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YPC Spotlight: Nathan Jaeger
 

Posted on January 7, 2011 06:43 by Cari Rincker

My next interview is with Nate Jaeger, the Director of Beef, Hay & Forage Crops and Equine Divisions for the Alabama Farmers Federation.  You can follow Nate on Twitter @NateJaeger, find him on facebook at Nathan.Jaeger, or email him at njaeger@alafarmers.org.  If you will be in Denver in a few weeks for NCBA Convention, you can meet him in person there!  I'm very thankful for everything that Nate did to help get YPC off the ground.  He's greatly missed.  Nate answered my questions as follows:

Describe your involvement in the cattle industry.

I am the Director of the Beef division in the Alabama Farmers Federation, an affiliate of the American Farm Bureau.


Why did you become a member of YPC?  Why do you think it is important for other cattle producers to become a member of YPC?

I became a member of YPC so that I could learn how to help advocate more effectively for the beef business.  I also was interested in connecting young farmers with older established farmers in a mentor and reverse mentor program.

What do you hope YPC will accomplish in the next year?  Next 5 years?

Increase the number of young farmers entering the beef business.  Essentially, lower the average age of cattle ranchers!

If you could have coffee with your elected representative in Washington and talk about anything you wanted, what would you say?

Besides college football, I would reassure my representative that farmers in Alabama and beyond are continuing to raise more beef with fewer resources  than ever before and that environmental, financial and food safety regulations must be minimized if they are to continue being successful.

If you could spend a day with Michael Pollan what would do with him?  What would you say?

If I had a day with Mr. Pollan I probably wouldn’t say much of anything.  I would ask as many questions as I could so I could learn why he says what he says.  I think there is more to learn from him on a marketing and psychological level than we realize.  The man is a brilliant author and an excellent communicator, regardless of what you think of his philosophies on agriculture, we could all take a lesson not about what he says but how he says it.

In your opinion, what is the best way to connect cattle producers to consumers – both in rural and urban areas?

Children.  Consumers are not just people they are families and if you can do something meaningful and impactful for their child you will have a “consumer” for life.  Farm visits and school field trips are great ways to reach children and their parents.

Do you consider yourself an “agriculture activist?”  If so, what type of activities do you partake in?

Yes, I am an activist.  I lobby state and federal legislators, I help educate farmers and sometimes consumers but most importantly, I try to AgVocate through my everyday activity and interactions with friends, family and people I meet. 

What do you think are the top three issues that affect young cattle producers?

Access to capital and credit
Lack of a business succession plan (estate planning)
Environmental/Governmental Regulation

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YPC Leadership Board Spotlight: Ben Neale
 

Posted on October 25, 2010 08:22 by Cari Rincker

Today's interview is with one of my favorite Tennessee cowboys and this year's Vice Chair of YPC, Ben Neale.  You can read Ben's interview a year ago here.  Let's see what Ben had to say...

Describe your involvement in the cattle industry?

I was born on a small cow-calf operation in middle TN. I have been a cow-hand at larger purebred operations in the country, ran age and source sales through livestock auction markets in TN and now work in direct sales to feedyards.

Tell us about your family and what you like doing outside of your day job.

Married to Iris Neale, no children. Iris is currently teaching Intro to An. Sci at a Columbia State Community College. I am involved quite a bit at church and I generally just work on the farm. I also hike and hunt when I can.

 

Why did you become a member of YPC? Why do you think it is important for other cattle producers to become a member of YPC?

I believe it is important to be involved in whatever capacity you can to further a cause you are passionate about. The cattle industry will always be present but the way it will look in the years to come can be shaped by our generation. There is a large generational exodus about to occur and there will be many needs to fill. I believe we need to be active in preparing to do so. More...


Farm Bureau's Media Tips
 

Posted on October 23, 2010 07:08 by Cari Rincker

I was on Twitter yesterday and read some great media tips from the American Farm Bureau Federation (@FarmBureau).  The YPC Public Relations Task Force is getting organized to launch a local media program to help connect young cattlemen (and women) with their local media.  Whether you are partaking in an interview with traditional media platforms (e.g., radio, newspaper, television) or social media platforms (e.g., Twitterview), it is good to keep the following media tips in mind:

Tip #1: “Determine your interview goal in advance.”

Tip #2: “Practice what you plan to say and how to say it.”

Tip #3: “Focus on and repeat your key messages.”

Tip #4: “Think and speak in headlines.”

Tip #5: “Keep your answers brief.”

