. Information requested in the survey provides participants and the rest of the industry with valuable information regarding industry benchmarks and trends.

Survey participants will receive a results summary packet, with useful information that will allow managers and owners to evaluate their own operations. Items such as cow-calf profitability, tendencies of high and low return producers, regional data, and other valuable information are included.

By completing the survey and submitting a valid email address, participants will also be entered into a drawing to win a $700 CattleFax voucher. To be entered to win a voucher and receive the full results, a valid email address must be submitted. All individual results will be confidential and remain anonymous.

Three $700 vouchers will be given away. The credit can be used for any CattleFax memberships, registration fees for education seminars (Corporate College and Risk Management Seminar), and/or registration fees for the annual Outlook and Strategies session. To be considered in the drawing, participants must complete the entire survey and submit a valid email address. Winners will be selected by a random number generator and will be contacted via email after the survey closes.

The survey can be accessed here or by going to cattlefax.com and selecting the About tab at the top of the page, then clicking on “2018 Cow-Calf Survey” on the sidebar. The deadline to complete the survey is Feb. 28, 2019.

For questions or concerns please contact Tanner Aherin, Analyst, at 800-825-7525, or taherin@cattlefax.com

Jennifer Houston of Tennessee Takes Helm of National Cattlemen’s Beef Association

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Jennifer Houston, of Sweetwater, TN, is now president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. She is pictured far left. 

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.

Record Attendance at the 2019 Tennessee Cattlemen’s Association’s Convention and Trade Show


Dr. Justin Rhinehart presents to a crowd in the trade show before the UT bull and heifer sale. 

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.”

Cowboy Poetry: The Stockman

By Barry Cooper | Bradley Farm | Sparta, TN 

cowboy at the rodeo - shot backlit against big cloud of dust, coWell, I got a little stockman’s blood,

Pumping through my veins,

I like a horse that can hold a cow,

I like the feel of bridle reins.


I’m really quite found of ropin’,

But I never made it to the NFR,

I’ll never be a singing cowboy,

Or a cowboy movie star.


I’ve never owned a pair of tennis shoes,

But I’ve got four pairs of boots,

I’ve got a good stout workin’ pen,

And a brand new cattle chute.


I keep my cattle healthy,

they never graze brush or weeds,

I got a charge account at the Farmers’ Co-op,

For supplies that I may need.


My gooseneck trailer is a little rusty,

My truck sure ain’t brand new,

But I’ve got a good bit of lush pasture grass,

Sparkling in the morning dew.


I’m usually bustin’ ice in January,

I’m fighting flies on the fourth of July,

I’m building fence in mid October,

Underneath a clear blue sky.


I’ll have to repair the big round baler,

I mush harvest and store some feed,

‘Cause in the dead of winter,

Good hay is what my cattle need.


I’ll gladly help my neighbor,

‘Round up some skittish strays,

I’ll have to bottle feed this baby calf,

Whose mother died today.


And while I’m outside in God’s creation,

I’ll stop and give Him praise,

For making me a stockman,

And for granting me another day.


Meet the Future Monday: Blaire Lamon of Henry County, Tennessee

Lamon1You would be hard-pressed to find someone as sweet and genuine with just as much fire and passion for the cattle industry as this week Meet the Future Monday. Blaire Lamon of Henry County, Tennessee not only loves this industry but also loves learning more about it and gathering the necessary tools to take her far into the future. Read our Q&A with Blaire to learn more.

  1. Describe your operation.

My grandfather, David Lamon, bought the farm we live on now in Cottage Grove. He started with 10 head of cattle. At that time, my grandfather, dad, and uncle started Triple D Farms. We are now called Lamon Farms & have increased our herd to 30 mama cows and a bull.

  1. What have you enjoyed most about growing up on the farm?

I enjoy driving the ranger around our property and helping my dad feed and move our cows to new pasture.

  1. Lamon2Who has been your biggest role model in pursuing your farming aspirations?

My biggest role models are my dad, mom, and the owners of Sunrise Farms- Ann & Angela Wilson for helping me with hands-on learning on the farm. The Wilsons have allowed me to show heifers from their farm at cattle shows & taught me about showmanship.

  1. What are you most passionate about in your business?

I enjoy learning new things about farming & cattle and want to further my education in the industry.

  1. Lamon3What are some of the greatest challenges that you face as a cattle producer?

Money to purchase quality cattle and land is a big challenge.

  1. Where do you see yourself and your operation in 10 years?

I see myself in college working towards a degree in Ag Science or Ag Business at Murray State University. I also hope to be helping other 4-H kids with showing cattle.

  1. How will you continue to improve and grow your operation?

I want to learn everything I can to improve the genetics of my cattle. I hope to one day be able to purchase more land around our farm to have more cattle.

  1. Lamon4What could the existing farmers do most to help young cattle producers such as yourself?

They could have programs & workshops at their farm to show us what they do for their cattle to help us be more successful on our farm.

  1. What is your favorite beef dish?

Steak, but I like hamburgers a lot too!


Op-Ed: TN Agriculture Commissioner Jai Templeton

4-18-16 Templeton_CommissionerJai_Tennessee Department of AgricuAs Governor Haslam’s administration comes to an end, I’m extremely pleased with the great work and devoted efforts that have come from our state government. During my time with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, one focus I’m particularly proud of is our work to assist and promote Tennessee’s food, farm, and forest businesses.

