Justin Spickler, Spickler Ranch, Glenfield, N.D., represented the state at the third annual Beef Leaders Institute (BLI), June 1-4, 2010.
Spickler was one of 20 Angus breeders from 12 states who joined together at the American Angus Association® headquarters in Saint Joseph, Mo., to gain more awareness about the beef industry.
“I enjoyed the interaction from all corners of the group and the diversity of the group,” Spickler says. “Within the diversity there was the feeling of an underlying, common goal.”
The four-day learning opportunity is designed to give applicants, age 25-45, a chance to meet with Association staff and industry representatives, learn about the different aspects of the beef industry and network with their Angus producing peers.
After tours and presentations of the American Angus Association and its entities – Angus Genetics Inc. (AGI), the Angus Foundation, Certified Angus Beef (CAB) LLC and Angus Productions Inc. (API) — the group traveled through eastern Nebraska and western Iowa for several in-depth tours of the beef production process, from feedlots to retail distributors.
Tour stops included, Gregory Feedlot, CAB-licensed feedlot, Tabor, Iowa,; Tyson, beef processing plant, Dakota City, Neb.; Whole Foods Market, grocery store, Omaha, Neb.; Cargill Meat Solutions, deli meat processing plant, Nebraska City, Neb.; Sysco Lincoln, warehouse and distribution center; and Igenity/GeneSeek, genetics lab, Lincoln, Neb
“To become a better spokesperson, we need to think of ways to better communicate to non-ag sectors what is involved in beef production,” Spickler says. “We need to show how safe the products are handled and how much high-quality care is taken for the animals throughout their life.”
The purpose of BLI is to give producers a general knowledge of food production and expose them to unfamiliar facets of the beef industry. The goal of the program is for participants to develop leadership skills so they can be advocates for the beef industry in their local areas.
For more information about the Beef Leaders Institute or the American Angus Association, visit www.angus.org or call (816)-383-5100.
Source: American Angus Association
Posted by Haylie Shipp