Contact: Chancey Hanson, Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association
OCA Hosts 61st Annual OCA Convention
Embracing Technology, Enhancing Productions, Evolving Policy
MIDWEST CITY, OK, JULY 25, 26 & 27 -The 61st Annual Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association Convention and Trade Show was held July 25, 26 and 27 at the Reed Conference Center in Midwest City, Okla. More than 1000 were in attendance over the span of the three-day event to: develop OCA policy and attend committee meetings; listen to informative speakers; attend the large trade show and recognize outstanding OCA members.
Thursday morning started with the Annual BEEF PAC golf tournament held at John Conrad Golf Course in Midwest City, Okla. That afternoon, the first business items were the Beef Production and Beef Business Committee meetings where expiring and new resolutions were reviewed and sent to the resolution committee for consideration. Thursday evening 112 tradeshow exhibitors welcomed convention attendees with an opening tradeshow reception complete with drinks and hors d'oeurves. Later that evening, the OCA's Cattlemen's Leadership Academy and OCA Top Hand ice-cream social was held with standing room only.
Friday morning began by paying honor to our nation and our industry. The Oklahoma Junior Cattlemen's Association officers shared a tribute followed by the National Anthem performed by Jennifer Bedwell, Isabella, Okla. OCA President Elect, Richard Gebhart, Claremore, Okla., presented this year's Guy Shull Memorial Scholarship to Sara Green from Grove, Okla. Also during the opening general session, keynote speaker, Forrest Roberts, CEO of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association gave an inspiring presentation about the current state of the beef industry and encouraged producers to get involved in telling their story.
Friday's agenda was full including Oklahoma Junior Cattlemen's Association leadership activities, various luncheons and receptions as well as the informative OSU/OCA Cattlemen's College opportunities.
The annual OCA/OCW/ OJCA awards banquet took place Friday evening. The crowd of more than 450 witnessed Jim Birdwell, Fletcher, Okla., being named 2013 OCA Cattleman of the Year. State representative Skye McNeil, Bristow, Okla., and Senator Mark Allen, Spiro, Okla.,were presented the Legislative Appreciation Awards and Mike Johnson of Dupont received the Allied Industry Award. Several other awards were presented along with prizes for membership recruiting. In addition, a live benefit auction was held during the banquet. More than $11,000 was raised to benefit the OK BEEF PAC. Thank you to everyone who bought and bid on items.
Following the banquet, the crowd moved to the patio where the Cattlemen's Social was held and the A Bar Bunkhouse Band from Claremore, Okla., entertained the crowd with good old fashioned western swing music.
Brandon Baumgarten, past Oklahoma FFA President, was the keynote speaker Saturday morning at the inspirational breakfast. Baumgarten offered a lighthearted, yet inspirational presentation entitled, "Destination Unknown" to kick off the last day.
The next item on the OCA Convention agenda was the General Business Meeting, presided by OCA president, Mike Frey, Kingfisher, Okla. The resolutions were presented and approved by the OCA members present followed by reports from the OCA Staff, election of new officers and the recognition of outgoing officers and directors. The newly elected members of the OCA Executive Committee include: Richard Gebhart, OCA President; Charlie Swanson, OCA President-Elect; Tom Fanning, Northwest District Vice President; and Pete Nichols, Southwest District Vice President. Newly elected district directors include: Tracy Walker, Northwest; Zeb Prawl, North Central Director; Jess Kane, Northeast Director; Danny Maddox, Southwest Director; Brent Kuehny, South-Central; and Russell Boles, Southeast Director.
The OSU/OCA Cattlemen's College Session III was the final event on the convention agenda. Heather Buckmaster, Executive Director of the Oklahoma Beef Council, gave a Checkoff Update and Dr. Darrell Peel of OSU provided the attendees with the Cattle Market Outlook.
The 2013 OCA Convention and Trade Show, marks 61 years of protecting the livelihood of Oklahoma beef producers. Special thanks to the sponsors, speakers, trade show venders and all of those in attendance.