Even if you have the best innovation or idea, the thought of having an international customer base can be daunting. By reorganizing our Agricultural Advancement Division, we’ve been able to expand our focus on assisting Tennessee businesses with a renewed emphasis on international trade and exports.

In September, five Tennessee food and beverage businesses made lasting connections and discussed future trade deals during an outbound trade mission to Canada. Soon after that, we were excited to help host the Southern Forest Products Export Conference in Memphis, which showcased the importance of southern forest products and the industry that produces them.

While we’re promoting trade abroad, we will always make sure we focus on strengthening local markets. Our Agriculture Enterprise Fund (AEF) program started one year ago with a primary focus to facilitate agricultural development in at-risk and distressed counties in Tennessee. We’ve already awarded more than $1.3 million through the AEF, and these investments will lead to a total economic impact of more than $25 million throughout the state. Furthermore, many farmers and producers have utilized our Tennessee Agriculture Enhancement Program (TAEP). The program has paid more than $168 million to assist 57,549 projects since it was established in 2005.

Supporting the marketplace and processing facilities that farmers and foresters use can be just as important as assisting with on-farm projects. We understand the need for additional USDA-inspected meat processing capacity, and I appreciate the work our team has recently done to assist in increasing the number of processors in the state to 16 while also further developing our active locations. We are continuing to work diligently with current facilities on expansion projects as well as assisting those interested in building new facilities to extend this progress for our livestock producers who need it.

Producers benefit from having multiple avenues to market and sell their products. With this in mind, I’m pleased that we have assisted more than 500 farmers market projects across the state by awarding more than $2.5 million through TAEP.

Tennessee farmers know how to make the most of what they’ve got, and many have always had to work with limited resources. I’m proud of the staff at the Tennessee Department of Agriculture for being an additional resource for those who need it. And I’m proud of the work that has been done to ensure that our agriculture and forestry industry remains strong and profitable for generations to come.

I appreciate Governor Haslam for giving me the opportunity to serve in this role. My time with farmers, foresters, and consumers from the greatest state in the country will always be a highlight of my life.

I hope you and your family have a Merry Christmas, a happy New Year, and a safe holiday season. Thank you for all of your support during my time as Tennessee’s Commissioner of Agriculture.

Tennessee Cattlemen’s to Hold 34th Annual Convention & Trade Show

1The Tennessee Cattlemen’s Association (TCA) will celebrate 34 years of serving the state’s cattle producers with its annual convention and trade show in Murfreesboro, Tenn. on January 25-26. Attendees will hear from top livestock industry speakers addressing topics like herd health, forage systems, sustainability, and the current state of the beef business.

Informational breakout sessions called, “Cow Colleges” will be held on both Friday and Saturday. The speakers at these sessions include: Kendall Frazier, executive director of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA); Dr. Darrh Bullock, the Extension Beef Cattle Specialist for the University of Kentucky; Dr. Scott Brown of the University of Missouri will discuss the cattle market outlook; Dr. Mark Alley from Zoetis will share tips on transitioning to stocker cattle; Specialists from the University of Tennessee Extension will present on current research; and finally, representatives from the USDA and FSA will offer insights on Pasture, Rangeland, and Forage programs.

“At this year’s convention, I had over the reins to a new president,” said Steve Anderson, TCA’s president and cattle producer from Smith County. “I am proud to offer these great speakers to our attendees as my last leadership activity. No one will leave our event without a vast array of new ideas and new friends.”

In conjunction with TCA events, the Tennessee Dairy Producers Association (TDPA) will also meet. TDPA will hold its own meetings but will come together for general sessions. Additionally, UT Agriculture Extension Veterinarian Dr. Lew Strickland is once again arranging for a Veterinarian Continuing Education Seminar to be held in conjunction with the meeting.

Beginning at 9 a.m. on Friday, attendees can visit the trade to talk with more than 100 exhibitors. Vendors will be showing off new products, services, and the latest technology for the beef and dairy industries. Also that morning, there will be a live bull and heifer sale in the trade show area held by the University of Tennessee.

Later that day, TCA will be presenting several scholarships to youth and honoring outstanding industry leaders and members during the awards luncheon.

On Saturday, there will be a special opportunity for the youth participate in activities including a quiz bowl, scavenger hunt, and a Youth for the Quality Care of Animals Training Session. The Tennessee CattleWomen will also meet on Saturday morning where they will hear a presentation from Sharon Beals, the Vice President of Food & Safety for CTI Foods. All convention-goers are welcome to attend this meeting.

Pre-registration is $20 for Friday or $15 for Saturday. It is $30 for both Friday and Saturday. Lunch cost is extra. Pre-registration ends Jan. 18. Late registration and registration at the door will be an additional $10 over pre-registration fees.

Attendees can register online at www.tncattle.org. A full schedule of events can also be found on the TCA website. If attendees would like to register for the TDPA sessions, they need to register with Stan Butt. If they are attending the Veterinarian sessions, they’ll register with Dr. Strickland. For hotel reservations, call the Embassy Suites Hotel at (615) 890-4464 or online: www.murfreesboro.embassysuites.com.