As you know, I am very involved with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association‘s (“NCBA”) Young Producers’ Council (“YPC”). I was able to get our Chair, Dustin Dean, to answer a few questions for me about YPC. Dustin is from Texas and I have known him since my days at Texas A & M University (when he was attending that other Texas ag school in the Panhandle…). It’s been a pleasure serving YPC under his leadership thus far.
1. What are your goals for the organization over the next few years?
The number one goal in my mind is simply membership and awareness. I think the core goal for the YPC is to help create more membership for the NCBA by creating an avenue for the voices, experience, and opinions of the younger generation involved in teh beef industry. Specifically, I hope we can actually show the average age of NCBA members decreasing since the creation of the YPC and also utilize the energetic nature of the younger generation to promote the beef industry’s message. Everyone in this organization has great ideas that need to be heard adn considered. I’m just thankful that the YPC has been created to help make that happen.
2. Why is it important for cattle producers to be involved with NCBA and YPC?
I don’t think it has to be limited to just cattle producers. Every year the industry becomes more dynamic and more jobs are created that are not necessarily on the ranch. My family ranches and maybe someday I’ll get to come back and help run things. Just not right now. With the industry becoming more dynamic and advanced, other skill sets can be utilized. From DNA and Sexed Semen to Nutrition and Global Marketing, the industry is moving fast.
The great thing about NCBA and the YPC is they help create an avenue for these people to only better themselves, but help get the message to the American people that we have the safest and highest quality beef system in the world. The YPC is already getting to the national media to prove this. Through TV and print interviews and other things like facebook and twitter, the message grows stronger every day. It’s evident that the YPC and Cari Rincker’s Media Relations Committee is leading the charge in that effort [see this Committee’s blog here].
3. What are some of the largest legal issues affecting young cattle producers today?
As far as young cattle producers, I think one fo the biggest issues is more taxes on inheritance. There’s no question that the socialists in our government will do whatever they can to stregthen the presence of things like the Death Tax. I would have to sell off half of our property today if I was subjected to any sort of inheritance situation.
I’m really scared of what’s happening in California. I really feel for producers out there. I know many of them and each time we talk they’re telling me about some new regulation that they have to abide by. I’m scared that those regualtions could someday come to Texas.
I’m not getting rid of my guns, so we’ll see about that.
4. What is NCBA doing in Washington to help with these concerns affecting young beef producers?
We’ve got some of the most respected and active lobbyists in Washington. They do a great job. Like most, they win some and lose some, but they definitely make me proud. It’s during times like these that I think our D.C. staff can be the most important.
Each year they host the Young Cattlemen’s Conference on The Hill and get the attendees matched up with their respective Congressmen and Senators. I’d like to see something like this organized for the YPC. Not everybody is able to attend the YCC.
5. What advice would you give to young cattle producers who are trying to get established in the beef industry?
Be persistent. Be agressive. Find something about yourself that sets you apart from the rest. At the NCBA convention it’s easy to spot the younger generation that is there in hopes of landing a job. I know because I used to be one. Don’t be one that looks like the rest. Everyone has something about themselves, whether a skill or personality, that makes them unique. This is your ticket. It’s the best thing to use to help that employer remember you or think: “Dang I need to hire that person.”
Get educated about the entire industry. Our industry is becoming more and more integrated and aligned. This means that having a lot of knowledge about only one specific sector of the industry is becoming less and less valuable.
Develop great speaking and writing skills. Know how to communicate. If this may be a weak point, that’s okay. Just keep making yourself wor harder to be a better communicator.
If you want to contact Dustin, you can email him at email@example.com.