By Sara Baker
Challis-The second annual Idaho Young Cattle Producer’sConference (YCC) was recently held in Caldwell and the surrounding area. Twenty-two emerging beef leaders, under the age of 40, successfully completed the intensive 3-day program, which was presented by University of Idaho Extension and the Idaho Cattle Association.
The conference kicked off with an overview of the beef industry in Idaho. The opening session titled“The Beef Cattle Industry in Idaho”, was moderated by University of Idaho Extension Educator SarahBaker and featured speakers from all aspects of the industry, including JW Wood with AgriBeef, who gave an overview of the packing and feedlot sectors. Scott Bedke, cattle producer from Oakley, talked about his stocker operation, grazing program, and forage production system. The next presentation was given by Robert and Rochelle Oxarango from Emmett. They discussed their commercial cow-calf operation. Guy Colyer, with Colyer Herefords and Angus, concluded the session with an overview of his family’s operation, and the purebred industry.
Following the opening session, YCC Chairman Jim Church moderated the next session which included a Marketing Panel. The panel consisted of speakers from a variety of marketing channels in the Pacific Northwest including Eric Drees, representing 7 Rivers Livestock Commission and Superior Livestock Auction, as well as Alec Oliver with Country Natural Beef, and Maddee Moore with IMMVAC. Panelists discussed ways to market cattle, how to capture the best value for them, and encouraged the young producers to not just “sell” your cattle, but to “market” them.
Day one of the conference was concluded with a delicious steak dinner at Indian Creek Steakhouse in Caldwell, sponsored by Zoetis.
The next morning, participants were up bright and early for the second general session which focused on “Current Issues Facing Young Producers” and was moderated by Carmen Willmore with University of Idaho Extension. Cody Hendrix with Northwest Farm Credit Services presented how to finance a cattle operation, followed by Ben Eborn, Agricultural Economist with the University of Idaho Extension, who discussed risk management tools that are available for cattle producers, and how to use them. The session was wrapped up by Brenda Richards, who discussed public lands issues facing cattle producers in the West, and the resources that are available to help, including the Public Lands Council.
Sarah Baker, with the University of Idaho Extension, gave a meat cutting demonstration next, showcasing the Beef Alternative Merchandising Program. She explained how this innovative program generates new cuts from larger subprimals to provide consumers with leaner and higher yielding portions. Baker also discussed how to quality and yield grade beef carcasses and stressed the importance of emphasizing end-product quality as a beef producer. Participants enjoyed a taste testing following the cutting demonstration.
Immediately following the cutting demonstration, participants grabbed boxed lunches and boarded vans to embark on a tour of the beef industry in western Idaho. The first stop was CS Beef Packers in Kuna, followed by Boise Valley Feeders in Parma, and concluded at Shaw Cattle Company in Notus. Each stop featured keynote speakers discussing their operations and participants received an in-depth look into the packing, feeding, and purebred industries at each location. The day was concluded by a delicious tri-tip dinner catered by Grubbin’ BBQ, hosted by the Shaw family at their ranch, and sponsored by IMMVAC and Certified Hereford Beef.
During dinner, there was a roundtable discussion on the importance of being involved in local, state, and national cattle organizations, and participants were able to reflect back on what they had learned from the previous two days and shared them with each other. Jim Church concluded the evening with a short presentation on the important role that the University of Idaho Extension and land-grant Universities play in agriculture, including the resources they provide to the cattle industry in the state.
The next morning, YCC committee member Sara Somsen-Fowler moderated the last session titled“How to Become Involved”. Speakers TK Kuwahara (Idaho Beef Council), Gretchen Hyde (IdahoRangeland Resource Commission), Cameron Mulrony (Idaho Cattle Association), and Neil Durrant(Idaho Young Farmer’s and Ranchers Program/Idaho Farm Bureau) gave an overview of their respective organizations and the important role they play in the cattle industry.
The YCC program concluded just before noon with a graduation ceremony, where each member was recognized with a graduation certificate.
The goal of the Idaho YCC is to provide young cattle producers an opportunity to receive in-depth education on the cattle industry in Idaho. The program is offered annually to young producers between the age of 18 and 40. Participants can apply to attend the conference themselves or be nominated by another producer or organization. They are then selected to attend the conference by the planning committee. Space is limited to approximately 20 participants. There is no cost to attend, thanks to the generous support of our sponsors. The 2018 YCC Platinum sponsors were Allflex USA, Northwest Farm Credit Services, Magic Valley Cattle Association, Merck Animal Health, Bayer Animal Health, Zoetis, IMMVAC – Endovac Beef, Simplot Western Stockmen’s and Simplot Livestock Company. Gold sponsors included Idaho Angus Association, Snake River Cattle Feeders, the Idaho Beef Council and Jan Ford – H&P Company. Silver Sponsors were Pristine Springs Angus – Curtis & Amber Gay, Idaho/Lewis County Cattle Association, and Certified Hereford Beef. Bronze Sponsors were Idaho Ag Credit.
If you are interested in participating or know someone who would benefit from this outstanding educational opportunity, please contact Jim Church, the University of Idaho Extension at 983-2667 firstname.lastname@example.org. Planning efforts are already underway for the 2019 program and the committee is currently seeking sponsorships. Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum levels are available. There is also an opportunity to sponsor individual attendees. If you are interested in donating to the Idaho YCC, please contact Jim Church or Jesse Brown for further information.