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Empowering, energizing youth a key NCBA accomplishment in 2008

Programs established to get next generation more involved in cattle industry

Young cattlemen and women were motivated by the National Cattlemen's Beef Association to get more involved in the cattle industry this year, according to the organization's outgoing president. Andy Groseta, a producer from Cottonwood, Ariz., says the organization saw the need for bringing young people closer to the action and giving them more of a say in their future.

"Young people will be responsible for shaping and directing the future of our industry," says Groseta. "They are an asset we can't afford to ignore, and they deserve our support to get them active and involved with our industry as early as possible."

At the 2008 Cattle Industry Summer Conference in Denver, NCBA established a Young Producer's Council to help move the industry in that direction. The YPC helps NCBA members ages 18 to 35 develop their leadership skills and become more involved in policy committees, voicing their opinions on how the future should be approached. It also helps provide networking opportunities, continuing education and professional development activities.

The first meeting of the YPC will be held Jan. 29 as part of the Cattle Industry Annual Convention in Phoenix, Ariz. Membership in the council, which will be allowed to bring resolutions to committees and select individuals to represent them on each NCBA policy committee, is free to NCBA members.

Other NCBA events that highlight youth participation will also be conducted at the 2009 Convention. These events, which focus on education, leadership and teamwork, are designed young people aged nine and up, and are made possible through a grant from the Farm Credit System Foundation.

Events will include an NCBA Team Marketing Contest, NCBA Beef Quiz Bowl Contest, NCBA Prepared Public Speaking Contest and the NCBA Cattle Judging Contest. Each event is intended to be both educational and entertaining for participants.

"It's crucial that we provide ways for our young people to be involved in our industry events," Groseta explains. "Even more important, though, it's vital that we give students and young adults the tools with which they can be active participants in the industry. Both their future and the future of our industry are at stake."

The National Cattlemen's Beef Association has represented America's cattle producers since 1898, preserving the heritage and strength of the industry through education, public policy and beef research and marketing. As the largest association of cattle producers, NCBA works to create profit opportunities for producers and increase demand for beef.

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Date: 1/14/09

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