Learning about all aspects of the beef life cycle along with leadership development, the 2019 Young Cattlemen’s Conference (YCC), hosted by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), prepares producers for leadership roles in the beef industry.
Ranchers Chisholm Christensen of Hinsdale and Jake Feddes of Manhattan represented the Montana Stockgrowers Association at this year’s YCC.
“It’s 10 days and we experienced the journey of the beef we produce,” said Christensen. We follow it from pasture, to plate, to policy.”
The program takes over 60 livestock producers across much of the nation.
“The tour started in Denver at the NCBA headquarters,” said Christensen. “In Colorado, we got to go see some fed cattle at Five Rivers facility and a processing plant. We followed the supply chain to Chicago and stopped at McDonald’s headquarters. We got to visit a harvest facility there owned by Tyson and culminating here in Washington DC on the policy end. We spent a lot of time on the hill at the Capitol yesterday advocating for our industry.
For Jake Feddes, promoting what ranchers do in the countryside is key for the success of the industry.
“As a beef industry, we need to do more advocating and get involved with the entire beef industry,” said Feddes. “I would advise anybody that’s part of Montana Stockgrowers to get involved with NCBA and get signed up for this trip. It is a big commitment 10 days away from home, but they, for the most part, they take care of your expenses so it’s not an expensive trip, but it is one that you will never get to do again.”
For Christensen and Feddes, seeing how agriculture works in Washington D.C. is an experience all to itself.
“My big moment on this trip has got to be Washington DC,” said Christensen. “I caught a little bit of the bug on the hill and I just had no idea how much goes into it and the politics that that is behind ranching.”
For more on the Young Cattlemen’s Conference visit ncba.org.