We cattlemen are in a unique position. In a time of year when others are slowing down enough to stop and be grateful for their many blessings, we cattlemen don’t have to do that. You see, we cattlemen practice gratefulness every single day already. It’s basically in our job description. We’re thankful for each newborn healthy calf and each mama with a full bag. We’re thankful for sunshine, and we’re thankful for rain. We’re even thankful when it stops raining. We’re thankful for a barn full of hay; heck, we’re even thankful for leftover baling twine when the old chain around the gate decides to finally break. We’re thankful for each generation of children who work beside us, and we’re thankful for those who have gone on before us and paved our way in this industry. We’re thankful when the market prices are strong, and we’re thankful when a day of working cows goes smoothly. We’re thankful for sunrises, for sunsets, for green grass and for the natural ponds and waterways that paint our farms. We’re thankful for leather gloves when rusty fence posts are downed on a hot, summer day, and we’re thankful for a warm coat on frosty mornings when the cows still need to be fed. We’re thankful for old farm trucks, loyal dogs, the kind of neighbors you can only find in the South…the ones who would give us the shirt off their backs…and mostly, we’re thankful for the opportunity to live and work on the land with the animals our Good Lord gave us. If we’re not in the business of gratefulness, then what are we in?
Just like your long list of daily thanks, we here at the Alabama Cattlemen’s Association are thankful, too. We are thankful for you. We’re thankful for your work. We’re thankful for your leadership, and most importantly, we’re thankful for the impact you have in feeding our world. No matter where you enjoy your meal- whether it be around the table, in the seat of a harvester or far from the comforts of home- we send you and yours our warmest Thanksgiving wishes!
2019 ACA Convention & Trade Show
We’re beefin’ up the ‘Ham…Birmingham, that is! Join us at the 2019 ACA Convention & Trade Show at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex (BJCC) February 15-16, 2019. There are endless activities, learning opportunities and networking experiences awaiting your registration including dynamic and educational Cattlemen’s Colleges, a trade show with the industry’s elite equipment, tool and nutritional names, a menu of delicious beef meals and fun for the whole family at Friday evening’s Boots & BBQ event and Saturday’s Awards Banquet!
We look forward to the 76th annual ACA Convention and Trade Show, and you should too! Registration opens online Monday, November 26 at www.BamaBeef.org/Convention. Mail-in forms will be available in your December issue of the Alabama Cattleman or on the site listed above.
Budgets & Marketing Plan
As a result of this month’s Checkoff Task Force, executive committee and board of directors meetings, we are proud to report that the 2019 Alabama Beef Checkoff Marketing Plan and all major budgets have been approved. Next year brings a whole new round of exciting projects, programs and procedures to act as a roadmap for staff here at the ACA to follow, thanks to the input of Alabama’s cattlemen and our outstanding volunteer leaders. We are grateful to all who played in a role in this month’s activities!
You can check out the marketing plan on the website beginning in January at www.BamaBeef.org/Checkoff.
Sec. Perdue Visits the Wiregrass
Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue visited Alabama last week to visit with farmers and assess damage from Hurricane Michael. ACA staffer Ali Cantrell filled in for Erin as she was with the officers in Georgia for another meeting of the Southeastern cattlemen’s associations. The Alabama Cattlemen’s Foundation is still collecting money for disaster relief and we are happy to report that the excavator has been moved into southeast Houston county to begin helping cattlemen in the area move debris and clear fence rows.
Fake Meat Update
Last week, USDA announced the following regarding lab-grown meat. “We have concluded that both the USDA and the FDA should jointly oversee the production of cell-cultured food products derived from livestock and poultry. Drawing on the expertise of both USDA and FDA, the Agencies are today announcing agreement on a joint regulatory framework wherein FDA oversees cell collection, cell banks, and cell growth and differentiation. A transition from FDA to USDA oversight will occur during the cell harvest stage. USDA will then oversee the production and labeling of food products derived from the cells of livestock and poultry. And, the Agencies are actively refining the technical details of the framework, including robust collaboration and information sharing between the agencies to allow each to carry out our respective roles.”
This announcement essentially means that USDA will have primary jurisdiction over the most important facets of lab-produced fake meat. It is certainly an important step in the right direction, but there’s still a lot of work to do on this issue to ensure that real beef producers and consumers are protected and treated fairly. We encourage cattlemen to file official comments before the new deadline of Dec. 26. Contact Erin for help on where to file a comment and how.
County Annual Meetings
County meetings are off to a very strong start! We’ve had the pleasure of attending serval county events lately and love to see the hard work of counties executed in their annual meetings. As a reminder, leading up to your county’s annual meeting, please contact Jessica Kennedy in our office to inform her of the date, time and location and to request a speaker! Remember, the earlier you get those dates to us, the earlier we can get them on our website and in the magazine!! Following the meeting, send Jessica any officer updates in order to update our system with corrected contact information for 2019.
Also, as you’re collecting membership information to put into the system, remember how important phone numbers and email addresses are! It is essential to county leaders and to us here at the state to be able to contact our members when needed. It helps everyone in the long run!
A Very MOOey Christmas
Each Christmas season, The MOOseum and the Alabama Beef Checkoff Program looks forward to a time of giving back to the community with a cowboy-themed MOOey Christmas event! Local care centers bring their classes for Christmas cookies, The MOOseum tours, a look at live animals and, of course, a sit on Cowboy Clause’s lap. This year we are excited to host this event on Friday, Dec. 21 and invite you to bring your little ones out to experience the magic of Christmas…with a Western flare!
SLE Rodeo Tickets
The 62nd annual SLE Rodeo will come bucking back to town March 14-16 for the best show on dirt east of the Mississippi! Rodeo ticket sale open up for Elite Buyers on Tuesday, Dec. 4 so if you qualify, give Kara Coplin a call at 888-2RODEO2. Don’t forget to save the dates!