We’ve all heard the saying, “Tough times never last, but tough people do.” Many farmers are experiencing tough times due to the economic downturn in crop and livestock prices. The upcoming second annual Iowa Cattlemen’s Association BeefMeets are designed to help cattle producers weather the storm. The meetings will be June 13 in Dubuque, June 15 in Ottumwa, June 20 in Creston and June 22 in Le Mars.
Today’s low commodity prices are a new experience for many young producers, but there are many in the cattle industry in Iowa who have lived through — and survived — tough times in the past. A panel of cattle producers, “tough people” who have experienced other economic downturns in the industry, will share how they lived through crisis and adapted in order to stay in the business they love. They will share their experiences at each of the four BeefMeets in June.
Financial management sessions
Livestock industry consultant Nevil Speer of AgriClear will give an ag outlook presentation, helping attendees understand how factors like weather, markets and international trade may affect their businesses in the coming months. Farm Credit Services of America representatives will provide financial management tips to improve profits and increase producers’ chances of success.
A session on Family Farm Dynamics will focus on techniques to help family members work together better, especially in times of hardship. As new generations enter or exit the operation, family relationships and the farm business become more complicated. Add financial stress to the equation, and it may be a recipe for disaster. Rena Striegel, a farm succession and business management specialist with Transition Point Business Advisors, will provide advice for these situations and more.
As water quality continues to be a concern in Iowa, ICA grazing adviser Linda Shumate and Karl Dallefeld of Prairie Creek Seed will offer cattle producers information on maximizing the economic potential of cover crops through grazing.
Also, the Iowa Beef Industry Council will be providing an update on the new Iowa beef checkoff collection and programs. BeefMeets attendees can learn more about how the $1-per-head national beef checkoff program and the new 50-cent-per-head Iowa beef checkoff are important demand drivers for the beef industry.
Tradeshow, networking opportunities
In addition to the educational sessions, a full trade show and opportunities for networking will be available. Cattle producers will get a chance to share policy and industry concerns with ICA leaders.
Registration is $25 for Iowa Cattlemen’s Association members. You do not have to be an ICA member to attend, but preregistration is advised. The daylong events begin with registration at 8:30 a.m. and will end following a “beef social” at 4 p.m. Visit iacattlemen.org or call 515-296-2266 for more information and registration options.
Source: Iowa Cattlemen’s Association