Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Last Day of Cattlemen's Convention 2014

A recap of the last day of the Cattlemen's convention.
Mommy and Me ready for the day of fun!!
Thursday was our last full day at the convention.  I had to be up early, which was no problem for me, to attend the Best of Beef Breakfast.   I ran into Scott George, the NCBA President in the elevator.  I had previously met him at the Beef Ambassador Contest in Arkansas.  When we parted ways in the ballroom he went to the front of the room and I went to find a chair where ever I could.  The Breakfast opened with our hometown Vet, Dr. Hugh McCampbell playing the piano.  It was so great to see him perform!  Many awards were given out during the breakfast.   The University of Tennessee's own Clyde Lane was honored as the Beef Educator of the Year for all the work he does with the BQA classes.
    After the breakfast, I went to get mom and we headed to the tradeshow! We decided to work our way through the show in a different direction so we could hit the booths we had missed before.  On our way through the tradeshow we ran into the Peterson Brothers at the Drover's Booth.  At the insistence of the lady in the booth, we had our picture made together for the second time.  This time, we also chatted about K State (one of the schools I am interested in attending). I think a campus tour will be on the agenda in the future!!

Nathan and Greg Peterson

 After the trade show I was excited to attend the collegiate activities sponsored by the ANCW.  Although, I am only a dual enrollment student in college the ANCW ladies welcomed me with open arms.   The room was a little bit challenging to find as are most things in the Opryland Hotel, so when arrived there weren't many people there.  That quickly changed and the room was packed in a matter of minutes.  This was a Collegiate Round table, and featured some of the stars of the Beef Community.    We all soaked  in the wisdom!   Following the round table,  was the college fair. To be honest, it was a little intimidating to me.  Everyone had resumes and they were all dressed so professional.  The Beef Community will continue to be in good hands as these young adults move into their careers.   I kept thinking to myself, "IF I were just a little older I could be player in this room".   I suppose that time will come soon enough and I will wish I were younger again.  It was great to find out about the different Career possibilities and the demand in different sectors.  I know it is important to put my face out there as many times as possible so that I become memorable when the time does come to begin a career.
   When the career fair wrapped up, I headed quickly back to the trade show to watch the National Finals of the Collegiate Quiz bowl!   As most of you know I am having a tough time deciding where I should attend college.   I told mom, in jest, that I would go to the school that wins the contest.   The Schools represented  were Montana State, Oklahoma State, Pennsylvania State, and Kansas State.  It was tough competition, but K State prevailed as the National Champions!!   

American National Cattlewomen - Sarah Bohnenkamp,  Melanie Fowle, Me,  Desta Crawford, Tammi Didlot

That night over 3000 cattlemen and women loaded up on buses to attend a private Grand Ole Opry show.  It was called Cowboy Night at the Opry and Red Solo Cup After Party. I have never been to the Opry.  My mom has danced (clogged) on the stage, but it was a new experience for me.  I loved it. We got to listen to John Conley, Diamond Rio, Little Big Town, Riders in the Sky, Sarah Darby, T Bubba Bechtel, and Deacon (from the TV series "Nashville" ). The after party was just as fun with dancing, food, games, and drinks.

Diamond Rio

Red Solo Cup Party-- You can't tell from this picture but there were thousands of people partying to great music!  Rooms on all sides were filled with food, games and dancing.


Thursday, February 6, 2014

SIX Acreas of Free Stuff, Good People, and Food

Wednesday,  I woke up again before the sun.  I didn't have anything on the agenda until ten. Mom and I went and ate a great breakfast in the hotel and ran into the Peterson Brothers, the farming internet sensations!

The Peterson Bros.  
Then,  I headed to the convention to go help out in  the Tennessee Beef Council and Cattlemen's booth where they had a Ole Time photo booth set up. The trade show didn't open until ten so when we got there we did our favorite thing... People watch!!!   Everyone was standing at the doors waiting to get in!  It was a pretty cool sight.  There were cowboy hats, wranglers and shiny boots everywhere.  People were on phones or talking with friends from across the U.S.  As the doors were opening, I ran into a long lost friend from NC, I met her at the NBAP contest in Wooster, Ohio.  We talked about schools and she told me she was very happy with her decision to attend Oklahoma State!  We didn't have long to talk because I had to run off to my booth and she had to to hers with the OK Cattlemen's and Women.

