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81st Annual Convention - Day 2

Thedford, Nebraska - September 22, 2020

Tyson Foods

Day two, we started bright and early with the 81st Annual Convention! We all enjoyed some doughnuts and coffee generously donated by RioMax 360 representative Shane Keller. The first speakers of the day were Craig Luttrell and Bob Scheer of Tyson Foods. They talked to participants about how to increase your profit margins through their programs such as NHTC (Non-Hormone Treated Cattle), VNB (Verified Natural Beef), and GAP (Global Animal Partnership).

Beef Checkoff

Next up, we had Rosemary Anderson & Bree DeNaeyer speak about the Beef Checkoff's role in our industry, specifically their roles in the program.

Annual Membership Meeting

We followed them with a nice roast beef sandwich lunch sponsored by Sandhills State Bank, prepared by Ewoldt's Grocery in Thedford. During lunch, our Annual Membership Meeting took place. A treasurer's report was given by Ryan Adamson, followed by a membership number report by Liz Kierl. Matt Blackford gave an update on the EP&C Contest, and Rick Marlatt gave a report on the Tour, and finally, Matt Blackford informed the group how the scholarship program went for the year.

This year, we had a little different circumstance to deal with since we had an executive board member step off the committee, and our Convention was moved from May to September.

The Executive Board proposed the following:

Convention 2020 to January 2021

Past President: Bonnie Downing

President: Matt Blackford

Vice President: Darian Fuelberth

Treasurer: Ryan Adamson

Interim: Rick Marlatt

January 2021 to Convention 2021

Past President: Matt Blackford

President: Ryan Adamson

Vice President: Rick Marlatt

Treasurer: Darian Fuelberth

Brock Moreland moved to accept the Executive Board nominations, with Bree DeNaeyer seconding the motion. All present voted in favor.

Nominations were taken from the crowd for our third opening for the Board of Directors. Jeremy Cast moved to nominate Valerie Matulka along with Rodney Gray & Sam Hunt to the Board of Directors, with Ryan Adamson seconding the motion. All present voted in favor. That concluded the Membership Meeting.

Dr. Travis Mulliniks

Next, thanks to our sponsors at Merck Animal Health, Dr. Travis Mulliniks, range nutritionist, and beef production specialist with the University of Nebraska, spoke to the group about the importance of a cow's milk ability and its overall effect on your herd performance. We rounded out of speakers with the Peterson Farm Brothers from Kansas thanks to the Thedford Area Community Foundation's generous sponsorship. They change popular song lyrics into agriculture-based education song pieces to help the public better understand ag in general.

During the whole event, folks were given the opportunity to cruise through the trade show and browse what our vendors had to offer. We had fifty-three vendors total, which made for a fantastic trade show!

Pen of Three Show

Thanks to the sponsorship by Zoetis, participants could also view the nine pens of bred heifers for the 6th Annual Pen of Three Contest. Jim Latoski, ag instructor and Livestock Judging Coach with Colby Community College, and Jay Nordhausen, Owner & Manager of Ogallala Livestock, judged the pens officially. Each convention participant was given an opportunity to head over to the pens to select their favorites and place them accordingly. Connie Kuell of Thedford was the adult winner and Taylor Battershaw of Valentine FFA was the youth winner and each received $50! The Grand Champion Pen of Three Bred Heifers was awarded to Minert-Simonson Angus Ranch - JW & Cindy Simonson of Dunning with Pen 6. They received a Vaccine Cooler from Zoetis valued at $600, plus a windmill with a ribbon to signify their achievement. Reserve Champion was awarded to Shane Pettit of Stapleton with Pen 9. He was awarded a Cow Hide Photo Album with a smaller windmill and ribbon trophy. The People's Choice Pen went to Pen 8, which was also owned by Minert-Simonson Angus Ranch - JW & Cindy Simonson. They received a Leather Briefcase and a windmill and ribbon trophy.

Scholarship Benefit Auction

Our final event of the Convention was the Scholarship Benefit Auction. Each year, the Sandhills Cattle Association awards $7500 worth of scholarships to the Sandhills Cattle Association members' youth. The benefit auction is how we raise money to keep the funding for years to come. Thanks to the generous donations of area individuals and businesses, auctioneer Duane McClain with Nebraska Land Brokers was able to raise $7086.50 to be placed into the Scholarship Funds!

Wrap Up

I can say on behalf of myself and the Board of Directors; we were all pleased with the turnout, especially given the circumstances with COVID. Thank you to all of our Sponsors, Vendors, Volunteers, and those who braved the pandemic to make the 81st Annual Convention one of the best yet.

Be sure to mark your calendars for the 82nd Annual Convention, held on September 20 & 21, 2021, at the Cherry County Fairgrounds in Valentine, Nebraska! We'll see you there!

To view photos from this convention and those held prior, you can follow the link below:

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