Line Rider October

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Mark Pratt..................(Blackfoot) 208-681-6597


Kim Brackett (Homedale) 208-308-1952


Jerry Wroten (Wilder) (208) 831-7339


Jay Smith ...........(Carmen) 208-940-1020


Cody Hendrix (Rigby) 208-360-9693


Spencer Black (Almo) 208-647-8130


Val Carter (Pingree) 208-390-4811


Brayden Eliason (Holbrook) 208-705-2541


Maggie Malson (Parma) 208-739-2265


Mike McClean.............(Post Falls) 208-661-7518

Quin Wemhoff (Kamiah) 208-983-6448


Lori Ireland (Mountain Home) 208-866-0112

Marg Chipman (Weiser) 208-550-0605


Eugene Matthews (Oakley) 208-431-3260

John Peters (Filer) 208-358-3850


Ryan Steele (Idaho Falls) 208-390-5765

Norman Wallis (May) 208-993-1342


Roscoe Lake (Blackfoot) 208-604-3650

Arnold Callison (Blackfoot) 208-681-8440


Kelton Hatch (Kimberly) 208-539-0417


Robert Oxarango (Emmett) 208-431-0777

Adrian Meyer (Grand View) 208-509-1892


Tay Brackett (Filer) 208-866-4967









Morgan Lutgen

Contact Idaho Cattle Association: Mailing address: P.O. Box 15397, Boise, ID 83715

Location: 2120 Airport Way, Boise, ID 83705 Phone: 208-343-1615

For advertising sales, contact:

The Line Rider is the official publication of the Idaho Cattle Association. It is published 10 times each year, in January, February, March, April/May, June, July/August, September, October, November and December.

4 LINE RIDER OCTOBER 2022 TABLE OF CONTENTS OCTOBER 2022 DEPARTMENTS Message from the President 6 Message from the EVP 8 Message from the Natural Resources Policy Director 10 FEATURES Cover story: A Cowboy Walks Into a Biker Bar... 14 Idaho Beef Council: How Consumer Information Sells More Beef in Idaho 20 U of I: Cull Cow Options 24 Convention Issue
G A R HOME TOWN Sire: G A R Ashland Dam’s Sire: G A R Sure Fire BOYD DYNAMIC 6118 Sire: Connealy Black Granite Dam’s Sire: EXAR Denver 2002B SYDGEN FATE 2800 SydGen Trust 6228 Dam’s Sire: SydGen Contact WILKS REGIMENT 9035 Sire: WAR Cavalry B063 Z044 Dam’s Sire: V A R Empire 3037 BW WW YW MK MA RE $W $F $B $C .5 90 171 33 .82 1.17 83 139 210 332 BW WW YW MK MA RE $W $F $B $C -.7 61 113 27 1.77 1.05 61 96 211 338 BW WW YW MK MA RE $W $F $B $C .8 60 114 27 .92 1.12 59 128 202 310 BW WW YW MK MA RE $W $F $B $C 1.3 88 161 29 .11 1.01 78 127 165 275 BW WW YW MK MA RE $W $F $B $C 1.8 76 131 29 .66 .64 74 119 169283 STEVENSON EASY MONEY 70688 Sire: Plattemere Weigh Up K360 Dam’s Sire: Stevenson Rockmount RX933 S S BRICKYARD Sire: S S Niagara Z29 Dam’s Sire: Woodhill Daybreak U280-X20 BW WW YW MK MA RE $W $F $B $C -3.5 67 130 39 .88 1.11 77 109 180 297 1078 State Hwy. 25, Jerome, Idaho 83338 DOUG & JACKIE KOHNTOPP & FAMILY Doug: 208-420-5342 • Jackie: 208-731-5343 Follow Us on Facebook @SugarTopAngus Using Good Genetics to ProduceTop Genetics Jindra Acclaim • Connealy Legendary 644L • E W A Peyton 642 MW DNAmite • Three Trees Xceptional B0048 • Jindra Stonewall • 44 Bragging Rights 4372 KF Kiowa 6151 • Bar R Jet Black 5063 • SS Niagara • EZAR Gold Rush 6001 Bulls & Females Also Sell by These Leading A.I. Sires and More ... TLC ANGUS SUGAR TOP ANGUS 2225 S. 1200 E., Bliss, Idaho 83314 208-358-2322 LAURA HOOPER & FAMILY WILLIS & CINDY KINDER & FAMILY Adding Growth and Carcass Quality withTLC Selling 60 Long-Yearling Angus Bulls, 30 Bred Commercial Heifers plus 50 Registered Females including Bred Heifers & 1st Calf Heifer Pairs TLC ANGUS RANCH SUGAR TOP ANGUS ANNUAL BULL SALE SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 1 P.M. producer’s livestock, jerome, idaho THD ©

The importance of lifelong learning

We’ve all had those people that made an impact on us. Those folks that you re spected, not out of fear, but admira tion. They make a difference in people’s lives. Some are intentional about it; others accom plish it simply by being who they are in real life. As I think back, I can remember a list of people who have had that kind of impact on my decisions.

