Georgia Cattleman Attends YCC Conference and Industry Tour

Andrew Conley, general manager at Blackwater Cattle Company in Lake Park, Ga.

Andrew Conley, general manager of Blackwater Cattle Company, was one of  more than 50 young cattlemen and women selected to participate in the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) 33rd Young Cattlemen’s Conference (YCC). Conley was sponsored by the Georgia Cattlemen’s Association. The YCC program is a comprehensive, nationwide tour of beef industry sectors, created to enhance leadership skills in your beef industry professionals.

“YCC is a prestigious and competitive program designed to foster the future leadership of our industry,” said Forrest Roberts, NCBA chief executive officer. “The participants selected to attend YCC were chosen because of their exceptional contributions to the beef industry and their potential to be a strong voice in our future development. I look forward to seeing Andrew take an increased leadership role within NCBA and the beef industry.”

Conley grew up on a cow-calf operation in Blairsville, Ga., and was active in showing and judging livestock through 4-H. He attended Abraham Baldwin Agriculture College and Georgia Southern University.

Conley served the Georgia Cattlemen’s Association in 2011 as an Executive Committee Member and is currently the president of his local cattlemen’s association. Andrew also currently serves as General Manager at Blackwater Cattle Company in Lake Park, Ga., where he oversees 1,200 head of commercial and registered Brangus cattle.

His intensive management practices have helped his operation excel in many areas to include health and reproduction, as Conley practices cutting edge husbandry techniques. Blackwater has also held the distinction of hosting four high averaging bull sales within the Brangus breed. Conley said YCC was an opportunity to learn more about the issues facing the beef industry in order to be a better advocate back home. Conley’s hobbies include fishing and livestock auctioneering.

“This was a tremendous opportunity to meet other producers and learn valuable tools to take back home to our operations,” he said. “It’s great to learn how we as producers can have an impact on policy issues as well.”

The eight day tour began at NCBA headquarters in Denver, Colo., where participants were given an organizational overview of NCBA and the Beef Checkoff Program. While in Denver, the group also heard from representatives of Cattle Fax and the U.S. Meat Export Federation. They toured a Safeway retail store and learned about Rancher’s Reserve brand beef marketing efforts. The group spent a day in Greeley, Colo., visiting JBS Five Rivers feed yards and processing facilities.

“It is really important for participants to see each sector of the beef industry – from farm to fork,” said Conley. “Traveling from a cow/calf ranch to a feedlot and processing plant really drives home the point that our industry is composed of many sectors, sectors that are all striving to produce a healthy end product.”

In Chicago, the group met with the senior management of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange at the Chicago Board of Trade. They had the chance to watch the activity on the trading floor and witness futures trading firsthand. Participants also visited Otto & Sons Industries, a family owned company providing quality products and custom solutions for the food industry since 1909. This tour offered a view of how boxed beef is turned into custom order portions for both major restaurant chains and some of the nation’s top steakhouses.

The group then traveled to Washington, D.C., where participants were greeted at a reception hosted by John Deere. The following morning, the group received an issues briefing from NCBA’s government affairs staff about policy issues currently facing the cattle industry.

Later in the day, these future leaders were given the opportunity to visit one-on-one with members of their state’s congressional delegation, expressing their viewpoints regarding the beef industry and their cattle operations. During their congressional visits, participants focused on issues including the 2012 Farm Bill, federal lands ranching and overreaching regulations proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency.

The group then traveled to Aldie, Va., for a tour and barbeque at Whitestone Farms, one of the nation’s elite purebred Angus operations.

For more information on the YCC program or to nominate someone for next year’s tour, contact your state cattlemen’s association or Marvin Kokes at 303-850-3339 or mkokes@beef.org.

Visit the IBBA website at www.GoBrangus.com to learn more about commercial marketing programs and to find a Brangus breeder near you.

