NCBA VP Craig Uden Outlines Short and Long Term Goals, Challenges and OpportunitiesMon, 27 Jul 2015 16:41:12 CDT
The leadership team for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association has a full plate with dealing with major policy and regulatory challenges, market access, consumer demand, as well as identifying the next individual to serve as Chief Executive Officer. At the 63rd Annual Oklahoma Cattlemen's Convention, Radio Oklahoma Network Farm Director Ron Hays sat down with NCBA Vice President Craig Uden of Elwood, Nebraska. Uden comes from a diverse and extensive cattle background. He is a cattle feeder in central Nebraska, raises several cattle herds and has marketed cattle using the "Gate to Plate" concept. Click or tap on the LISTENBAR below to listen to the full interview.
At the recent Summer Cattle Industry Convention in Denver, NCBA released its 2016-2020 Beef Industry Long Range Plan. The plan aims to increase wholesale beef demand by two percent annually over the next five years, increase beef exports, protect and enhance the business and political climate for beef, grow consumer trust in beef and beef production, while promoting and strengthening beef's value proposition. Uden said the beef industry needs to continue to grow domestic demand in targeting the millennial generation. He said this generation wants facts and information and safety is their number one concern, so the beef industry needs to be ready to answer those questions and show them how beef is produced.
NCBA continues to monitor many policy issues, like the Clean Water Rule and Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL). Uden said NCBA continues to ask the Environmental Protection Agency to pull the final 'Waters of the US' rule. Uden said it's a big intrusion that leaves room for interpretation. The cattle industry also continues to watch for action on the nation's COOL law. Uden is hopeful Congress can address COOL before retaliation sets in from Canada and Mexico, which represents 30 percent of U.S. beef exports and if the U.S. had to consume that amount of beef that could have a huge impact on the market and could derail this opportunity to grow the industry.
At the Summer Cattle Industry Convention, NCBA members also voted on a dues increase. Uden said the process began a year ago when the Finance and Audit Team recommended the association look at a dues increase, which was proposed to the executive board. The board worked on developing viable solutions all winter in order to make the proposal at the Summer Convention, where a 50 percent increase was proposed. Uden said because of the producer push back over the size of the increase, different options were developed. In having options, the dues increase passed. Uden said the dues increase will help support policy efforts in Washington D.C. as well as help with market access efforts to open more markets to U.S. beef.
NCBA's CEO Forrest Roberts stepped down earlier this month. Uden said commended Roberts for his leadership, as he came at a critical time and made a lot of structural changes. While the organization searches for a new leader, longtime NCBA employee Kendal Frazier is serving as the interim CEO. The officer team is working with states on the search process. Uden said selecting the next leader for the organization is a state and national partnership. He said the leadership team aims to move forward in identifying what the industry needs in order to move forward in a very strategic manner.
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