This story originally appeared in the Saturday, September 27th edition of the Dickinson Press and was written by Teri Finneman.
Keeping a grip on the issues by staying in touch with local ranchers is the goal of the 2003 North Dakota Stockmen's Association Convention and Trade Show in Dickinson. The 74th annual event will take place Oct. 2-4 at the Hospitality Inn. North Dakota Stockmen's Association Executive Vice President Wade Moser said the main purpose of the event is to set the policy and direction for the board to take to the state or federal level.
"(We want) to make sure our producers are heard," Moser said. "As our industry, moves forward, it's getting to be more and more critical that we really get a handle on what the issues that will have an impact on Angus will be."
Moser said having a good grip on trade, disease and federal regulations is important, so ranchers have a say in their livelihood.
This year's convention will include a Cattlemen's College, policy development sessions, educational speakers, a trade show, council meetings and member recognition.
Dr. Linda Detwiler of the USDA's emergency programs staff will discuss what the American research team learned while studying the Canadian case of mad cow disease this spring. Dickinson Research Extension Center Director Kris Ringwall will demonstrate a North Dakota biosecurity front-line defense project.
Dr. Gerald Stokka of Pfizer Animal Health will talk about the proper use of antibiotics and curbing antibiotic resistance.
"It's a lot of good information that's really current and on everybody's mind," Moser said.
Friday afternoon's animal health and brand and theft committee meetings will focus on animal disease emergency management, a U.S. individual animal identification program, brand program law changes, conviction updates and proposed rules for open-market auction barns.
The ag Policy and environmental Issues meetings will discuss the Conservation Reserve Program, tax policy, federal lands, the Endangered Species Act and the trespass lawsuit.
The research and education and feeding and marketing meetings will include a Beef Commission update with information about the check-off lawsuit and state law, research funding, meat inspection, financing for cattle feeders and beef imports and exports.
Saturday morning, a panel will discuss "Keeping our COOL: What Country-of-Origin Labeling Means to My Industry Sector."
Moser said he expects 300 to 500 people to attend the convention each day. "We're thinking people will come for a day or two or maybe the whole thing depending on the weather conditions," Moser said. "Plus, in North Dakota, you always want it to rain."
For more information about the convention, contact the Stockmen's Association at 701-223-2522.