WASHINGTON (June 14, 2013) – Thomas White, a cattleman from Gold Hill, Ore., was one of more than 50 young cattlemen and women selected to participate in the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) 34th Young Cattlemen’s Conference (YCC). White was sponsored by the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association. The YCC program is a comprehensive, nationwide tour of beef industry sectors, created to enhance leadership skills in your beef industry professionals.

“YCC is a prestigious and competitive program designed to foster the future leadership of our industry,” said Forrest Roberts, NCBA chief executive officer. “The participants selected to attend YCC were chosen because of their exceptional contributions to the beef industry and their potential to be a strong voice in our future development. I look forward to seeing Thomas take an increased leadership role within NCBA and the beef industry.”

White is a third generation rancher. He graduated from California State University (CSU), Chico, in 2011 with a degree in Agriculture Business. While attending CSU he spent a summer interning with Colorado Beef in Lamar, Colo. After graduating he returned to his family’s small Angus operation, which he hopes to expand. At the end of 2011, White was appointed to be the State Chair for Oregon’s Young Cattlemen’s Committee and continues to serve in that position.

The eight day tour began at NCBA headquarters in Denver, Colo., where participants were given an organizational overview of NCBA and the Beef Checkoff Program. While in Denver, the group also heard from representatives of Cattle Fax and the U.S. Meat Export Federation. They toured a Safeway retail store and learned about Rancher’s Reserve brand beef marketing efforts. The group spent a day in Greeley, Colo., visiting JBS Five Rivers feed yards and processing facilities.

“It is really important for participants to see each sector of the beef industry – from farm to fork,” said White. “Traveling from a cow/calf ranch to a feedlot and processing plant really drives home the point that our industry is composed of many sectors, sectors that are all striving to produce a healthy end product.”

In Chicago, the group met with the senior management of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange at the Chicago Board of Trade. They had the chance to watch the activity on the trading floor and witness futures trading firsthand. Participants also visited Otto & Sons Industries, a family owned company providing quality products and custom solutions for the food industry since 1909. This tour offered a view of how boxed beef is turned into custom order portions for both major restaurant chains and some of the nation’s top steakhouses.

The group then traveled to Washington, D.C., where participants received an issues briefing from NCBA’s government affairs staff about policy issues currently facing the cattle industry. The group then traveled to Aldie, Va., for a tour and barbeque at Whitestone Farms, one of the nation’s elite purebred Angus operations.

The next day, these future leaders were given the opportunity to visit one-on-one with members of their state’s congressional delegation, expressing their viewpoints regarding the beef industry and their cattle operations. During their congressional visits, participants focused on issues including the 2013 Farm Bill, federal lands ranching and overreaching regulations proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency. They finished the day with a reception hosted by John Deere at the company’s Washington office.

For more information on the YCC program or to nominate someone for next year’s tour, contact your state cattlemen’s association or Marvin Kokes at 303-850-3339 or mkokes@beef.org.