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Agricultural News

New Class Starts OCA's Cattlemen's Leadership Academy

Wed, 26 Aug 2015 11:43:36 CDT

New Class Starts OCA's Cattlemen's Leadership Academy
Class 23 of the OCA's Cattlemen's Leadership Academy had their initial meeting Aug. 10-12. The three-day session was the first of four to take place over the course of one year. Each session has a different focus. Session 1 focused primarily on Beef Production and began at the OCA Office located in historic Stockyards City.

OCA staff facilitated orientation, discussed OCA structure and current industry issues. Lane Broadbent of KIS joined the group at the OCA headquarters to facilitate a discussion about the ins and out of the futures markets and the day to day operations there at KIS.

While in Stockyards City, the place to eat lunch is Cattlemen's Steakhouse. KIS Futures sponsored a delicious steak lunch for the group. During lunch the group was joined by presenter, Diane Johnson of Details by Design. Diane gave the group a crash course in table etiquette and professional introductions. Thank you to Russel Boles of Vitalix Supplements and Mike Weeks of Stuart Farm and Ranch for helping sponsor the luncheon speaker.

While the time spent in Stockyards City was valuable, the evening destination was Buffalo Feeders in Buffalo, Okla. Tom Fanning and his crew fed the CLA group authentic beef fajitas and Tom visited with the group about feedyard 101.

"I've visited several feedlots in the past and in doing so I have met several managers. Tom really stood out above them all. He is a man of integrity, veryhumble and strong believer in the industry not only for the feeder side, but for all the cattle industry. He wanted to share his knowledge with others. There are no hidden factors with Tom," said
Sara Brannan, CLA member from Marietta, Okla.

After some great conversation, the CLA members loaded up and continued on to Dodge City, Kan. where the remaining 2 days of the session took place.

Day two began with a tour of National Beef. The tour included everything from live cattle unloading to packaging and shipping.

"I am part of a commercial cow/calf stocker operation and we don't always get a picture of what things are really like from the grass to grid. Most of the time, we grow cattle and send them to the sale barn or sell them on the video," said Odie Heck, CLA member from Tupelo, Okla. "Getting to see the product being processed and all the standards and quality control measures they take at National Beef was an eye opening experience. It was amazing to see the care they take in making sure the American consumer is served a quality, consistent product."

Brian Bertelson of U.S. Premium Beef (USPB) helped with the National Beef Packing Plant tour and visited with the group over lunch. Bertelson explained the relationship betwen USPB and National Beef. USPB is a marketing company which provides U.S. beef producers an opportunity to retain ownership of the beef they produce from the ranch to retail. According to Bertelson, USPB unitholders and associates market finished beef cattle through National Beef Packing Co., LLC, one of the nation's largest beef processors.

Dodge City is located in the heart of cattle feed country. Reeve Cattle Company is a cattle feeding operation located near Garden City, Kan. The operation has an ethanol plant on site where they make and sell ethanol, then use the by-products as part of the feed mixture for the cattle on feed.

Incorporating a leadership aspect into each session is an important part of the CLA program. CLA Participants spent the afternoon of day two learning about the DiSC Behavioral Model. DiSC was facilitated by Don Walker. Dominance, Influencing, Steadiness, and Conscientiousness make up the D.I.S.C. model and interact with other factors to describe human behavior. This presentation helped participants learn about themselves to help improve communication with others.

"DiSC has already become beneficial to me. By understanding my behaviors more thoroughly, I can better communicate with my children, loved ones and coworkers, Brannan said. "I feel there is always room to improve within ourselves if we are willing to accept our own shortcomings and embrace our strengths."

As the group began the trip back to Oklahoma City, Mark Gardiner of Gardiner Angus near Ashland, Kan. took time out to visit with the CLA participants about the history of the ranch and their current marketing strategies. Mark also had a few heifers ready to be pregnancy checked with ultrasound.

"Gardiner's is a place I could have stayed all day. Mark and Gregg are true cattleman with a pretty simple strategy, yet they are constantly looking for ways to improve and market their cattle," Heck said.

The final stop of the three day session was Farm Credit of Western Oklahoma. John Grunewold and his crew at the Woodward office served lunch had casual conversation pertaining to agricultural financing.

"As a whole, my expectations for session 1 of CLA were exceeded. I look forward to continuing to cultivate relationships while we travel as a group representing Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association," said Brannan. "I am also looking forward to learning more about our industry in ways that I don't have the opportunity for everyday. The tours and conversations with industry professionals are valuable and that knowledge can be put to use in many ways," she continued.

Members of CLA, Class 23 include: Sara Brannan, Marietta; Shawn Arthur, Claremore; Brett Bowden, Mulhall; Jeramy Burch, Davis; Dana Church, Sentinel; Sam Halverson, Pauls Valley; Bill and Kyndra Haney, Calvin; Odie Heck, Tupelo; Kade Howard, Ringling; Rebecca Hunter, Poteau; Casey Kelso, Konowa; Jean Lam, Pauls Valley; Kyle Robinson, Sparks; Blake Shropshire, Sparks; Johnny and Sherry Walton, Ada; Benji White, Putnam; Russell and Dana Zook, Kingfisher.

The OCA and CLA extend a special thanks to the hosts for their time and hospitality. Also, thank you to the CLA sponsors for their generosity and support. CLA sponsors include: Merck Animal Health, Farm Credit of East Central Oklahoma, Hitch Enterprises, Inc., Farm Credit of Western Oklahoma, The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, Pickens Auction Service, Farm Data Services, Frontier Trading, Central National Bank of Alva, McKay Ag Services, Langston's Western Wear, McKay Ford, KIS Futures, Stuart Farm and Ranch and Vitalix Supplements.

Participants in the CLA program are selected through an application process. The 20 individuals selected to participate in this year-long program will have the opportunity to expand their knowledge of the beef industry by seeing several segments of the industry through four education sessions.



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