As a senior in high school, I remember 4-H leader, friend and fellow rancher, Chet Adams, taking me aside and saying, “You know, Mark, you should really think about going to college if for no other reason than to give yourself some options.”

I did go to college and that decision lead me to Dr. John Mundt, my student teacher advisor, who instilled in his students the importance of lifelong learning. This practice enables us to continue to question and search.

After our formal education, continued learn ing comes to us in a variety of ways, most ly through experience and the school of hard knocks. I’ve always told people that after I got

out of college my education really got under way. Wendy and I have attended a variety of schools including Lost River Grazing Academy, Ranching for Profit, and the Soil Health Acad emy. I heard someone say recently, “it’s not rocket science, it’s range science and it’s much more difficult.”

As input costs continue to rise, how do we best optimize the freebies like sun and rain? When the reporter is standing on the edge of raging water, I have to wonder if any landowner in that watershed is able to absorb that much rain. That’s where the story is, not on the bank of a waterway running half soil . But I digress. That’s a topic for another time.

I say all of this to encourage you to attend this year’s ICA Convention to be held in Sun Valley on November 14-16. Our opening speaker will be Hugh Aljoe, Director of Producer Relations for the Noble Research Institute in Ardmore, Oklahoma. We first met Hugh several years ago when our son Seth worked for the Institute for a summer as an intern. We crossed paths again this past February when Hugh was presenting at the Cattleman’s College during the NCBA Convention. His presentation and breakout session will be informative and thought pro voking. If you’ve ever wondered what all the buzz is around regenerative grazing, Hugh will have some answers.

Convention is not just for members - invite your neighbors! We claim to be the voice of the Idaho cattle industry, so we want input from the entire scope of our business. If you’re new to the industry, you just might find a mentor in the crowd. And if you’re a veteran produc er, please come and be that role model to the younger folks.

Education comes in a variety of ways, it’s up to us to absorb it. We claim to be the voice of the Idaho cattle industry so we want input from the entire scope of our business.
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Identifying the uninformed in an industry surrounded by hostiles

The world evolves daily, as do we, both as operators and individuals within our lives. Evolution is inevitable in all facets. However, it is important to remember how we got here, from the history of events to the peo ple that have helped us, in order to evolve to the point we are at today. From time to time, it is important to reflect on some of the things that have molded us to be the person, opera

tion, or industry we’ve become. The historical knowledge that is in these reflections can help us to clear the air. And with the fires burning across our state currently, some clear air may be in order.

As I write this piece, the Leadership Idaho Ag riculture Foundation hosted a tour of Legislative Aides, just a few short weeks ago. This fact-find ing tour is not for the folks from Idaho, but from congressional offices in states around the nation. The opportunity to participate in this tour gave me a chance to reflect on some of the changes in Idaho that have transpired since I have been at

the wheel of the Idaho Cattle Association (ICA), as well as some of the changes that I have seen in those that are stationed in D.C. working to assist our decision makers in the legislative branch of our government.

While we rode the bus between tour stops, I had a chance to visit with many of the attendees and I realized that, in the words of one of our Public Lands Council staff members Sigrid, these folks are not “hostiles”, but rather the “uninformed”. They asked good questions with the intention of gaining information and insight based in facts or perspective. I expected no less from a group of this type, as this was a voluntary trip of their choosing, crafted to help them understand issues outside of their home states. However, as we continued to visit, I was reminded that both in the policy realm, as well as in our education of the general public liv ing here in Idaho, the ”“uninformed” could be de fined as those seeking answers, and the ”hostiles” are those looking to create a reaction.

With this lens in place, I visited my memo ry bank in an attempt to bring these definitions to life. In the last 5 years I can think of a list of proposed legislation that came up in Idaho, which would have had an effect on our industry, just by the title.

Animal Welfare – Use of a horse more than 6 hours in a day to be defined as animal cruelty.

This seems absurd to me, as I have had a cou ple of mounts that, in reality, the cruelty was toward me if I had to ride him that long. Fortu nately, ICA did not have to lift much to keep this from seeing light in our state. However, some of our neighboring states are not too far from losing these types of fights.

I ask myself: is this brought by ”hostiles”, or the ”uninformed”? We have seen legislation proposed

Distinction between those seeking to learn vs those looking for reaction is important. This work to protect our industry will, however, continue to involve both groups.

in both Oregon and Colorado that was brought forward by the folks who will not even entertain listening to the voice of reason. Was Idaho’s proposed legislation (years ago) brought for ward by the same type of people? Or was it merely an oversight, masked in side an ask to regulate other types of animals, brought forward by an “unin formed” individual?

