The Darr School of Agriculture is now home to the first collegiate Cattlemen’s Association chapter in the state.
Missouri Cattlemen’s Association (MCA) is an organization whose purpose is advancing Missouri’s beef industry. To accomplish this, as explained by Missouri State University Cattlemen’s Chapter Advisor Dr. Elizabeth Walker, MCA “helps inform cattle producers of political issues as well as information to help them be productive on their farm.”
The MSU Cattlemen’s Association Chapter works to match MCA’s purpose by helping members stay informed on issues in agriculture. MSU Cattlemen’s also strives to get students more actively involved in the agricultural advocacy process.
One way chapter members accomplish advocacy is by getting involved in activities like Cowboys at the Capitol. Cowboys at the Capitol is a weekly event sponsored by MSU Cattlemen’s Association is first collegiate MCA chapter By Austin Reedy MCA where representatives from different districts go to Jefferson City to talk to legislators about priority agricultural issues. Some of the issues discussed when MSU’s chapter members were at the capitol included the Farming Rights Amendment, the Beef Checkoff and extended liability protection for livestock producers.
Other ways the MSU chapter has increased member involvement is through attending events including the Agriculture Symposium, the Cultivating Conversations Agricultural Advocacy Forum, the Polk County Livestock and Forages Conference, and Cattlemen’s Association meetings outside the chapter.
In addition to member involvement in activities, another main focus of the MSU chapter starting semester was organizing the first MSU Cattlemen’s Association Chili Cook-Off. The event included a chilimaking competition with prizes for judge’s choice, people’s choice and spiciest chili. Live music was provided by the Dirt Road Sinners.
The Chili Cook-Off also was an opportunity to promote the beef industry. People were able to read and take home pamphlets that explained issues in agriculture, including the Farming Rights Amendment.
The chapter has plans to make the Chili Cook-Off an annual event.
The MSU chapter has had a strong start and MSU Cattlemen’s Association President Michael Hickinbotham, sophomore animal science major from Eureka, Mo., has high hopes for the future.
“I want to see a lot of growth and involvement,” Hickinbotham said. “I also want to see the sphere of education about our industry grow.”
Walker also expressed high hopes for the future of the MSU Cattlemen’s Chapter.
“Above everything else I want MSU Cattlemen’s to develop leadership in youth,” Walker said.
-This article was written May 3, 2014 and published in the Spring 2014 Ag Review.