2021 YCC class participants photo

2021 YCC class participants left to right: Rick Turner, Kamiah; Kaleb Hopkins, Preston; Dan Davis, Jerome; Mason Roberts, Nampa; Tia Schumacher, Cottonwood; Makenze Griffiths, Preston; Salani Wilcox, Menan; Zane Loughmiller, Twin Falls; Casey Knudsen, Albion; Luke Thomas, Parma; not pictured, Caleb Wallis, Pahsimeroi Valley. Picture taken on the Seth McFarland Ranch near Salmon.

SALMON – The fifth annual Idaho Young Cattle Producer’s Conference (YCC) was held June 28 – 30 in Salmon, Idaho. Young cattle producers under the age of 40, successfully completed the intensive 3-day program, which is presented by the University of Idaho Extension and the Idaho Cattle Association.

The conference started on Monday, June 28th with an overview of the cattle industry in Idaho. The opening session titled, “The Beef Cattle Industry in Idaho”, featured speakers that discussed all aspects of the industry. To start the program, Bronc May with Simplot Livestock, gave an overview of the Simplot cattle operations and the feedlot industry. Carl Elsworth a cow-calf producer from Leadore, spoke on his operation and gave the young people tips on being in the cow-calf business. Steve Herbst, with Nelson Angus Ranch in Salmon, spoke on genetics and the purebred industry.

The opening session concluded with a Marketing Panel consisting of Scott and Gwen Whitworth from May, Idaho talking on marketing cattle through the Superior Livestock Video Auction. The Whitworth’s gave some great information on how to market on the video auction and how to prepare the cattle for marketing. The participants then heard from Rex Hoagland, with CS Packers in Kuna on marketing cull cows and bulls. Rex gave some great tips on when to market cull cows and bulls and when it would be best to try to feed them longer to improve the quality of the carcasses.

The Monday morning session concluded with a presentation by Donna Kovaleski from the Idaho Beef Council in Boise. She spoke on the marketing programs the beef council is conducting across the state.

The YCC class joined the Idaho Cattle Association for their Mid-Year meeting during the Monday afternoon session and learned about the issues facing the cattle industry in Idaho. The YCC class also enjoyed a delicious steak dinner with the ICA members on Monday evening.

On Tuesday morning, June 29th, the second general session focused on “Current Issues Facing Young Producers and Financing an operation”. Gretchen Hyde with the Idaho Rangeland Resource Commission, started the morning session by talking about the projects being conducted by the IRRC and the importance of communicating to the public how rangelands are being properly managed. Cody Hendrix with Northwest Farm Credit Services gave a great presentation on how to finance an operation and the records and financial information required by banks. Ben Eborn with the University of Idaho Extension discussed risk management tools and gave marketing tips for understanding trends in the cattle market prices.

The final speaker on Tuesday morning was Scott Bedke from Oakley. He discussed his family’s ranching operation and discussed how he manages calves after weaning and how he has improved his late season grazing with new grass variety plantings. Scott also shared how important it is for young producers to get involved in the cattle industry organizations and other farm organizations on the local and state level.

Following the morning session, the participants enjoyed a sack lunch and then boarded a tour van for a tour of Salmon area ranches. The YCC group toured two ranches where they learned about stream and riparian area improvement projects and learned about how cattle are managed in the Salmon area. The final stop on the tour was at the University of Idaho, Nancy M. Cummings Research and Extension Ranch. The group toured the facilities and heard about the research being conducted at the ranch. A tri-tip steak dinner was then served at the new headquarters, classroom, and office center on the ranch. After dinner, the participants broke into groups and discussed issues facing young producers and had a group discussion on how to address these issues.

On Wednesday morning, June 30th, the final session started with a talk by Cameron Mulrony, Idaho Cattle Association Executive Vice President and Jay Smith, Idaho Cattle Association President. Jay and Cameron talked about the importance of getting involved and what the ICA has to offer and how they represent producers across the state. A presentation on Public Lands issues in Idaho, affecting producers across the state, was given by Karen Williams, also with the Idaho Cattle Association.

Jim Church and Benton Glaze, both with the University of Idaho Extension, presented a workshop on using Expected Progeny Differences, (EPD’s) to select replacement bulls and heifers. Following this workshop, Glen Elzinga, with Alderspring Ranch from May, talked about his marketing program selling grass fed beef all over the United States. Glen imparted some valuable wisdom on land management, grazing management and marketing. He encouraged the young producers to be money makers and not money takers.

The YCC program concluded just before lunch with a graduation ceremony, where each participant was recognized with a graduation certificate.

There is no cost to attend for the participants thanks to the generous support of these great sponsors. The 2021 YCC Platinum sponsors were: Endovac Beef; Merck Animal Health; Northwest Farm Credit Services; Magic Valley Cattle Association; Simplot Western Stockmen’s; Idaho-Lewis County Cattle Association, Simplot Livestock Company and the Idaho Cattle Association. Gold sponsors included the Idaho Angus Association; Agri Beef; and Multimin USA. Silver sponsors were: Pristine Springs Angus – Curtis & Amber Gay, Jerome, Idaho; Idaho Beef Council and Idaho Ag Credit.

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