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President’s Report – August 2021

Hello Florida Cattlemen and Cattlewomen,

Again, I cannot thank each of you enough for how honored, humbled and what a privilege it is to be serving you and this great industry as your Florida Cattlemen’s Association President.  Please help tell our immediate Past-President Gene Lollis thank you for his past year of leadership and service and again for always putting God first.  If you were on Gene’s text list, you would get a text every morning sometime between 4:00 and 6:30am of a devotional he had prepared and sent out.  We all have gotten so dependent on it that if we hadn’t received it by 7:00 we will call him to check to see if he was ok.  Gene we thank you.
If you missed the convention in Marco, you missed a lot. Wow.  It was like a family homecoming of folks that you haven’t seen in two years or longer doing a lot of business and fellowship.  The Trade Show was packed, as Past-President Lollis and I made our way to each Vendor’s booth thanking them for their dedication and their support of the Florida Cattlemen’s Association.  I also would like to commend our youth program volunteer leaders for the leadership and the energy our participating young people bring to our convention. It is wonderful to see our next generation, competing, growing and preparing to be our future leaders.  To all the young women that were in the Sweetheart contest, I congratulate each of you for the many hours you put into this contest.  You are all winners.  Elanie Mason, congratulations for my hometown Manatee County girl, you have made us all very proud.
There are so many people that we never say “Thank You” enough to, especially our staff and all the volunteers that it takes to put on this convention.  I will not attempt to offer their names because I don’t want to leave anyone out, but you know who you are.  The hours of time that you see at the convention are just a small part of the work and advance preparation that goes into making the event successful, Thank you all.
As I’m sitting here after my first week of Presidency, I’m asking myself if I was prepared enough to get this job done along with my paying job and my first thought was, no way, but your mind and body adapts pretty fast, mostly with staff, the Executive Board and the Past Presidents lending a helping hand to bring me up to speed.
Working on things like making sure wording is correct in the new BMP’s manual that will come out soon, water quality issues, election just around the corner, bringing our legislative committee up to date or maybe they’re bringing me up to date, travelling to Gainesville for the opening of a new steakhouse and that’s just a start.
My theme this year is   #letsridetogether to continue to build the strongest Beef Industry we can.  My thought for this theme was because we need all members and voices of this association at our meeting tables to discuss and find solutions.  The end result may not always be what I as an individual wanted but should be what is best for this great industry.
Over the last nine years I have been involved with the Florida Beef Council (FBC) and the Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB).  These two groups comprised of beef producers manage the funds that come in from the collection of the Beef Check-Off.  This industry funded self-help program led by producers is totally overseen from the time a dollar is deducted from the sale of each bull; cow or calf sold in the US and is also collected on all beef imports.
As defined in the law, these funds can only be used to Drive Beef Demand, In Beef Promotions, Research, Consumer and Industry Information, Foreign Market developments and Producer Communication.
The Florida Beef Council collects the whole dollar, keeps $0.50 from each dollar that comes in to do state programs.  The state Council has thirteen voting producer board members form all sectors of the industry. The Beef Council Board makes decisions on marketing programs that will return the biggest bang for each dollar that collected. You should also know that the USDA has a person attending every meeting and is looking over each and every program the FBC does to make sure each dollar is spent according to the law.  The $.50 of each dollar that is collected by state beef councils is sent in to the Cattlemen’s Beef Board.  The CBB is made up of 101 producers that serve on the Beef Board. These board members are from all over the country and the number of board members is based on cattle populations of each respective state.
This Board is appointed by the USDA Secretary of Agriculture. The work and administration activities of this board are completely overseen by a United States Department of Agriculture /Agricultural Marketing Service representative. This is done to insure all funds properly accounted for and are spent on programs to promote Beef in and build demand in full compliance with the Federal law.  These funds can only be used to market beef products, they cannot be used to market live cattle or any production practices.  One fact I want to make sure you are aware of is for each check-off dollar collected the industry receives $11.92 return on investment. This return-on-investment study was done by Dr. Harry Kaiser from Cornell University. Frankly, with this type of ROI, I wish I could invest all my monies to earn this kind of return.
I’ll stop for now and will continue next month on what your Check-Off Dollars do for you.  I just wanted to speak form my firsthand experience, your dollars are looked after wisely.
If I can help any of your County Associations or you individually, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.
Thank you again for allowing me, a Manatee County Cowboy to serve this great industry and the Florida Cattlemen’s Association.

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