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ICA annual convention set Dec. 9-11

By Staff | Oct 19, 2013

AMES – The Iowa Cattle Industry Convention will be held Dec. 9-11 at the Prairie Meadows Events Center in Altoona.

The Iowa Cattlemen’s Association returns to the venue with a special effort to invite all cattle producers for a few days of education, inspiration and the opportunity to talk to cattle producers from around the state.

“Although we topped 10,000 in our membership drive this past year,” said Matt Deppe, ICA’s chief executive officer, “we know there are cattle producers in the state who are not ICA members.

“As we evaluated ways to increase the value of our annual convention, we sought input from both members and non-members.

They asked for producer panels and more time for socializing, and we worked to include both of those requests.”

The 2013 theme is Grab Reality by the Horns, a nod to the challenging weather and pricing issues for all cattle producers this past year. While cattle producers acknowledge regular challenges in their business, the convention in December will encourage them to grab those issues and bring them under control.

Speaker Mike Schlappi will challenge convention-goers to take on and overcome their limitations. Following a tragic accident as a teenager, he has proven that just because “you can’t stand up, doesn’t mean you can’t stand out.”

To accommodate more opportunities to socialize, ICA is bringing the Jason Brown Band to perform the evening of Dec. 9. Brown, who is a Pella native, comes from a bloodline of blue collar workers, truck drivers, coal miners and farmers.

The convention will kick-off with Cattlemen’s College on Dec. 9, with speakers and farmer panels covering heifer development, pasture management, cattle handling facilities and cattle marketing.

On Dec. 10, educational sessions will look at benchmarking, genetic issues, safe food handling, and additional sessions on marketing and heifer development.

Additionally, ICA members will be involved in policy sessions on beef product, business issues and cattle production.

On the final day there will be a session on health care exchanges and other health insurance options, the business meeting of the Iowa Beef Industry Council, which is funded by the beef checkoff, and ICA’s annual policy adoption meeting.

Early registration of $75 ends at 5 p.m. on Dec. 2. Full registrations after that time will be $125.

For those who want to attend educational events only, without meals, the cost is $25.

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