Another Good Week

Written by Dennis Sun

For part of last week, I was in Denver, Colo. attending the summer convention of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA). As usual, there was a good turn out, and a wealth of topics were discussed.

Despite the Trump administration’s slowness on critical appointees to critical agencies, there is still a lot coming out of Washington D.C., both from the administration and Congress. Private property rights, sage grouse, federal lands issues, meat exports and livestock trucking issues are just some of the issues that came up and were discussed in policy meetings. On the other side of the building, in the Federation of State Beef Council meetings, the various beef checkoff committees met.

What really stood out to me was the force and the respect in Washington, D.C. of the NCBA lobbyists, both from NBCA and the Public Lands Council (PLC). Time and time again, we heard from many speakers in the political arena as to how NBCA and PLC lobbyists are a great help and a place to get the right information to those who make decisions.

One thing that helps is the NCBA Political Action Committee (PAC). As one of the largest in Washington, D.C., it is a major force in our nation’s capitol. It all adds up as a force for America’s beef producers. Remember, over 25,000 members can’t be all wrong.

Switching gears to the Wyoming sheep industry, if you have an interest or are in the sheep business, head to Casper’s Ramkota Hotel on July 24-25 for the Wyoming Wool Growers Association (WWGA) Summer Membership Meeting. It will be two days packed with information, discussion and some fun. 

The morning of July 24 starts with a Small Flock and Fiber Symposium and later a Young/Beginning Producers Seminar. Also, in the afternoon, there will be a labor update and a federal lands agencies update from Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service, followed by industry updates from the Natural Resource Coalition and Wyoming Farm Bureau. The afternoon continues with a talk from USDA Wildlife Services Administrator Bill Clay and a discussion on grizzly bear and wolf delisting and management. Steve True and Ken Richardson of the Wyoming Livestock Board will also provide updates. Then, the fun starts with a reception and dinner along with a sheep shearing fundraising contest.

The next day starts with a talk by Steve Harshman, Speaker of the Wyoming House of Representatives followed by an introduction to Whit Stewart, the new sheep specialist at the University of Wyoming. Rhonda Brandt of Wyoming’s Field office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service will speak on the latest ag census, followed by an update from Peter Orwick, executive director of the American Sheep Industry. 

Next will be a talk by the new president of the Wyoming Business Alliance and Wyoming Heritage Foundation, Cindy Delancey, followed by a Washington update, live from Washington, D.C. with the Wyoming Congressional Delegation. 

There will be a talk by George Kerr on Sheep Shearer Development Program, followed by a wool panel with Larry Prager, who runs the Center of the Nation Wool Warehouse, and Ben Hostetler from the Mountain Meadow Wool Mill in Buffalo. Then, Warrie Means, meat specialist from the University of Wyoming, will speak on modern lamb cuts.

After lunch, there will be a membership meeting for all the members.

If you have any interest in sheep, you need to be there.