Nebraska Cattleman Craig Uden Shares His NCBA Journey as He Prepares to be Passed the GavelFri, 03 Feb 2017 16:32:10 CST
Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays spoke with Tracy Brunner earlier this week, who will retire as President of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Saturday at the NCBA and Cattle Industry Convention. To get a glimpse into the mind that will lead the organization after this weekend, Hays caught up with Craig Uden, a cattleman from a Nebraska feeding operation and Brunner’s successor as President-elect of NCBA. He says involvement in the organization, in all its forms, has always been a fixture in the operation his father ran and the one he runs today.
“My dad went to every NCA convention and he brought things back to our operation,” Uden said. “Consequently, that’s our philosophy at our feeding operation, too.”
His involvement as part of the leadership in the organization started many years ago, when he first promised a friend to run for his state Beef Council and earned a seat there. That was his start and since then, has worked his way through both the policy and Checkoff side of the business, not to mention the production aspects as well.
“I’ve gained a lot of perspective,” Uden said introspectively. “I have a unique way of looking at things - I like to call it the gate-to-plate concept or conception-to-consumption.”
He says his passion for wanting to teach and educate people about the industry, is the motivation that drove him to seek a position of leadership within the organization.
“I want them to understand how much dedication and work there is from the cow/calf, all the way to the retailer and what goes into it from up and down the chain,” Uden said, “and how we need to work together to continue to move our industry forward.”
As he prepares to be handed the gavel at the end of this week, Uden already, is set to hit the ground running with a list of priorities he and the NCBA staff will work tirelessly over the next year to make progress on. Among those priorities, trade issues and finding an alternative to the Trans-Pacific Partnership rises to the top. But also, Uden insists he would like to pay particular attention as well, to developing and nurturing leadership within the younger generation of cattlemen that he holds high expectations for to one day soon take the wheel.
“As we look forward, the Millennials are the future. We need these young people to engage and become part of our association. That is what will continue to make us sustainable. All these new ideas. So, as we address the Millennial consumer, we also have to invite and engage the Millennial producer.”
Listen to Uden’s thoughts on the full spectrum of issues facing the beef industry as he prepares to be passed the gavel at the NCBA and Cattle Industry Convention in his full conversation with Ron Hays, by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below.
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