By: John Sachse – Kansas State University Collegiate Cattlemen, YPC Member
When sitting down to discuss the direction the founding members wanted to take the new KSU Collegiate Cattlemen’s Club (CCC), they envisioned a club with the purpose of promoting and advocating the beef industry and animal agriculture at the local, state and national level. They wanted an organization where members are encouraged to further expand their knowledge about the beef industry and engage with the public in a positive manner.
After the club’s first full year that mission and goal have been accomplished. The club has engaged with students on campus and has spoken with top industry producers while networking and promoting the beef industry. The founding members wanted to make sure they developed a club that would continue to make an impact on campus for years to come so they felt it was important to put together a detailed constitution and set of bylaws for future leadership guidance. One of the ways CCC helps its members build leadership and networking is the relationship it holds with the Kansas Livestock Association (KLA). Ten members attended the 100th Annual KLA Convention in November 2012. Members learned about the KLA policy making process, learned new ways to engage with consumers, heard from numerous guest speakers and networked with other young livestock industry leaders.
At each monthly meeting, CCC brings in a guest speaker to educate members on beef industry news and opportunities. The club members can utilize the education they receive in their advocating process. One member took these learned skills and created a YouTube video, “Beyond the Fence,” to showcase what beef producers do on America’s ranches. Club members spend time talking to both students and producers at events such as the 100th Annual KSU Cattlemen’s Day event, KLA Legislative meeting, participating at beef promotional events and getting involved during K-State’s AgFest. At the 2013 K- State Open House, CCC, along with close partner KSU Collegiate Cattlewomen, set up a booth themed “When a Cow is More than a Cow”. Those in attendance included KSU students and the community, many of whom have limited agricultural backgrounds, but were able to learn just how efficient our industry is with the many commercial household products that are made from beef by-products.
Collegiate Cattlemen’s also took time to tour local beef operations such as the Kansas Artificial Breeding Service Unit “KABSU” and Judd Ranch in Pomona, Kansas during the spring. Club members are also hoping to gain livestock sale experience by volunteering at local ranches. Several members volunteered their services at the Spring Kansas Beef Expo sale. These members were able to network with other cattlemen and promote our club name to those producers who sold cattle that day. The members are continuing to look to further develop their skills in the future with new opportunities and experiences. Each one of us rides for a different brand, but here we ALL ride for one brand….the beef industry!