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OCA celebrates an outstanding year

Ohio beef producers and industry leaders met to develop policy, learn about consumer preferences and beef demand and to celebrate the many achievements of cattlemen at the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet, Jan. 20, 2018, at the Nationwide Hotel and Conference Center in Lewis Center, Ohio. 
More than 200 attended the event that offered educational breakout sessions and several new youth opportunities, in addition to, the annual meeting and evening banquet. Sponsors who contributed to the event’s success include Ag Credit, COBA/Select Sires, Farm Credit Mid-America, Ohio Association of Meat Processors and the Stark County Cattlemen’s Association.
This year, the day featured new youth opportunities including the Youth Beef Quiz Bowl and a beef quality assurance session. Sponsored by Farm Credit Mid-America, nearly 40 youth participated in the first year of the two-part contest consisting of written and verbal rounds. The winners were as follows: Junior Division: Sydney Sanders, Highland County, first place individual; Carly Sanders, Highland County, second place individual; and Caitlyn Cottrill, Highland County, third place individual. The top junior team, from Highland County, included Sydney Sanders, Carly Sanders, Caitlyn Cottrill and Wyatt Osborn. Intermediate Division: Sam Stickley, Champaign County, first place individual; Dawson Osborn, Highland County, second place individual; and Tate Liming, Highland County, third place individual. The top intermediate team, from Highland County, included Dawson Osborn, Tori Waits, Tate Liming and Luke Jennings. Senior Division: Garrett Stanfield, Adams County, first place individual; Katelyn Cowdrey, Brown County, second place individual; Amber Storey, Sandusky County, third place individual. The top senior team included Katelyn Cowdrey, Brown County; Justin Cowdrey, Brown County; Garrett Stanfield, Adams County; and Amber Storey, Sandusky County.
Dr. Alvaro Garcia Guerra, Assistant Professor in the department of animal sciences at The Ohio State University, gave an informative summary of his cattle reproduction research – specifically sharing his findings with attendees on preventing pregnancy loss in cattle. The session was followed by the Ohio Cattlemen’s Foundation (OCF) luncheon and update from retiring OCF president, Frank Phelps, Belle Center, Ohio.
Fourteen scholarships were presented to outstanding youth during the luncheon. Josh Dickson, Licking County; Kady Davis, Carroll County and Meredith Oglesby, Highland County, received the $1,000 Cattlemen’s Gala scholarship, funded by the 2017 inaugural event. Cole Liggett, Tuscarawas County; Emily Horst, Wayne County; McKayla Raines, Adams County and Erica Snook, Noble County were awarded $1,000 Tagged for Greatness Scholarships, which are funded with the sales of the Ohio Beef license plate.
Desirae Logsdon, Fairfield County; Garret Stanfield, Adams County; Caitlyn Gaddis, Knox County and Evan Smith, Fairfield County, received a $1,000 Country Club Scholarship, which was funded by the putt-putt course at the 2017 Ohio State Fair.
Hannah Frobose, Wood County, was awarded the $1,000 William Cleland Memorial scholarship. Natalie Wagner, Brown County, was awarded the Saltwell Expo scholarship, funded by the Saltwell Western Store and Ohio Beef Expo, that will be presented at the 2018 Ohio Beef Expo in March.
Following the luncheon, 2018 OCA president, Sasha Rittenhouse, New Carlisle, Ohio, and OCA staff offered an “Engaging OCA’s Grassroots” breakout that outlined ways for attendees to maximize their involvement through events, programs and advocacy.
During the annual meeting, Ohio cattlemen heard from Colin Woodall, Vice President of Government Affairs at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA); Cathann A. Kress, PhD, Vice President for Agricultural Administration and Dean of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences; and John Foltz, chair of the department of animal sciences. The 2017 OCA President, Joe Foster of Gallipolis, Ohio, coordinated the policy development portion of the meeting. These resolutions covered a broad range including agriculture and food policy, cattle health and well-being, international markets and property rights and environmental management.
In addition, OCA’s Membership Committee recognized the members of OCA’s Top Hand Recruiting Club. Purina Animal Nutrition and Quality Liquid Feed sponsored the awards. OCA’s officers reported that in 2017 the association set a membership record. Renewals for 2018 are on track with previous years.
The Ohio CattleWomen (OCW) conducted their annual meeting and were joined by American National CattleWomen president, Penny Zimmerman. Coinciding the OCW meeting, was a youth opportunities session that highlighted several possibilities for youth to get involved in the beef industry speakers included representatives from The Ohio State University.
During the last breakout session of the day, Cambell Parrish, Ohio Beef Council Director of Public Relations and Consumer Marketing, shared with attendees how checkoff dollars are put to work throughout the year engaging with consumers and strengthening beef demand.
OCA members and guests reconvened that evening for the banquet to celebrate another successful year. NCBA’s Woodall, gave an update on policy within the beef industry and spoke to attendees about challenges ahead regarding tax reform, hours of service with electronic logging devices and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). The banquet concluded with OCA presenting six prestigious awards to deserving cattlemen and supporters of Ohio’s beef industry. Gerber Farms, Middletown, Ohio - Commercial Producer of the Year; J & L Cattle Service, Jeromesville, Ohio - Seedstock Producer of the Year; Kyle Nickles, Sycamore, Ohio - Young Cattleman of the Year; Representative Brian Hill, Zanesville, Ohio - Industry Service; Gibbs Farms, Maplewood, Ohio - Environmental Stewardship; and E.R. Boliantz Co., Ashland, Ohio - Industry Excellence.
Awards in these categories were sponsored by the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association with Farm and Dairy, Farm World, Ohio Farmer, Ohio’s Country Journal, In Ohio Country Today and Brownfield Ag News, respectively.
Award videos were sponsored by the Ohio Angus Association, Centerra Co-op, Heffelfinger’s Meats, Inc., Muskingum County Cattlemen’s Association, Kalmbach Feeds, Certified Angus Beef brand, respectively.