A S S O C I A T I O N
Executive Vice President’s Report
R E P O R T S
Achieving Maximum Impact
he National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) holds the Young Cattlemen’s Conference (YCC) each June and this year I was honored to represent Georgia on this 10-day sprint through the beef cattle industry. One of the great features of YCC is the inclusion of participants from every region (even Hawaii this year) and every segment of our industry. We were treated to quality speakers on every relevant topic in our industry and enjoyed tours of a large packer, processor, feedlot, Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME Group), beef innovation kitchen, U.S. Capitol, and an Angus seedstock operation, to name a few. The Conference ends in Washington, D.C., with a focus on government ag policy, regulation and trade. My favorite part of the entire trip was the walking tour (3-mile hike) of the national monuments at sunset. The hot and humid evening walk was led by NCBA VP for Government Affairs Colin Woodall, who provided interesting historical information about each monument. We ended our tour at the beginning – with a tribute to one of our founding fathers at the Jefferson Memorial. Jefferson, the author of the Declaration of Independence, stood (19 feet tall, bronze, and staring at the White House) in proud contrast to the bureaucrats we had spent much of our time in Washington opposing with their overreaching regulations. Standing beside Jefferson’s statue, I couldn’t help but be stirred by the closing sentence from the Declaration inscribed on the west wall of the monument. “And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our Sacred Honor.” As young leaders in our industry, we were all impacted by the sacrifices of those leaders that have gone before us, both in war and in courageous defiance of the British crown. The sense of selflessness, of destiny, and of serving others should lead all of us to ask hard questions about how we are using our resources to ensure that our country and our industry are viable for both current and future generations. Each and every day we at GCA are asking how we can achieve the maximum positive impact on our industry with the resources we have available. We need every member to consider the underlying question as well: What skills, talents, etc. do I have that I can use to help move my industry forward? Whether it is recruiting a new member, speaking to consumers about the nutritional benefits of beef, or visiting with your member of Congress about EPA’s efforts to regulate us out of business, there is no shortage of opportunity to promote and defend our industry. What can you do to make the maximum positive impact in your community? What tools, events or training can GCA provide to help you get there?
Drought! I share President Blackburn’s desire that by the time this article hits mailboxes the rain will be pouring down all over Georgia, but as I’m writing Governor Deal has just requested disaster declaration due to drought in 20-plus Georgia counties. We have already run expert advice on the subject (Ted Dyer encouraged you to prepare in his April 2011 article, pg. 34) and there are timely articles in this issue to help you make wise decisions in dealing with the drought. I would encourage you to reach out to your county Extension agent or visit www.georgiaforages.com and www.secattleadvisor.com for more excellent information. Though I was out of town and missed the Georgia Farm Bureau prayer service for rain earlier this month, I agree with the concept and will continue praying for drought relief.
GCA Committees – Getting it Done! Several committees have met over the past few weeks in preparation for the GCA Summer Conference. The Legislative Committee met to get the ball rolling on updating the GCA Policy document which will be voted on at our Board of Directors meeting at Jekyll Island July 21-23. Other committees meeting to provide input on Policy include the Membership Committee (Region VPs), Production and Marketing Committee, and Cattle Health and Well Being Committee. The GCA Policy provides the framework for how we address issues that affect our members. Thank you to all these committee members and GCA members that have taken their time to work on Policy and help our organization make maximum impact moving forward. We would love to have your input prior to, or during, Summer Conference. The “working” version of the GCA Policy document is posted on our website under “Library” for your review. I began this column describing my experience on YCC and I have many to thank for making my attendance on YCC possible. The GCA Foundation, GCA Executive Committee and Georgia Beef Board all provided support to make the trip possible. Thank you to the entire GCA/GBB staff for taking on additional work and enabling me to attend the YCC without worrying about things at the office. They are a joy to work with day in and day out! A huge thank you to my family for holding it all together at home. They have become accustomed to me being gone a day or two each week, but ten days was a long time. It gives me a new respect and admiration for our military families and the sacrifices they make. Check out the Declaration of Independence on our website this month. Happy Fourth of July! GC [Josh White is GCA and Georgia Beef Board Executive Vice President]
G E O R G I A C AT T L E M A N •
July 2011 9
The official July 2011 publication of the Georgia Cattleman.