The annual Iowa Cattle Industry Convention will be held Dec. 9 -11, 2013 at the Prairie Meadows Events Center in Altoona, on the northeast edge of Des Moines. The Iowa Cattlemen's Association returns to the venue with a special effort to invite all cattle producers to come 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, we know there are cattle producers in the state who are not ICA members," says ICA CEO Matt Deppe. "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," he says.
The theme of this year's meeting 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.
Interesting speakers, educational topics and opportunities to talk to other cattle producers from around the state
Inspirational speaker Mike Schlappi will challenge convention-goers to take on and overcome their limitations. Following a tragic accident as a teenager, Mike has proven that just because "you can't stand up, doesn't mean you can't stand out!" Schlappi will speak on Dec. 10 at the convention. If ever a man was defined by what he can do, instead of what he cannot do, it is Schlappi. This Gold Medalist athlete, businessman, husband and father of five will talk about overcoming challenges to succeed. Schlappi is a "country boy," who was raised in a farming community and currently owns a small farm. "Most importantly," he says, "I love beef!"~~~PAGE_BREAK_HERE~~~
To accommodate more opportunities to socialize, ICA is bringing the popular Jason Brown Band to perform the evening of Dec. 9. Brown, a Pella native, comes from a bloodline of blue collar workers, truck drivers, coal miners and farmers. At the age of four, Brown's Grandma Ruth began helping him discover his voice while sitting with him at the piano after farm chores. Now, Brown is one of country music's up and coming innovative artists. Jason Brown has charted five songs consistently on the Billboard and MediaBase Country Charts, including "We're All in the Same Boat."
Panel discussions will cover topics such as heifer development, pasture management, cattle handling facilities and cattle marketing
The Iowa Cattle Industry Convention, or ICIC, will kick-off with Cattlemen's College on Monday, Dec. 9, with speakers and farmer panels covering topics such as 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 sessions on marketing and heifer development. Additionally, ICA members will be involved in policy sessions on beef product, business issues and cattle production.
On Dec. 11, the final day of the convention, there will be a session about health care exchanges and other health insurance options, the business meeting of the Iowa Beef Industry Council, which is funded by the $1 per head beef checkoff paid by all cattle producers; and ICA's annual policy adoption meeting.
Register before December 2 at 5 p.m. to take advantage of price discount
ICIC attendees have some registration options. Early registration ends at 5 p.m. on Dec. 2. Those who register before that time can enjoy all convention events and meals during the three days for just $75. Full registrations after that time will be $125.
For those who want to attend the meeting at a lower cost, a registration level that doesn't include any meals is available. The cost is $25, and allows attendance to educational events only.
The Prairie Meadows Hotel has special room pricing of $89 per night for the Iowa Cattle Industry Convention. That rate is also available for those making reservations by Dec. 2. The hotel and convention center are all located under one roof, providing ease and comfort for participation. The Prairie Meadows Hotel includes an indoor pool, wireless high speed Internet, and a fitness center. Reservations for hotel rooms can be booked online using group code 012102012IC or call 515-957-3000 and mention Iowa Cattlemen. Questions about the Iowa Cattle Industry Convention can be directed to the ICA offices, phone 515-296-2266.