Wolf Legislation – Legislation to help our state to manage its wolf population.

This brought forward many phone calls, emails, reporters, etc. Most of the phone messages that came into our of fices were from the “hostiles”: threats to our lives, wishes of ill will, yelling and hatred. They were looking for some thing other than a discussion around understanding the loss to our industry, our producers’ way of life, and every impact experienced by citizens of our state as the numbers of apex predators have expanded over the last 25+ years.

We continue to field calls on this piece now 2 years later and I will say that the ”uninformed” have begun to reach out, rather than the ”hostiles”. This work to protect our industry will, however, con tinue to involve both groups.

These are just 2 examples of bills that came to mind and transpired during my tenure here in Boise, so I do wonder from time to time, “what’s next”? As you look to your ballot box in the coming month, I encourage you to look closely at the candidates. Make your best decisions, but please do not shy away from discussion with some one who may fall in the bounds of ”un informed” when they start asking about our cattle industry. Identify the “hos tiles” in the crowd and vote accord ingly. Most importantly, exercise your right to vote, vote your conscience, and beware the wolves in sheep’s clothing.

We look forward to seeing you in Sun Valley or in our travels across the state of Idaho in the coming months. IDAHO CATTLE ASSOCIATION 9
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Why meeting in-person is the keystone for connection

Irecently attended the Public Lands Council (PLC) annual meeting, along with leadership of ICA and the Idaho Public Lands Coun cil. Due to COVID-related disruptions, this was the first in-person meeting held by PLC in three years. The event confirmed the importance of gathering together. While COVID closures proved that work can go on in a virtual world, there is no match for meeting face to face. It cannot be denied that coming together in a room and hav ing real-time conversations is the most fruitful

way to handle business and resolve issues. Just as meaningful as the information presented and issues discussed in a meeting format, are the hall way conversations that can occur when people are gathered together. This is an aspect of meetings that is particularly lost when business is conduct ed solely in the virtual world. I have participated in countless meetings where break time conversa tions that stemmed from information presented in the meeting format resulted in the most mean ingful communications and productive outcomes. It’s my belief that these types of interactions are mostly non-existent in the virtual world.

As someone who works from a home office, I would be the last person to say that all business

must be conducted in person all the time. Mod ern and emerging technologies continue to make it easier to stay connected, to conduct work more efficiently, to allow flexibility in time and space, and to more quickly react and respond to current needs and happenings. However, what the two-year hi atus on in-person contact proved is that personal connection and interaction cannot be wholly re placed by virtual interface. An occasional ”coming together” is the key link in the chain of mutual un derstanding, cooperation, and productivity.

Likewise, it is important for Idaho ranchers to gather annually at the Idaho Cattle Association (ICA) annual convention. Fortunately, ICA only had to cancel one convention during the COVID years. That one year, however, left a bit of a gap that could not be replaced by a Zoom gathering, however hard we tried.

In my years of attending ICA conventions, I have seen relationships grow to produce outcomes and form friendships, constructive differences of opinion which led to additional complete and bul let-proof solutions, and meaningful dialogue that resulted in important changes and advances in policy affecting our industry.

With a wide spectrum of issues pointed in our direction, from political pressures to the unfor tunate forces of mother nature, this year will cer tainly be no exception. I urge you to attend the convention to take part in shaping ICA policy, work toward meaningful solutions to complex prob lems, forge relationships with fellow cattlemen and women, and to simply get off the ranch for a little time away in Sun Valley. We need your input, your

An occasional ‘coming together’ is the key link in the chain of mutual understanding, cooperation, and productivity.
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knowledge, your experience, your en ergy, and your friendship!

Some of the issues that were dis cussed at the PLC meeting will take center stage at the ICA Convention as well, and we need your input as we move forward in those things that are impacting the cattle industry. Key among those issues are the BLM graz ing regulations. During the Trump Administration, the BLM began the long overdue process of updating the regulations that govern BLM graz ing permits. The current regulations were instituted under the ill-begot ten Rangeland Reform efforts of an ti-grazing Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt during the 1990s.

They have proven their failings time and again, burdening our industry and the BLM staff, who often fall short in implementing the oppressive regula tions, not necessarily due to their own shortcomings. The problem lies not only in inefficient regulations, but also unworkable processes that create lay ers of paperwork and inaction.

The regulation updates were not completed prior to the 2020 presi dential election and with the ensuing change in administration, we all but gave up hope on any action happening. Despite this, we had been repeatedly reassured by BLM staff that the work was still being done. And now, that promise appears to be coming to fru ition, despite our doubts. At the PLC meeting, the BLM reported that work has, in fact, continued on the regula tion revisions and a rule should be out for review during the winter of 2023. To back up this claim, ICA was just given the rare occasion to have cooper ating agency status in the regulation’s revision process – this means we will have the unique and elevated opportu nity to provide meaningful input to the agency on needed changes. Stay tuned on this issue as it develops. At conven tion, we will provide the latest updates.

