PENDLETON, Ore. – More than 100 ranching owners, operators and families from throughout Oregon gathered at the 2014 Oregon Cattlemen’s Association and Washington Cattlemen’s Association Mid-Year Conference and Trade Show June 26-28 at the Pendleton Convention Center to network and gain insight into new trends in the ranching industry.

“This year’s OCA Annual Convention continued to demonstrate the importance of the cattle industry to Oregon’s economy, commitment of the industry to conservation and sustainability and the need for continued partnerships with agencies and policy makers to overcome the challenges that owners/operators face,” said OCA Executive Director Kay Teisl.

Fred Steen, a Wallowa County Deputy Sheriff, hosted a workshop revolving around wolf depredation identification. Other workshops that took place at the three-day event included: rancher compensation for wolf depredation, agricultural water quality, sage grouse conservation funding and other topics.

Other highlights from the event were:

  • More than 30 golfers participated in the golf scramble, which was followed by a delicious BBQ sponsored by the Associate Council and beef provided by Merial, Simplot, Western Stockmen’s. Thanks to Greg Roush, from Purina Animal Nutrition, for organizing the event and all our golf scramble sponsors!
  • Ranchers and sheriffs learned about signs of potential wolf depredations on livestock, steps to take and the investigation process. Following was a presentation on setting up county wolf compensation boards and for what the funds can be used.
  • Sage Grouse panel addressed the listing decision process, factors that will influence the decision, priority concerns and how grazing benefits habitat.
  • OCA formed committees to examine funding options dedicated to the sage grouse in reference to the US Fish and Wildlife consideration of the ESA Sage Grouse listing and to examine potential revenue sources to support the beef industry.
  • Ag Water Quality panel answered questions regarding temperature litigation in Oregon and changes in the Ag Water Quality Program and what that means to producers.
  • The Environmental Protection Agencies proposed rule, Waters of the US, was explained as an extremely broad and overreaching regulatory land grab with which all producers should be concerned. Everyone was encouraged to submit comments or go on Twitter and use #ditchtherule for more information.
  • Great time was had by all at the World Famous Let ’r Buck Room with live performance by Brewer’s Grade on Friday night.
  • Congratulations to Curtis Martin for winning the “wolf wagon” ATV trailer donated by Mike Countryman with NW Farm Supply to benefit the Oregon Cattlemen’s Wolf Fund. Like them on Facebook.

The OCA also wants to give a special thanks to the refreshment sponsors: Beef Northwest, PerforMix, Robbins Farm Equipment, Umatilla Electric, and all of sponsors and trade show vendors, which included: