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The Front-Row Seat

30 Apr

BY LANCE ZIMMERMAN, YPC Chairman

One of the amazing things about the NCBA Young Producers’ Council is it gives members 18 to 35 years old a chance to be involved in every aspect of the organization. Last week, I represented the council at the NCBA executive committee meetings in Washington, D.C.

It was an amazing opportunity, and here are the details on my front-row seat experience.

The most impressive aspect of the meetings was the encouragement and support that YPC receives from NCBA’s volunteer leadership. From NCBA president J.D. Alexander to regional vice presidents to federation representatives, they all want to know what YPC is doing. The organization feels a stake in the council.

The leadership team wants the organization’s young leaders to experience success, and more importantly, they want our feedback on the decisions being made.

The organization is working diligently to follow through on the core strategies and goals outlined in the NCBA Long Range Plan. It is a three-year plan that is currently at the start of year two, and the level of detail and accountability to the plan is mind-boggling.

Some of you may be aware of the long-range plan’s details. It focuses on six key areas:

1)    improving consumer demand for beef,

2)    increasing beef export value,

3)    strengthening beef’s consumer image,

4)    enhancing the operating environment for cattle producers,

5)    building the trust people have in the industry, and

6)    growing the U.S. cow herd.

The vision of the organization is outstanding, and the staff is making sure our membership dues are meeting the plan’s objectives.

NCBA is in outstanding financial shape, the membership team is growing the number of producers represented by the organization, and the Washington, D.C., staff is doing a fantastic job representing us in policy discussions. There were dozens of other details shared, but I want to keep this post short.

It was exciting to see the big-picture view of NCBA and recognize the parallels between those goals and the concepts explored in the four YPC task forces right now.

I recognize each of us face a multitude of challenges as young cattle producers and industry leaders. Among all the decisions you have to make on a daily basis, I hope the value of your NCBA dues is obvious.

Everyone participant in last week’s Executive Committee meetings is fully dedicated to making sure those dollars are spent wisely to ensure that our family’s occupations – and way of life – is preserved. It was humbling, and I was grateful to have a front-row seat in the process.

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