Another emerging issue that was discussed in great detail at the PLC meeting (and will be followed up on at ICA’s convention) is the role of graz ing in carbon sequestration and how/ if our industry can benefit from car bon crediting.

The carbon footprint of our busi ness is a complex issue that will re quire extensive review and inves tigation by our industry. We must determine where and how we fit in this discussion, and how ranchers can ben efit, while also un derscoring the vital role grazing provides for climate change mitigation and in the carbon debate.

At the conven tion, we will have speakers dedicated to presenting their expertise and per spectives on this is

sue to help us navigate a path forward for our industry.

So come to the convention. Come to learn more about these and other issues. Come to have a say in setting policy that will inform ICA actions to improve the regulatory and political environment impacting our industry. Come to mix and mingle with fellow cattlemen. Come to learn from and be encouraged by each other. Come to take an active part in the greatest industry and the greatest association in the nation.

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ACowboyWalks into a Biker Bar


Great friendships don’t always come packaged the way we imagined

Iknow, I know – you’re waiting for some witty punchline to a great joke, right? As I’m sure we’ve all heard, Cowboys have long endured stories of clashing cultures. Cowboys and the genteel ladies, Cowboys and Indians, Cowboys and…well, you get the idea. However, the story I get to share in this particular instance is one that many would be hard pressed to encounter: the Cowboy and the Biker. I’ll count myself as a lucky individual however, as I actually got to witness this scene firsthand recently, just down the road in Jerome, Idaho. IDAHO CATTLE ASSOCIATION 15

This particular scenario was not one of animosity or even discomfort –it was quite the opposite: one of pure camaraderie. It involved Cowboys and Cowgirls from the Magic Valley Cattle men’s Association, and members from the Snake River Bros, a well-known riding club in the area. So just how did these 2 groups come to be in the same story? It all started when MVCA member Brady Fife got involved in a conversation that started out a lot like this story- finding the humor in mixing 2 very different groups of people, but doing it all for a really good cause.

If you’re not familiar with the Snake River Bros and the hobby of motorcycling, they are a group of tough looking guys and gals with the absolute biggest of hearts and a healthy love for motorcycles mixed with socializing. The Snake River Bros Club was officially founded in 2001, after leadership decided to separate from their original roots to pursue causes important to the active membership. The group currently has over 70 members and they have been holding the ‘Se Habla Español Dice Run’ event for 9 years. It’s one of their

special events, but only one of the few they put on under the ‘Facio Liber’ banner – which loosely translates to ‘for the kids’. Their presence in the Magic Valley is felt far and wide, from stuffing backpacks for kids, in ad dition to Christmas and Halloween events, as well as helping fundraise for safe houses and supplies bene fitting victims escaping a life over shadowed by domestic violence. Rally in the Valley is another major event they host, which takes place at the fairgrounds near Murtaugh Lake and sells out quickly.

When Brady Fife first learned about the Dice Run event, which fea tures a group of riders making their way on a route across Twin Falls and ending at the clubhouse in Jerome, he immediately knew there had to be a way to help. With Brady’s direc tion, Magic Valley Cattlemen’s Asso ciation stepped in to not only pro vide the meat that feeds the crowd gathering after the ride, but also cook it to perfection – all the while forging a connection with the group and representing cattlemen across the state of Idaho.

Following the first year helping cook for the Dice Run, Fife invited leader ship from Snake River Bros to attend Magic Valley Cattlemen’s annual ban quet. After witnessing the scholarship presentation made by the local cattle men, the riding club knew how to re pay the kindness shown to them: with a contribution to the MVCA scholar ship fund. The friendship was forged even deeper, and each year since, rep resentatives from Snake River Bros have attended the annual banquet to present an in-kind donation support ing MVCA’s scholarship.

Several members of the Magic Valley Cattlemen’s Association were in attendance to help with cooking the tri tip served at this year’s event, including John Peters, Bill Lickley,

If you’re not familiar with the Snake River Bros and the hobby of motorcycling, they are a group of tough looking guys and gals with the absolute biggest of hearts, and a healthy love for motorcycles mixed with socializing.

Bryce Starr, Valene Lickley, Rachel Schaal and Brady Fife, who has no tably not missed an event since that first year he offered to help. I asked Fife what his favorite part of the event is and he kept it simple, ‘the money it raises for the kids’. John Pe ters, who serves on the Idaho Cattle Association Board of Directors, also shared with me that it’s an event like no other – one where people from 2 different walks of life get together in unity for a good cause and enjoy each other’s company.

