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Bedwell Attends NCBA’s Young Cattlemen’s Conference

June 18, 2018

NCBA’s Young Cattlemen’s Conference Graduates Prepared to Advocate for the Beef Community

WASHINGTON – Following a ten-day tour showcasing every facet of the beef industry, 61 emerging beef leaders successfully completed NCBA’s 2018 Young Cattlemen’s Conference (YCC), sponsored by Corteva Agriscience, Elanco, Farm Credit, Five Rivers Cattle Feeding, John Deere, Tyson and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. Now in its 39th year, YCC is designed to develop and train the next generation of ranchers, beef producers, and advocates. The group began its journey in Denver, Colo., with classroom sessions designed to provide background knowledge about NCBA and the work it conducts on behalf of its members and the beef community.

In Denver, participants took part in leadership development sessions, media training, and hands-on demonstrations of NCBA’s consumer marketing programs. The group made a visit to Greeley, Colo., to tour Five Rivers Cattle Feeding’s Kuner Feedyard, the JBS processing plant and an opportunity to meet with the executive team at JBS Headquarters. Prior to leaving Denver, participants also stopped at one of Safeway’s flagship stores to learn more about beef marketing at the retail level, giving the group an in-depth understanding of every aspect of the beef supply chain.

“We really strive to give participants the full view of the industry,” said NCBA President-Elect Jennifer Houston, who also participated in the tour. “We know and expect that these individuals are going to go back to their state associations and become leaders within those organizations that are so important to the success of the beef community.”

Visits in Chicago included stops at Hillshire Farms and the new McDonald’s global headquarters office. Participants also gained a behind the scenes look at the manufacturing facilities of OSI, Inc., one of the nation’s premier beef patty manufacturers.

The 2018 YCC class wrapped up in Washington, D.C., where participants learned about the impacts of public policy on their operations. After an in-depth briefing from NCBA’s lobbyists and policy experts, participants took to Capitol Hill, visiting more than 200 congressional offices to advocate for industry policy priorities.

“Those farmers and ranchers out here from states spanning the nation, from Hawaii to Pennsylvania, have told their stories over the course of the past week,” said 2018 YCC Chair Will Mayfield. “Getting into the offices of our elected officials on Capitol Hill to explain how these policies impact our operations is incredible.”

Shane Bedwell, director of breed improvement and chief operating officer at the American Hereford Association, was one of the leaders chosen to attend the conference.

“I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to attend the Young Cattlemen’s Conference this year,” Bedwell said. “It was a tremendous event put on by the NCBA that allowed the participants to have a new appreciation for sectors of the beef industry they may not have been as familiar with. I highly encourage emerging beef leaders to attend if the chance arises.”


The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) has represented America’s cattle producers since 1898, preserving the heritage and strength of the industry through education and public policy. As the largest association of cattle producers, NCBA works to create new markets and increase demand for beef. Efforts are made possible through membership contributions. To join, contact NCBA at 1-866-BEEF-USA or

Original press release courtesy of the NCBA.