While I read religiously the WLJ, including the Comments column, I rarely (regrettably) take the time to share my opinion with you, or let you know how much I appreciate your paper.
This week’s column (Feb. 17, CattleCon) however, struck a nerve with me; consequently, I am taking the time to share my opinion with you.
Ours is a traditional family cow-calf operation in the high desert of northeastern California—my wife and I, and our two sons and their wives. We run about 500 mother cows on owned and leased private lands along with BLM and California state lands. I am a city-raised, first-generation rancher and have for the past 40-plus years been an active member of our local, state (officer for seven years) and national cattle associations, obviously including NCBA.
I agree with you—the NCBA Convention is too expensive, especially for families and young ranchers. In fact, most of the annual conventions—NCBA, AFBF, our state organizations as well—are becoming cost prohibitive for families to attend.
All six of our family attended NCBA in San Antonio. We (the ranch) paid for three nights in San Antonio, the flight from Reno, trade show-only entrance to the convention and miscellaneous meals and transportation. It was a great educational opportunity and more importantly, an opportunity to network with others in our business. I strongly believe that this is important for the 30-somethings who will eventually take over family ranches or establish their own cattle operations. They will be the leaders of our industry. I do not believe that conventions and meetings should be significant profit centers for our industry organizations. Rather, they should be available to as many members as possible, especially young ones.
Anyway, I could ramble on with my opinion, but I will stop for now.
Thank you again for your passion for the cattle business and the great work your organization does on our behalf. You may share this with whomever you care to. Keep up the good work.
Jack Hanson, Susanville, CA