Stockmen’s Association will host convention Sept. 23-25 |

Stockmen’s Association will host convention Sept. 23-25

This is month, North Dakota Stockmen’s Association (NDSA) members will gather “just off of the beaten path” for the North Dakota Stockmen’s Association’s 81st Annual Convention & Trade Show, “Down Home” at the Holiday Inn in Minot, ND, Sept. 23-25. The three-day event will feature grass-to-grill programming, discussion, policy development, fun and inspiration.

The event begins with a golf scramble at Wildwood Golf Course in Burlington at 9:30 a.m., Sept. 23. To participate in the golf scramble, contact NDSA Golf Scramble Coordinator Paul Bichler of Riverdale, ND, at 701-226-0205.

That afternoon, the popular Cattlemen’s College will feature grass-to-grill strategies for maintaining a healthy and safe food supply. Cattlemen know that healthy cattle produce healthy beef. In some instances, maintaining healthy cattle is even a matter of national security. Pfizer Animal Health’s Dr. Sam Barringer will detail some of his experiences in preventing bioterrorism in his overseas military experiences.

Afterward, North Dakota State University (NDSU) meat scientists Drs. Paul Berg, Eric Berg, David Newman and Rob Maddock will present an exclusive beef-only BBQ Boot Camp. Participants will rotate between four different stations and learn tips and tricks for perfecting their grilling techniques, using rubs and marinades, value cuts, different cooking methods and food safety measures.

The Cattlemen’s College will quickly transform into a serving line for the evening meal, followed by a first-ever Trade Show Ice Cream Social to be held in the trade show area. “Trade show exhibitors will be offering unique ice cream toppings at their booths,” said NDSA Administrative Assistant Mary Goeres of Bismarck, ND, who coordinates the popular trade show. “Be sure to visit the booths and scan the goodies,” she recommended.

On Friday morning, the Holiday Inn will host a down-home continental breakfast for convention-goers in the trade show area to fuel up for an action-packed day of the opening session and policy committee meetings. The trade show will be open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The opening general session will include a welcome address from NDSA President Jack Reich of Zap, ND, and North Dakota CattleWomen President Michele Bartholomay of Sheldon, ND, as well as an association update from NDSA Executive Vice President Julie Ellingson of St. Anthony, ND, and a brand inspection update from NDSA Chief Brand Inspector Stan Misek of Bismarck, ND.

Members will also have an opportunity to meet candidates who are vying for director positions on the NDSA Board of Directors during the 2010 Candidate’s Forum. The list of director candidates includes Keith E. Johnson of Sharon, ND, for District 1 director; Curtis Brown of Montpelier, ND, and Jeffrey D. Bunn of Lisbon, ND, for District 2 directors; Darrell D. Oswald of Wing, ND, and Dave Bauman of Linton, ND, for District 3 directors; Jonathan Marohl of Solen, ND, Rob Tweeten of Hensler, ND, and David Hoherz of Bentley, ND, for District 4 directors; Steve Brooks of Bowman, ND, for District 5 director; and Doug Feiring of Powers Lake, ND for District 6 director.

Jason Schmidt of Medina, ND is the nominee for president; and Jason Zahn of Towner, ND, is the vice president nominee.

Later that morning, representatives of the North Dakota Grazing Lands Coalition (NDGLC) will share their unique experiences in different grazing management strategies, from winter grazing to cover crops. Included on the “Perspectives in Grazing” producer panel are Gabe Brown of Bismarck, ND, Lance Gartner of Glen Ullin, ND, and Steve Fettig of Napoleon, ND. NDGLC Field Representative Josh Dukart of Bismarck, ND, will moderate the discussion.

The group will break for a North Dakota Stockmen’s Foundation Luncheon at noon where Ellingson will provide a short recap of the foundation’s second full year.

Policy development is planned for Friday afternoon from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. Information on what topics NDSA committees will be considering, a list of resolutions that are up for renewal, and an explanation of the resolution-making process, can be found online at or in the September edition of the North Dakota Stockman magazine.

Following a 5 p.m. social and 6:30 p.m. supper, NDSA members should be ready to roll up their pedal-pushers, slick back their hair and groove to the tunes that made Rock ‘n Roll cool. The Friday night entertainment features a Fifties Flashback, complete with 1950s icons, trivia, dance, costume contests and other surprises.

“Don a leather jacket, white T-shirt and jeans or bobby socks, saddle shoes and a poodle skirt and be ready to twist the night away,” said Ellingson. Cash prizes will be awarded for the best male and female 1950s costume. “Come expecting a lot of crowd participation,” she advised.

The next day begins with a resolutions committee meeting at 7:30 a.m., followed by the general session, where conventioneers will learn about and discuss several industry topics.

The first featured speaker of the morning is Karen Budd-Falen, a cattle producer and environmental lawyer from Cheyenne, WY. Throughout her law career, Budd-Falen has represented cattle producers in cases involving endangered species, clean water, private property ownership and use, federal lands, local governments, local zoning and private property rights.

Budd-Falen will illustrate how environmental groups use taxpayers’ money to sue the federal government in an attempt to eliminate private land use through endangered species, clean water, National Environmental Policy Act and other federal statutes. She will outline some of the latest tactics being used to push radical agendas and what producers can do about it.

“Sometimes, non-governmental organizations can become so powerful that they stop being responsive to the people they’re supposed to serve,” wrote the Center for Consumer Freedom’s lead researcher David Martosko on the blog. During the NDSA Annual Convention & Trade Show, Martosko will talk about the motives behind some of the animal activist supergiants and how animal agriculture can stand up for their industry.

For years, the North Dakota Trade Office (NDTO) has helped North Dakota companies take advantage of the huge opportunities in foreign markets. With more than 95 percent of the world’s population living outside the U.S. borders, foreign markets hold strong potential for North Dakota ag products overseas. NDTO representatives Dean Gorder, Larry White, Yermek Umurzakov and Andrey Sova will talk about some of those opportunities and the inroads they’ve made specific to South Korea, Kazakhstan, the Ukraine and other foreign countries.

NDSA mentors and proteges will meet prior to the Awards Luncheon to wrap-up their year.

During the Awards Luncheon, the NDSA will present the North Dakota Stockmen’s Foundation’s Junior Scholarships and recognize mentoring program graduates as well as Megan Presser of Turtle Lake, ND, who will provide a short recap of her year as Beef Ambassador.

After lunch, NDSA members will adopt resolutions and elect directors and officers during the annual meeting’s closing session. The top membership recruiter will also be named and the top prize – a one-year lease on an aluminum trailer sponsored by Boespflug Trailers of Dickinson and Featherlite – will be awarded.

The NDSA will again offer a babysitting service during its banquet from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. for kids up to age 10 who pre-register.

The event closes with a banquet social beginning at 6 p.m. and an annual banquet at 7 p.m., during which time the NDSA’s Honorary Members, Rancher of the Year and Environmental Stewardship Award recipients will be recognized, along with NDSA employees who have reached a milestone in their years of employment.

Motivational speaker V.J. Smith of Brookings, SD, is the evening’s keynote speaker. He’ll share inspirational stories about Marty, a Wal-Mart cashier whom Smith believes is the richest man in town. Smith will challenge us to emulate Marty’s simple philosophies.

“The beef industry is changing fast and it is important for today’s rancher to stay informed on what is happening,” said Reich. Government regulations, new marketing options, and new management techniques all need to be analyzed to see how they may affect your individual operation, he added.

“Even more importantly, as members, this is our venue to set the course and outline the priorities of the association for the upcoming year. I hope to see everyone in Minot for the convention,” Reich concluded.