The Dice Run continued through out the pandemic and the 2022 ride had 100 bikes, many of which had 2 riders. 2021 had been one of the most successful in the history of the club,

raising over $10,000 to support a va riety of needs in the community. The Snake River Bros accepts applications for assistance, as well as referrals from past recipients of their generosity. While the final number for the amount raised in 2022 wasn’t available at the

time of publication, at the event, Joe Jimenez (former Vice President of Snake River Bros), awarded a $2,000 check to Magic Valley Cattlemen’s As sociation for their scholarship fund –the largest donation from the club to the cattlemen to date. IDAHO CATTLE ASSOCIATION 17
The friendship was forged even deeper and each year since, representatives from Snake River Bros have attended the annual banquet to present an in kind donation supporting MVCA’s scholarship.

Seeing two groups of people with seem ingly broad differences was such a testa ment to not only Idahoans, but also cattle mens culture. We’ll continue to hear how important it is for producers to ‘tell their story’, in an effort to gain more support from the public perspective, but this is one such opportunity where ‘actions speak louder than words’.

As ICA looks forward to our annual con vention next month, its a great time to revisit or set some resolution, so to speak. I’d urge you to take a moment for some research to see where you can make a difference - I think you’ll be surprise at where cattlemen can find ways to continue spreading our good message. Whether it’s through support of

Counts, hosting an educational tour for students, serving in a leadership or engaged member

your local associ ation/

cooking tri tip for for the local riding club, there are plenty of ways to help our community out and a good chance

make some new friends doing it.

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NOVEMBER 14-16, 2022

The Idaho Cattle Association looks forward to continuing our Annual Convention event, complete with valueadded trade show, educational sessions, and social networking in 2022! We are laser-focused on dialogue with members surrounding issues facing our state's cattle industry, as well as providing opportunities to ensure you leave with a strong network and toolbox of beneficial resources.


The ICA takes pride in introducing our members to speakers and activities that will benefit you, whether you are a cow-calf producer, feeder, or allied industry representative. This year will feature Cattlemen’s College sponsored by Zoetis, and the Idaho Beef Council Luncheon, in addition to several breakout sessions with topics encompassing animal nutrition, partner updates, and more. You will again have the opportunity to attend the famous President’s Banquet & expertly prepared prime rib alongside great company!


Our annual strolling supper provides a meal to satisfy every palate while visitng more than 60 exhibitors to discover the latest and greatest products available to ranchers on the market! This uniquely styled event concludes with a chance to raise your paddle during the Idaho Cattle Political Action Committee fundraising auction & bid on the variety of silent auction donations.


Hugh Aljoe will discuss how producers can integrate this simple framework focusing specifically on managing for increased plant diversity and adaptive grazing management. In addition, he will explain how to conduct “Safe to Learn” trials and will share firsthand accounts of rapid improvement from Noble Ranches!

Trade Show& Trade Show





10:30 a.m. Registration & Trade Show open

Visit our allied industries partners to learn about opportunities for your operation!

1:00 p.m. General Session : Hugh Aljoe

No matter the location, size, or scope, any ranch can improve soil health (and its bottom line) by basing management decisions on the 6 principles!

2:15 p.m. Breakout Sessions


Join Idaho's Rib-eye Caucus to discuss the upcoming legislative session and an outlook following the general election.


Listen in and look at some partner projects completed on operations across the West.

3:30 p.m. Council Sessions

Cow/calf, Purebred, Feeder, CattleWomen

4:00 p.m. CattleWomen's Social

4:30 p.m. Cattlemen's College

6:30 p.m. Strolling Supper and PAC Auction


7:00 a.m. Registration Opens

7:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Trade Show Open

7:30 a.m. Breakfast

Hear an update from NCBA on current events and issues at the national level.

9:00 a.m. General Session : True West Beef Idaho is expanding its processing capacity. Listen in on an update on the facility and how it can impact the entire beef industry in our state.

10:30 a.m. Resolutions & Policy Session

Join the membership to discuss policy that will guide our organization in 2023.

12:00 p.m. Beef Checkoff Luncheon

Hear updates from the Idaho Beef Council around trends and education efforts promoting Idaho beef!

1:30 p.m. Breakout Sessions


An overview & forum surrounding frequently asked questions and myths about regenerative ranching


Learn about options to continue to feed our livestock in an environment of increased costs.

2:30 p.m. Breakout Sessions


ICA & IPLC host an annual session to update and discuss operating on Public Lands.

Hear about research taking place at Idaho's land grant university providing information to operations in many aspects of our industry.

3:45 p.m. Annual Membership Meeting

Attend our annual membership meeting for officer elections and input on policy approval!

5:30 p.m. President's Reception

6:30 p.m. President's Banquet

Join us for a celebratory dinner honoring outgoing ICA President, Mark Pratt and welcoming 2023 incoming president, Kim Brackett.


