“Profit $implified” Cattlemen’s Seminar
Convention activities kicked off on Wednesday, Oct. 31, with the “Profit … $implified” Commercial Cattlemen’s Seminar. Attendees listened to Journalist and Public Lands Consultant Andy Rieber who discussed managing the media and bringing forth agriculture’s good story. Tom Brink of Five Rivers Cattle Feeding, LLC, addressed profit drivers in the feeding industry, and RAAA Director of Breed Improvement Larry Keenan reviewed advancements in multi-breed EPDs and economically relevant traits. RAAA CEO Greg Comstock explored heterosis and breed complimentarity in crossbreeding systems.
Two panel groups sat before seminar attendees. The first group – comprised of Larry Gran of Pfizer, John Andres of Superior Livestock Marketing, and Chelsea Tomascik of RAAA Marketing Team – addressed adding value to producers’ calves through marketing opportunities.
A commercial cattlemen’s panel included producers Silas Skinner of Jordan Valley, Ore., Bill Moore of Unity, Ore., and Will DeLong of Winnemucca, Nev. They shared their insights on how seedstock producers can add value to their customers’ cattle.
Thursday, November 1, 2012
Diane Koller, Master of Ceremonies, welcomed members, breeders and distinguished guests to the 59th Annual Red Angus National Convention in Reno, Nev., at the Silver Legacy Hotel and Casino. Members of the Area 1 – West hosted the convention. She thanked convention committee members and sponsors, and welcomed RAAA President Joe Mushrush who officially called the meeting to order and addressed the membership with his president’s report.
Mushrush discussed the importance of RAAA’s core policies that guide the works of the Association, and shared that the Board reads the core policies, mission and vision statements before each board meeting to help guide their decisions.
Mushrush compared RAAA’s core policies with those of the winning Kansas State University football team’s core policies. Mushrush closed with the Red Angus mission statement.
RAAA CEO Greg Comstock shared his State of the Association address and annual financial report. While the fiscal numbers reflect the reduced national cowherd inventory – down 1.9 million head from 2011 to 2012 – Red Angus has the largest average number of cows per member – 34.7 cows – than any other breed association.
For the fourth year in a row, the FCCP broke record enrollments, and Red Angus registrations now rank third nationally – with 46,094 head registered in 2011. Comstock recalled that in 1990, Red Angus ranked in 15th place and the breed has experienced a 300 percent growth in two decades.
“While beef breeds compete for market share, RAAA will compete for relevance through multi-breed genetic evaluation, common EPD base, genomic-enhanced EPDs, Allied Access and DNA services hosted in-house,” said Comstock.
“We can provide solutions to beef-industry challenges by capturing greater value through expanded market access, quantified efficiency and profit, and simplified selection tools.”
Martin Morgan, Constitution and Bylaws Committee chairman, presented proposed language to change Article XV, Data Ownership, to make it more definable with the changes in how DNA samples are handled at the RAAA office.
RAAA members attended the concurrent committee meetings and the JRA meeting on Thursday afternoon. Evening activities included a barn social at the Reno Livestock Event Center, a parade of cattle consigned to the Bet On Red Sale, supper hosted by the Northwest Region, and a fundraising auction.
Friday, November 2, 2012
President Mushrush re-convened the general session Friday morning, reporting that the convention registered 209 attendees representing 99 voting members, 29 states and two countries.
Mushrush called upon Martin Morgan, chairman of the Constitution and Bylaws committee regarding the proposed bylaws change he presented the day prior. The assembly passed the changes as proposed.
RAAA Committee Reports
Breed Improvement – Tom Woodward discussed gaining market share with the best-described product in the market. Larry Keenan, director of breed improvement, explained the incorporation of the RAAA, CAA and ASA databases for over 10 million total animals (over 3,000 sires) in the database to calculate EPDs on a true multi-breed model that takes into consideration heterosis and breed differences. Keenan stated that now commercial producers can directly compare animals and hybrid animals within RAAA and ASA on the same base and scale, better arming RAAA and ASA to gain market share. He stressed the importance of utilizing the breed percentage rankings of EPDs that remained the same with the new database.
Keenan also discussed advancements to the Red Angus product with the incorporation of genomic-enhanced EPDs (GE-EPDs), emphasizing that GE-EPDs are not superior to EPDs but rather a different form of data that has a higher accuracy at a younger age.
“DNA test results are another piece of info, just like weights and ultrasound measurements, and the greatest advantage is the rapid increase in accuracy,” said Keenan. “We will never get to a day when we can throw away the scales. We have to continue to collect growth and ultrasound data.”
Promotions – Kim Ford reported they reviewed current promotion avenues, then used audience responders to gather information on how to promote the breed and tell the Red Angus story.