Kaylyn Groce from North Carolina. She is going to OK State University.
   Once I got to the TN booth I got to work pinning!! I made sure everyone got a TN pin. I only got rejected twice. Real show girls, not at all like the cattle "Show Girls" stopped by our booth and we hopped out for a photo.

Once my time in the booth was was lunch time in the trade show!  After lunch it was time for the General Membership meeting for the ANCW (American National Cattlewomen) On the way I ran into some friends from Tennessee.
Julie Walker, Me and Dr. Neal Schrick,

Right before the ANCW general meeting.  Lot's of great women in this group!

Erica Snyder, former Beef Ambassador from Pennsylvania, Me, Chandler Mulvaney, Former Beef Ambassador from Alabama

 My favorite part of yesterday was attending the Master Beef Advocacy Reception.  I completed the program while studying for the Beef Ambassador Competition three years ago.  This March they will be celebrating the fifth year of the program.    Here is a link for more information: Masters of Beef Advocacy. I got to attend the party along with some superstars of the industry.  I look up to each these ladies and they are so generous in sharing their wisdom with me.  By the way, they are all Kansas State alumni. Chelsea Good, Debbie Lyons-Blythe,  Brandi Buzzard Frobose.

Chelsea Good 

Brandi Buzzard Frobose

Debbie Lyons-Blythe

  I also ran into Caroline Rose of Rose Cattle Company, Montana! Awesome!
She had to go to three or four more parties that night so it was great to run into her!

Caroline Rose, Rose Cattle Company, Montana

After the MBA reception I went to the NashVegas party!  I didn't take any pictures of that event because I was busy having a great time!  I stayed into the wee hours...NOT.  I was actually pooped out in my room at around 9:30.       

Here is my after lunch, before supper meal.   I just realized I have been posting a food picture everyday, so I couldn't let you down!   

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Tuesday's Convention Adventures

I am supposed to be on vacation from my farm, right?  My brain doesn't think so, it won't let me sleep in! Yesterday that was a good thing!  Tuesday was Cattlemen's College and I had a fun filled day of learning ahead of me...on no sleep.   
The opening session was due to start at seven, but in this huge hotel I had to leave the room at six-thirty.  I got to the session in enough time to score a front section seat where I could see the speaker, Bob Langhert- VP for McDonalds Sustainability.    He gave a talk that was interesting.  Some points I took away were that BEEF producers and McDonalds have common ground. We are both criticized by the public and we both have a strong commitment to BEEF.  After the talk, the audience was allowed to send in questions via text or note card.
Two that struck me were:
Q- Do you think consumers will pay more for a sustainable labeled product?
Basically Mr. Langhert's answer was that Yes, some might do that a little now but that he thinks consumers will be more willing to do so in the future.
Q- Is there a risk of too much transparency?
The answer to that was that if we DON'T share our stories, consumers that are directly involved in animal agriculture will loose our trust.

Bon Langhert speaking to CattleWomen and Men from across the world.

   After our opening session, we split up into smaller ones.  I made my way to "What Are Consumers Saying About Beef" by Molly McAdams from TX. She started the talk off with "Consumers want value."  She then went into how the demographic of families are changing. "Our consumers look a lot more like Modern Family."  Once we understood that the world is changing,  we moved onto the topic of  branding.  We talked about value-added trends like: low or reduced sodium, premium ground BEEF, and clean labels.  During the slide presentation there was a picture of  packaging with the words "Beef raised with No Hormones, No Antibiotics. Vegetarian Fed...Always."  It got a ton of laughs because cattle spend the majority of their lives eating grasses and forages on the family farm and even if they continue on to a feedlot they are put on seed (Vegetarian) rations.  After the slide show Ms. McAdams had an exciting exercise planned for us to learn about  the importance of telling OUR BEEF STORY.  My group had to sell a video game designed to teach kids about farming and ranching safety.  We had to make the story appealing to the mother in the family. Women are the primary consumers and decision makers when it comes to family spending.  It is important that we remember who is primarily cooking and buying the meals (the Beef) we are marketing when telling our story.  We called our video game the OK Corral!   Ms. McAdams was an excellent speaker and I really enjoyed her presentation!