Tip #6: “Say what you want to say, then stop.”

Tip #7: “Avoid industry jargon and acronyms.”

Tip #8: “Remember who your audience is.”

Tip #9: "Never go off the record."

Tip #10: "Be respectful of reporters & meet their deadlines."

If you are interested in being a local media contact for YPC, please email me at cari.rincker@gmail.com.  These YPC members are required to go through the Masters of Beef Advocacy ("MBA") program.  There will also be a second level of beef policy training for these individuals.  It is a big commitment for these folks but I think it will have long-term benefits for the industry.  It is important to get young cattle people prepared to speak to the media about the policy issues that affect the entire industry.

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Are You BQA Certified?
 

Posted on October 22, 2010 07:40 by Cari Rincker

This past summer I decided that it was time that get Beef Quality Assurance ("BQA") certified through the New York Beef Industry Council, Inc.  Last weekend, I finally completed the Producer Certification Manual for the Mid-Atlantic Region.  I noted the four reasons why I decided to get BQA certified in this blogI can't help what wonder what percentage of YPC members are BQA certified and what keeps cattle producers from completing the program.  Any thoughts? 

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YPC Member Spotlight: Chris Labbe
 

Posted on October 20, 2010 07:01 by Cari Rincker

My next interview is with Chris Labbe from Bar LH, LLC.  Chris currently lives in Canby, Oregon but his family is in the process of buying a place in White Sulphur Springs, Montana.  I have had a great time working with Chris through the Public Relations Task Force.  He is on my Twitter Subcommitte, which is currently working on a How-To-Tweet-For-Beef Guide, and has volunteered to be a local media contact.  Very thankful for his time and efforts with YPC.  Chris answered my questions as follows:

Chris, thanks for taking the time to visit with me.  Please describe your involvement in the cattle industry.

Our family has a Farm/Ranch in Arlington, Oregon were we raise wheat, alfalfa, and commercial cattle. My wife and I are also starting our own operation were we have a small broodmare band, and are trying to lease/buy ground to begin our own cow herd. Chris (& his wife Tiffanie) has worked on ranches throughout the west from Arizona to Montana.

Why did you become a member of YPC?  Why do you think it is important for other cattle producers to become a member of YPC?

Advocacy and education of the beef industry to the general public is critical at a time that our food grows further from the point of consumption. YPC & NCBA allows for both the development of our next generation of cattle industry leaders, and also the ability for we, as cattle producers, to tell our story in OUR words. More...


YPC Leadership Board Spotlight: Ben Spitzer
 

Posted on September 27, 2010 10:59 by Cari Rincker

Today's interview is with YPC Chairman Ben Spitzer from the International Brangus Breeders Association in San Antonio, Texas.  Let's see what Ben had to say:

  Describe your involvement in the cattle industry.

 As Marketing Programs Director for the International Brangus Breeders I help create a favorable marketing environment for Brangus and Brangus influence cattle.  This is done through adding value all along the production chain.

 Tell us about your family and what you like doing outside of your day job.

 I live by myself 10 hours from my closest relative but have been fortunate enough to have friends just about anywhere I travel.  In my free time I enjoy live music (San Antonio is a great place to be for this), roping and outdoor pursuits.  

Why did you become a member of YPC?  Why do you think it is important for other cattle producers to become a member of YPC? 

 I got involved in YPC because I want to help determine the future of the Beef Industry and not just have to adapt to what others think it needs to be.  I think it is important for those who have stake in the future of the industry to do the same.

  What position are you on the YPC Leadership Board?   What do you hope to accomplish in that position?

 As Chairman of YPC I hope to create opportunities for YPC members to get plugged in to NCBA and help them get a leg up on pursuing their dreams.

  What do you hope YPC will accomplish in the next year?  Next 5 years?  I hope YPC can develop into a resource for NCBA and a connection to tomorrow’s producers.

  If you could have coffee with an elected representative in DC and talk about anything you wanted, what would you say?

 I would say that they need to focus on getting out of the way of the free market and use their time in getting rid of waste.

  What do you think are the top three issues that affect young cattle producers?

Three major issues, in no particular order, are government, government, and government. 

  Do you have any advice for young cattle producers that cannot afford to start their own operation?

  Don’t necessarily be concerned with ownership.  Focus on what you can offer someone  who can and you will go far.

I haven't been able to get Ben to start tweeting, but you can find him on Facebook or email him at spitzerranch@gmail.com 

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