Southeast’s Collegiate Cattlemen’s Association treks to Texas
For the Southeast Collegiate Cattlemen’s Association, knowledge is power. Staying on top of new industry ideas and making networking connections make their goals of cattle industry promotion and education a reality. They were able to do these things in San Antonio, Texas, at the Cattle Industry Convention.
The organization allows students from all majors with an interest in the beef cattle industry to learn about it while also having opportunities to find work, internships and to make meaningful relationships with others in the field, both locally and across the country.
Members of the Collegiate Cattlemen's Association strive to promote the beef industry and educate the public concerning the beef industry’s place in the economy.
Advisor of the Collegiate Cattlemen’s Association and assistant professor of Animal Science, Susan Murray said the group has big plans for the semester.
“One of my goals for the semester was to have a speaker for every meeting and we are on target to do that,” Murray said. “Another goal is to conduct an ‘Ag in the Classroom’ event with one of our local schools, promoting agriculture literacy to pre-K through second grade.”
President Jessica Bahr’s personal goal is to educate younger students in agriculture, something she feels is lacking.
“The younger generation doesn’t tend to have [agriculture] background, so it is important that they know about agriculture. It’s important to be involved,” Bahr said. “That’s why we take the trips we do, build the relationships we do and why it is my personal goal to continue the ‘Ag in the Classroom’ events.”
Thirteen students and two advisors flew to San Antonio, Texas, for the Cattle Industry Convention & National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Trade Show on Feb. 4. While there, the students heard from keynote speakers, learned about new production practices and met potential employers.
Bahr says the trip to Texas brought members of the Collegiate Cattlemen’s Association closer together.
“With everyone having this common interest and goals, we spent a lot of time together and the trip we took at the beginning of February let us get to know each other even better,” said Bahr.
Bahr believes the group gained a lot of information about farm production and the financial side of the beef industry at the conferences they attended.
“We attended an Emerging Youth Leaders conference that gave us insight on taxes, buying land and taking out loans,” Bahr said. “Having professionals give us advice on these topics is invaluable to us trying to get started in the cattle industry.”
Freshman William Newsome was amazed by both the size of the event and how many aspects of the industry were represented there.
“They were able to give information to everyone, from those who are established in the cattle industry to people like me with very little experience prior to the last couple of years,” Newsome said. “They showed us how to really get our foot in the door and covered new topics in beef and dairy cattle.”
Sophomore Cyler McClain made a few connections at the trade show while seeking out internship and scholarship opportunities.
“We got to speak to quite a few feed companies like Purina and Alltech, which are both leaders in the cattle feed industry,” McClain said. “At one point during the trade show, there was a group of Missouri producers in a conference room and I got to make a great connection with an American Angus Association producer.”
Overall, Murray believes the trip was a success as her students brought home more knowledge than they left with.
“I am glad they got so much information out of it,” Murray said. “We plan to continue working hard and use the knowledge we gained in San Antonio to better educate the public about the cattle industry.”