  The next session was bound to be entertaining. It was labeled "Stop the Fighting on the Way to the Funeral Home" by Jolene Brown.  The talk was basically about how to run a family business and how to prepare for transitioning into a new generation on your farm.  "Are you a family-first business or a business-first family", she asked us? Treat farming as a business she preached.  I enjoyed her talk because I am involved in family agriculture businesses on both sides of my family and the transition from generation to generation is sometimes difficult.

  Before lunch I attended this session "What were the Smartest Things Our Families Did to Maintain Ranch Profitability, and Sustainability, and Family Value."  I noticed one recurring theme over and over again in all of my sessions today and that was that BEEF farming is a family affair. I certainly know this to be true but sometimes consumers have a different picture in their minds.  They see factories and I know the truth is the exact opposite.  J.K. "Rooter" Brite, TX;  Jim Hagenbarth, MT;  Johnny Harris, GA, were our speakers and they layed it out as a Q&A session.  Their opening statements were all about family.  I got a lot from their talk but more like life lessons and do and do nots!  A lot of wisdom in this group!  One of my favorite take aways from this session is don't retire.  J.K. "Rooter" Brite said, "I see people doing it, and they die"   I laughed because who would want to retire from farming anyway!!


Food, Food, Food!  The Cattlemen's College lunch was sponsored by Certified Angus Beef it was down right scrumptious.

 During lunch, I went to the room until it was time for the opening session for the convention. It was sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim VetMedica, Inc.  We had the pleasure of hearing keynote speaker Captain Phillips, seeing the Peterson Brothers preform, and hearing the winner of the national anthem contest sing  She was from a  KS native, and happened to be just twelve years old!  It was fantastic! We heard from Weldon Wynn, chair of Cattlemen's Beef Board; Scott George, NCBA President; and Barbra Jackson, ANCW President.

After the opening general session ...the tradeshow opened and we were treated to drinks, food and local Tennessee treats!  Mom and I were worn out but we still had a little room for some dessert at Jack Daniel's in the hotel.

Montana Stockgrower girls and me!

Weldon Wynn, Chair of Cattlemen's Beef Board!

It was great to see Kim Rounds, CSU student from California!
 Former Beef Ambassador Team Member!

Dessert at Jack Daniels

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Monday's Cattle Industry Convention Adventures

Wow!  What a great day, so far!  I am at the 2014 Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade show in Nashville!  I am having a great time and am looking forward to keeping you updated on what is happening through my Twitter @farmermadisontn, my facebook- Madisons Farm Adventures, and my blog.  I had been looking forward to coming to the  National Cattle Industry Convention in Nashville for weeks.  I began my journey yesterday (Monday) morning in anticipation of attending the "Moms, Millenials and More" Training Worshop put on by the American National Cattlewomen. As some of you know, I just got my driver's license on Thursday of last week and my mom had the wonderful idea to let me drive to Nashville.   I am almost 17, but have put off getting my license because I knew I was saving money by having Mom and Dad still drive me around.  Since I am taking classes at Maryville College the time had come to break down and get my license.  Well......  It took me a little longer than the normal travel time of two and a half hours to get to Nashville.   My mom made me drive the speed limit the whole way,  so we were late and I missed the training. That was a big bummer. The next thing on my schedule was a focus session about youth development where the lovely Sarah Bohnenkamp, Executive Director of the ANCW, asked me to say a few words about the National Beef Ambassador Program.  During the meeting we heard from a well known YouTuber who does farming parodies, Derek Klingenberg. (Check him out, he has a new video coming out soon that looks promising.) 

Following his entertaining and laughter filled presentation, I headed to somewhere else in this huge hotel for the National Beef Ambassador committee meeting.  I have been competing in the National Beef Ambassador Program for the last three years so it was really interesting to know what actually goes on behind the scenes. I finished the night out with a reception for Cattlemen's College attendees sponsored by Zoetis.    All in all I love my cattlewomen and they continually amaze me with their strengths and multiple roles.

The fun about a #BEEFMeet is making new friends! Erin from the NBAP contest and former team member with my new friend Laurel from K-State!


I finished the night off with a pumpkin and mousse dessert from a café in the hotel