May 3, 2022
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Youth Beef Industry Congress (YBIC) Conference occurs every other year with the intention of educating the young leaders in the various breed organizations on the latest industry trends and arming them with knowledge to be advocates for agriculture. After an additional year off due to the coronavirus pandemic, congress members met in College Station, Texas, for YBIC on April 28-30. The National Junior Hereford Association (NJHA) Board of Directors were in attendance, representing the Hereford breed among more than 130 other junior association leaders and 15 youth organizations from across the country.
This year’s conference was hosted by the American Brahman Breeders Association and Beefmaster Breeders United. When the junior leadership teams arrived they spent the first afternoon at STgenetics touring the facility, hearing from the staff on site and learning about current research that will impact the future of the industry. That evening the Texas A&M Equine Center hosted the congress where they heard from Dr. Chris Skaggs, Associate Vice Chancellor for Producer Relations and Associate Dean for Student Development for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Texas A&M. They also heard from keynote speaker, Tori Lienemann, PhD., as well as an agriculture advocacy panel where they could ask industry influencers how best to represent the world of agriculture.
The following morning, Collier Farms Beefmasters hosted the congress at their headquarters in Brenham. Students from across the country were able to see and experience a breed that not as commonly located in other regions. From there the congress moved to 44 Farms in Cameron where they learned the scale of the operation, as well as the direct-to-consumer beef approach they have created.
To continue the mission of promoting agriculture through communication, Kodye Neel, keynote speaker, spoke about the business she created with the mission of communicating and promoting agriculture to the public. An agriculture marketing panel concluded the afternoon program focusing on all aspects of marketing and branding, from marketing your cattle and ranch, to marketing yourself.
To conclude the weekend, educational sessions were held at the Texas A&M Department of Animal Science. These sessions highlighted markets abroad, connecting across differences, networking and career readiness.
The mission of YBIC is to educate and promote the leaders of all breeds to provide them with the skill sets to continue promoting beyond the industry. Every other year, the congress is the pinnacle of youth in the beef industry who are dedicated to its growth and longevity. More information about the next conference will be released closer to the date.
The National Junior Hereford Association (NJHA) is one of the largest, strongest and most active junior cattle programs in the country. Over the years, members of this association have gone on to earn international and domestic respect as models for youth organizational success. The NJHA, through its extensive educational programs, continues to lay the foundation for the beef industry’s future leaders. The traditions of the past coupled with the energy of today’s board of directors have created a progressive approach to further develop a meaningful and educational association focus.