Show and Sale – Larry Ellison reported the winner of the 2012 Show Bull of the Year was HSCC Lightning McQueen 3x and the 2012 Show Heifer of the Year was SLGN Persuasions Yoninah. The committee made minor rule changes in regards to deadlines for registration and membership prior to the show, as well as bull ownership. The committee approved an online survey relating to what members would like to see in the show aspect of the Association. Ellison invited all members, not just those involved in showing, to participate in the survey.
Marketing – Kevin Miller reported RAAA enrolled 137,100 in the FCCP program for the 2011-2012 fiscal year that ended June 30, breaking the previous year’s enrollment for the fourth year in a row. Miller also reported that FCCP and Pro-Cow tags comply with animal disease traceability according to the information available about the rule. Commercial customers attended the committee meeting to discuss their responses to questions, making it a very interactive session.
Registration – Tim Whitley reported that, in order to be compliant with the World Angus Forum guidelines, RAAA needed to adopt SNP technology. Rebecca Mettler presented a complete report on changes regarding DNA sample handling and rules for DNA testing. The Registration Committee also discussed rule changes so the same rules applied to show and non-show cattle for protests regarding parentage. The committee also recommended that the ownership percentage should be stated in the sale catalog for multiple-owner bulls.
Election of President and Directors
Tim Whitley was elected president of RAAA by acclimation.
Bob Morton reported Leonard Wood will represent Area 1 – West for a second three-year term.
Esther Fisher reported Bruce Ketchum will serve his first three-year term as director for Area 2 – Montana.
Kevin Miller reported he was re-elected to serve a second three-year term for Area 3 – Rocky Mountains.
Martin Morgan reported Raymond Prescott was elected to a three-year term to represent Area 8 – Southeast, and Johnny Rogers was elected to his first full three-year term in Region C after filling a vacated seat last year.
JRA Year in Review
JRA officers Alyssa Looney and Chris Mushrush reported on JRA activities spanning from last year’s convention, the National Western Stock Show, the Youth Beef Industry Beef Council and the JRA Roundup held in Florida. The also discussed the December ARA issue dedicated to juniors and other JRA communication including Facebook, Red Generation and JRA eNews.
This coming January, the JRA will host the Red Angus National Junior Show and Young Stockman Program, both in Denver.
World Angus Forum Report
Tim Brittain presented a video of New Zeeland and welcomed attendees to the World Angus Forum next October in New Zealand.
2013 Red Angus National Convention
Donna Laubach, Esther Fisher and Cathy Frazier previewed the 60th Annual Red Angus National Convention scheduled for Lewistown, Mont., Sept. 11-14, 2013. The theme is “Diamonds in the Big Sky.”
The Bet On Red video auction was held Friday afternoon at the Silver Legacy Hotel. The Board of Directors also met that afternoon.
The Red Western Classic show was held at the Reno Livestock Event Center on Saturday, Nov. 3.
The convention concluded with a social, banquet and annual awards presentations.
Breeder of the Year – Cross Diamond Cattle Co., Bertrand, Neb.
Pioneer Breeder of the Year – Loosli Farms, Ashton, Idaho
John V. Robbins Distinguished Service – Jim Davis, Superior Livestock Auction, Boise, Idaho
Commercial Producer of the Year – Skinner Ranch, Jordan Valley, Ore.
Industry Service – Blake Angell, Meyer Natural Angus, Ellis, Kan.
Personality of the Year – Mary Otley, Diamond, Ore.
Outstanding Junior Member – Laura Daniel Major, LaGrange, Ga.
Grid Master Awards
The following producers were awarded the 2012 Grid Master Award:
Franklin O’Driscoll and Brent Coats of Gunnison, Utah; Century Feeders of Goodland, Kan.; Kokesch Farms of Stewart, Minn.; Mushrush Ranches of Strong City, Kan.; Christiansen Bros. of Weldona, Colo.; Darryl Rhodes of Wichita, Kan.; Kniebel Farms of White City, Kan.; Anderson Land & Cattle Co. of Oberlin, Kan.; Lynn Pelton of Burdett, Kan.; High Choice Feeders of Scott City, Kan.; Prairie Dog Creek Cattle Co. of Dresden, Kan.; Bob & Frances Dellit of Sumatra, Mont.; Meyer Co. Ranch of Helmville, Mont.; HBF, Inc. (Stan Hamm) of Haxton, Colo.; Fred Niermeier of Hoxie, Kan.; Plains Feeders (Mike Huddleston) of Burlington, Colo.; Dave Gibbs of Circle, Mont.; VLDJ (Allan Ortmeier) of Dodge, Neb.; Toedtli Ranch of Stoneham, Colo.; E Bar M Feedyar (Matt McCullough) of Eaton, Colo.; Sargent Cattle Co. of San Ardo, Calif.; Kuenning & Son (Jerry Kuenning) of Imperial, Neb.; John McDowell of South Greenfield, Mo.; Gregory Feedlots, Inc. (David Trowbridge) of Tabor, Iowa; and Wilbur Spreutels of Koshkonong, Mo.