8:30 a.m. General Session : Global Outlook

The cattle market has changed over the course of past months. Hear from Brett Stewart & John Nalivka on the global scenario, as well as outlooks for producers in Idaho.

14-16, 2022
Email: Sign me up for the CattleWomen's Social! & Trade Show& Trade Show NOVEMBER 14-16, 2022 SUN VALLEY, IDAHO ATTENDEE REGISTRATION FORM Early Registration closes Monday, Oct. 31, 2022 Attendee One: Attendee Two: Company/Ranch Name: Address: City: State: Zip: Phone: PACKAGE SELECTIONS PAYMENT INFORMATION EVENT PRICEATTENDEESTOTAL COMPLETE PACKAGECOMPLETE PACKAGE Meetings Only Monday Dinner Tuesday Breakfast Beef Checkoff Lunch President's Banquet $70 $70 $45 $45 $60 x x x x x = = = = = $260 $260 NAME TAG INFORMATION No. of attendees Total $ Credit Card Number: Exp. Date: Name on Card: City: CARDCASHCHECK State: Zip: Email: Phone: Total Amount: Please list attendees and how they want their name tag to appear: Attendee: City/Ranch/Company: Attendee: City/Ranch/Company: Registration Questions? Call the ICA Office at (208) 343-1615 Please return your payment and registration form to the ICA office by Monday, October 31. Forms can be emailed to or mailed to Idaho Cattle Association, PO Box 15397, Boise, ID 83715. Meal availability cannot be guaranteed after the registration deadline. Registration prices increase on Nov. 1. In the event of a cancellation, ICA will refund the full registration amount prior to October 31. DON'T FORGET! Registration Available Online Save a stamp by visiting Reserve Your Room Today Call the Sun Valley Resort at (800) 786-8259 to make room reservations, reference the Idaho Cattle Association room block.

How Consumer Information Sells More Beef in Idaho

Awhile back, the Idaho Beef Council (IBC) authored a Line Rider article titled “Consumers want to know how Idaho beef is raised, so let’s tell them.” The ar ticle explained how National Cattleman’s Beef Association (NCBA) contracts with Meltwater Research each quarter to generate a Dashboard Consumer Survey. The survey gauges consumers’ understanding and perceptions about beef pro duction. At the state level, IBC leverages the insights to ad dress information gaps about beef production and consump tion as part of its Checkoff funded educational efforts.

According to a recent survey, only about 30% of Idaho consumers, on par with the national average, feel knowl edgeable about beef production; nearly half, 45%, con sider themselves unknowledgeable. Data like this pro vides a roadmap for IBC’s consumer-targeted education efforts designed to break down barriers, build connec tions, and help consumers understand the value of Ida ho’s beef industry.


In the past decade, nearly half a million consumers moved to Idaho from other states. With this influx of new Idahoans come changes in our state demographics and attitudes toward beef production. To understand those changing perceptions, IBC recently conducted a series of Consumer Focus Groups among new residents to the Gem State.

The focus groups validated IBC’s focus on sustainability and animal welfare practices, along with some additional insights. New-to-Idaho residents represent a younger demographic that is less knowledgeable about beef offerings, more concerned with sustainability, and more open to new dietary patterns. Insights gleaned about beef consumption revealed some helpful data points, including what they like about beef:

1. Beef is versatile – there are lots of different cuts that can be used for a variety of meals.

2. Beef tastes better than other meat proteins.

3. Kids like beef better than other meat proteins.

4. The texture of beef is better than other meat proteins.

The good news is that beef is clearly preferred over other meat proteins. But of course, there’s more. Here’s what participants don’t like about beef:

1. Beef isn’t cheaper than other proteins; it costs about the same.

2. Besides ground beef, beef can be challenging to cook if you don’t know how.

3. Consumers aren’t comfortable experimenting with beef be cause if it’s not prepared correctly, it can go to waste, along with the whole meal.

IBC will address these likes and dislikes, along with important information about sustainability and animal welfare, in our edu cational efforts going forward.

Data from the Dashboard Survey indicated a need for con sumer messages using fact-based storytelling and messaging about how beef producers actively care for the earth and their animals. That’s why sustainability and animal welfare are two important areas of focus for IBC communications. True life stories are a powerful and engaging tool to inform consumers about the people behind Idaho’s beef production, including what Idaho ranchers are doing to protect our natural resources and care for animals.


All things being equal from a cost standpoint, how to prepare and cook beef correctly is one of the main impediments prevent ing consumers from serving more beef at home.