Spitzer Attends Elite Beef Industry Conference

Ben Spitzer IBBA’s Marketing Programs Director

WASHINGTON (June 8, 2012) – Ben Spitzer of the International Brangus Breeders Association, was one of  more than 50 young cattlemen and women selected to participate in the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) 33rd Young Cattlemen’s Conference (YCC). Spitzer was sponsored by the Texas Cattlemen’s Association. The YCC program is a comprehensive, nationwide tour of beef industry sectors, created to enhance leadership skills in your beef industry professionals.

“YCC is a prestigious and competitive program designed to foster the future leadership of our industry,” said Forrest Roberts, NCBA chief executive officer. “The participants selected to attend YCC were chosen because of their exceptional contributions to the beef industry and their potential to be a strong voice in our future development. I look forward to seeing Ben take an increased leadership role within NCBA and the beef industry.” 

Ben Spitzer grew up in the cattle business in a family where beef involvement goes back several generations and has included both commercial cattle and registered cattle of several breeds. Spitzer attended Oklahoma State University (OSU) and majored in Animal Science with an animal production emphasis. Upon graduation from OSU, he made the decision to continue his formal education at Colorado State University (CSU) and enrolled in the Integrated Resource Management Master’s Degree program in 2004.

Upon graduating from CSU, he accepted the position of Communications/Member Services Director with the Red Angus Association of America (RAAA) in Denton, Texas. Spitzer then took the position of General Manager of Salacoa Valley Farms, Fairmount, Georgia in July of 2007. Finally in June of 2010, Spitzer accepted the position of Marketing Programs Director at the IBBA. In this position he oversees IBBA’s Commercial Marketing Programs as well as advertising and promotion of the Brangus breed.

Spitzer was a founding member of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) Young Producers Council (YPC) and served as the YPC delegate to the NCBA Membership Committee. He served as Chair of YPC in 2010 and in 2011 served in an advisory role to YPC as Immediate Past Chair.

“This was a tremendous opportunity to meet other producers and learn valuable tools to take back home to our operations,” he said. “It’s great to learn how we as producers can have an impact on policy issues as well.”

The eight day tour began at NCBA headquarters in Denver, Colo., where participants were given an organizational overview of NCBA and the Beef Checkoff Program. While in Denver, the group also heard from representatives of Cattle Fax and the U.S. Meat Export Federation. They toured a Safeway retail store and learned about Rancher’s Reserve brand beef marketing efforts. The group spent a day in Greeley, Colo., visiting JBS Five Rivers feed yards and processing facilities.

“It is really important for participants to see each sector of the beef industry – from farm to fork,” said Spitzer. “Traveling from a cow/calf ranch to a feedlot and processing plant really drives home the point that our industry is composed of many sectors, sectors that are all striving to produce a healthy end product.”

In Chicago, the group met with the senior management of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange at the Chicago Board of Trade. They had the chance to watch the activity on the trading floor and witness futures trading firsthand. Participants also visited Otto & Sons Industries, a family owned company providing quality products and custom solutions for the food industry since 1909. This tour offered a view of how boxed beef is turned into custom order portions for both major restaurant chains and some of the nation’s top steakhouses.

The group then traveled to Washington, D.C., where participants were greeted at a reception hosted by John Deere. The following morning, the group received an issues briefing from NCBA’s government affairs staff about policy issues currently facing the cattle industry.

Later in the day, these future leaders were given the opportunity to visit one-on-one with members of their state’s congressional delegation, expressing their viewpoints regarding the beef industry and their cattle operations. During their congressional visits, participants focused on issues including the 2012 Farm Bill, federal lands ranching and overreaching regulations proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency.

The group then traveled to Aldie, Va., for a tour and barbeque at Whitestone Farms, one of the nation’s elite purebred Angus operations.

For more information on the YCC program or to nominate someone for next year’s tour, contact your state cattlemen’s association or Marvin Kokes at 303-850-3339 or mkokes@beef.org.

Visit www.GoBrangus.com to learn more about Brangus marketing programs and take advantage of advertising opportunities.