Sandhills Cattle Assn. Annual Convention planned May 26 |

Sandhills Cattle Assn. Annual Convention planned May 26

VALENTINE, Neb. – The 72nd Annual Convention is scheduled Thursday, May 26, 2011, at the Cherry County Fairgrounds in Valentine, Neb. Registration begins at 9 a.m. (CDT). The convention program will provide a day full of engaging speakers discussing timely topics along with an industry trade show and annual benefit auction.

Wood Lake area rancher, Arch Ferguson begins the day with a demonstration on “Training Horses the Horse Whisperer Way” at 10 a.m. Arch is well known locally for his horse handling and training skills. He has been successfully training horses in a round pen for over 20 years by making the wrong thing difficult and the right thing easy. The colts Arch trains are used on the ranch and in the arena for cutting or roping. In his presentation, Arch will take a colt that hasn’t been touched and make the horse rideable in approximately an hour.

A panel discussion on the future of Nebraska brand inspection kicks off at 11 a.m. Steve Stanec, executive director of the Nebraska Brand Committee; Michael Kelsey, Nebraska Cattlemen executive vice president and Destry Brown, Independent Cattlemen of Nebraska (ICON) executive director, will discuss proposed changes to Nebraska brand inspection and share the stance taken by each of their organizations. There will be a moderated question and answer period.

Lunch will be served at 12:30 p.m., followed by the Sandhills Cattle Association’s annual business meeting, where the election of officers and directors will be held. Five SCA scholarships for the 2011-12 school year, along with the Howard Wright Memorial Scholarship will also be presented at that time.

At 1:45 p.m. leading beef genetics researcher and University of Illinois animal science professor, Jonathon Beever will present “DNA Technologies for the Beef Industry.” Beever has been instrumental in sequencing the DNA of beef cattle to identify the genes that cause inherited diseases. In the past 7 years Beever’s team of researchers have identified the genetic markers for several genetic defects including neuropathic hydrocephalus (NH) in Angus cattle; contractural arachnodactyly (Fawn Calf Syndrome) in Angus and Angus-derived cattle; arthrogryposus multiplex (Curly Calf Syndrome); tibial hemimelia (TH) in Shorthorn cattle; idiopathic epilepsy (IE) and hypotrichosis (hairlessness) in Herefords; and pulmonary hypoplasia with anasarca (PHA) in Maine-Anjou cattle. Identifying the causative genes is the first step for researchers to develop commercially available DNA tests for the specific diseases.

Trent Loos, popular agriculture advocate and radio programs host with a listening audience of 4 million, will wrap up the day’s speakers by telling the crowd to “Stop Defending Agriculture.” In addition to his radio programs that air on over 100 stations across the country, Loos is frequently traveling to speaking engagements in front of both agricultural and non-agricultural groups. His presentations often focus on the importance of agriculture as a matter of national security and he is a tireless promoter of production agriculture. With his wife Kelli, Loos owns a cattle operation near Loup City, Neb., where they enjoy training horses and raising their three daughters.

Following the speaker presentations, the convention activities will move to the trade show. The exhibits will open at 4 p.m., followed by the social hour, annual benefit auction and evening food booths. Convention will conclude at approximately 9 p.m.

The convention is open to all interested cattle producers. Pre-registration is appreciated, but tickets will be available at the door. A detailed schedule and registration form is available online. For more information contact the SCA office at (800) 658-0551 or (402) 376-2310.

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