I can relate. I thought I knew how to grill. I grill almost every day – rain, shine, sleet, or snow. But as I wrote in a recent ICA Executive Update, I make way better hamburgers since I joined the IBC. Why? Because of what I like to call “the simple dimple,”


or a very basic trick I learned from reading “Three Steps to the Perfect Grilled Burger” on

Thanks to the simple dimple, I can now make tasty burg ers at home any time instead of satisfying my burger cravings less frequently by going out to a burger joint. More burgers are in my future!

This personal example demonstrates precisely why filling consumer information gaps can and will increase beef con sumption. Quick & Easy cooking tips and recipes make the difference between only eating steak at a restaurant on spe

cial occasions or buying more steaks to cook at home. Just as the dimple helped me grill a better burger (way better), letting steak rest 5 minutes before cutting into it makes for a better at home eating experience.


Understanding what makes consumers reluctant to pre pare beef is valuable information. Focus group participants IDAHO CATTLE ASSOCIATION 25
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elaborated on what they need to overcome these concerns: simple cooking tips and Quick & Easy recipes, specifically:

• Meals that don’t require a lot of dishes or pans to hand-wash.

• Recipes that take under 30 minutes to prepare.

Now we get to work. In addition to focusing our messaging on sustainable beef production and animal welfare practices, IBC will craft messaging around helpful cooking tips that create a comfort level with beef meal preparation. Thanks to Beef. It’s What for Dinner. resources from the Beef Checkoff, there are a treasure trove of recipes and cooking tips to leverage toward this end. Meanwhile, here’s one example of an IBC Facebook post addressing consumer comfort levels with cooking burgers.

IBC will use consumer focus group intelligence to create posts like this to provide useful information for consumers to successfully make better meals with beef. Doing so helps con sumers enjoy what they like about it: versatility, taste, preferred by kids, and texture. If a post like this prompts a fraction of our nearly 17,000 Facebook followers to cook an extra pound of burger each month, that’s powerful stuff.


Sharing cooking tips and quick and easy recipes through various communication channels is an important part of our consumer education plans. Another critical aspect is Produc er Stories. There is a significant opportunity to enhance beef’s image and value – and sales – by “humanizing” our local pro ducers and industry partners with real life stories about sus tainability, animal care, and other practices that positively in fluence consumer food choices. Stay tuned!

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Cull Cow Options

Every fall, cattle producers cull a portion of their herd due to age, infertility, unsoundness, disposi tion, or a lack of forage resources or winter feed. Last year, cow culling was heavy in some locations of the Northwest due to the 2021 drought. This year, extensive culling has occurred with the drought in Texas, Oklaho ma, and Kansas.

Questions can arise on the feasibility of adding weight to cull cows prior to marketing. If cows are in good flesh, it is usually best to let them go to market. But what about cows that are on the thinner side? If younger cull cows are at a body condition score (BCS) of 4 to 4.5 and can be moved to a BCS of 5 to 5.5 in 30 to 40 days on good quality, abundant pasture, it can be profitable.


The bullet points below summarize many different research trials that have been conducted by universities throughout the U.S. on feeding cull cows.

• Most profitable for only 30 to 50 days

• First 30 days is most efficient gain

• Healthy cows that are thinner exhibit compensatory gain 1st 30 to 40 days

• Most profitable when taking advantage of December to May market swing

• Older cows ≥ 9 years of age least efficient for gains

• Young 2 and 3 year old cows most efficient for gains

• Can often make money if feed cost is low and chang ing cow from canner to cutter grade (BCS 3.0 to 4.0 or >)

• On good q uality pasture, dry cows should gain 0.5 to 0.6 BCS in 30 days

• Feeding for short time periods is subject to the risk from market swings

Figure 1 illustrates the feed efficiency of various age cows fed for 54 days on a feedlot diet. Early on, younger cows can approach feed efficiencies observed for year ling cattle.

Table 1 presents the marketing and carcass grades for cull cows. USDA marketing reports for cull cows will report cull cow prices by the marketing class for both dressed and live cattle.

The pictures below and on the next page provide some visual interpretation for various cull cow carcass quality


grades. It is not usually an economic advantage to move a cull cow to the commercial grade as the energy cost of the feed is excessive. For example, it would take at least an extra 3 to 3.5 lbs feed for each lb of gain (BCS = 7) to achieve similar daily gains to a cow with a BCS of 4.0.


– 2021 EXAMPLE

During the 2021 drought, Dr. Hernan Tejeda and I did a least cost analysis over 30 days for either feeding cull cows a 70 to 80% concentrate ration vs grazing cows on either irrigated or rested rangeland pasture. The bal ance of the concentrate rations was filled with alfalfa hay. Profitability of the different options was compared for 4 different BCS ranges. Figure 6 demonstrates that for 2021, the most economical option for feeding cull cows was to pasture them on good quality irrigated pas ture. Cull cow prices for 2022 are approximately $10/ cwt greater that we noted in 2021. A video presentation for this comparison is available at:

S7uA1HMttgt .

If you desire to do your own least cost analysis for feed ing cull cows and desire to have use of an Excel spread sheet to assist you in this effort, please contact me. IDAHO CATTLE ASSOCIATION 29
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PRESENTED BY THE IDAHO CATTLEWOMEN $5.00 Per Entry One Entry Per Form Please Print Legibly for Office Use

First & Last Name

Ranch Name Mailing Address City State Zip

Category for this entry Please check one Cattle Scenic Ranges & Pastures Idaho Cattle Lifestyle Generations- New or Old

Tile of this Photo: Please provide a brief description of photo (who, what, when, where):

I certify that I am the person who took this photo and there are no other copyrights on the photo. I have consent of any people who appear in the photo. I understand that digital copy of the entry must be sent to Morgan Lutgen at the Idaho Cattle Association Office at I understand that I am responsible for picking up the photos after the contest. Photos will have the opportunity to appear in future ICA publications and communications materials. Should my photo be used, I will receive photo credit. Photos have been submitted without water marks.

Signature of photographer Date

Signature of person in photo Date


It is never too early to capture the beauty of Idaho and the cattle and people who make our industry one of the greatest. It is time to prepare for the 10th Annual Idaho Cattle Association Photo Contest. The photo contest takes place at the Idaho Cattle Association Annual Convention, November 14-16, 2022 in Sun Valley, ID. Photos will have the opportunity to appear in future ICA publications and communications materials. Please read carefully through the following related to rules and categories this year.

▪ Idaho Cattle: Any and all breeds, ages and personalities!

▪ Idaho Scenic Ranges or Pastures

▪ Idaho Cattlemen Lifestyle

▪ Generations -New or Old

All photos must be taken in Idaho.

All eligible entrants must be current members of the Idaho Cattle Association .

▪ Photographs must be the property of the entrant and to have been taken by the member.

▪ A $ $5.00 entry fee per photo will be charged.

▪ There is no limit to the number of photos you may enter.

▪ Photos may be in color or black and white.

▪ Entries must be 8”x10” or 11”x 14” if rectangular, 8”x8” or 12”x 12” if square.

▪ Photos CAN NOT have a date imprint or a watermark .

No frames, although it is preferred that photos be matted for display.

▪ Entries may be vertical, horizontal or square.

▪ Vertical photos are used for cover images of ICA publications.

▪ There will be cash prizes awarded to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners in each category.

An overall grand prize will be awarded for the Best of Show and People’s choice award.

▪ Contestants shall submit all photographs either by regular mail before or in person at the 2021 ICA Annual Convention and Industry Trade Show.

A All photos entered in the contest must also be provided in jpg format either via email or on a flash drive, and sent to Morgan Lutgen at morgan@idahocattle org

▪ Digital files must be at least 2400x3600 pixels at 300 dpi.

▪ Contestants need not be present to win. IDAHO CATTLE ASSOCIATION 33
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For Immediate Release: September 15, 2022

Contact: Cameron Mulrony, (208) 343-1615

Statewide Funding Available for Livestock Education Programs

The Idaho Cattle Foundation (ICF) is requesting funding applications for public and/or higher education programs that advance the state’s livestock industry to be received by November 1st, 2022. Through an application process available at, the ICF will recommend funding to the Idaho State Board of Education for livestock education programs. Funding is available from the proceeds of the Unclaimed Livestock Account for programs that advance Idaho’s livestock-based industries through public or higher education.

The ICF has recommended Unclaimed Livestock Funds transferred into the Idaho State Board of Education’s miscellaneous revenue fund be granted to educational programs advancing the livestock industry. Past funds have helped programs including agricultural education and research projects under the care of University of Idaho, and Notus, Madison and American Falls High School’s Agricultural Education departments, to name a few.

ICF is a charitable organization established by the Idaho Cattle Association to provide an Idaho beef industry presence in education and science, priding itself in being the state’s official organization tasked with recommending unclaimed livestock proceeds. Applications for these educational funds are available at, please utilize the link which reads “application” and will be accepted until 5:00 pm November 1st, 2022. For more information, please visit the website at or call (208) 343-1615

The Idaho Cattle Foundation, Inc. is qualified as an IRS 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization, thereby enabling qualified donors to receive tax benefits for their contributions. The Foundation is organized exclusively for charitable, scientific, literary, or educational purposes within the meaning of 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, including but not limited to funding and performing research activities which will improve practices in the beef industry in Idaho; educating Idaho cattle producers about sound environmental stewardship practices; educating the public at large about the beef industry’s stewardship of the environment, the beef industry’s important role in providing a healthy food source to the citizens of our nation and other nations and about the beef industry’s important impact on the Idaho economy.

Idaho Cattle Foundation . PO Box 15397 . Boise, Idaho 83715

Phone: 208-343-1615 . . Email:

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