For the last 93 years, the North Dakota Stockmen’s Association (NDSA) has been uniting, protecting, promoting, educating and serving North Dakota’s beef industry. NDSA members will be celebrating the organization’s achievements, selecting new leaders and re-commiting to “All In” support of the beef cattle industry during the NDSA Annual Convention & Trade Show Sept. 22-24 at the Bismarck Hotel and Conference Center (formerly the Ramkota Hotel) in Bismarck, N.D. The event will feature an educational series, informational speakers, policy-development sessions, business, networking and fun.
Thursday, Sept. 22
The convention begins on Thursday morning at 9 a.m. with a Golf Scramble and Hole-in-One Contest at Prairie West Golf Course in Mandan, N.D. Golfers can enter by contacting Scott Ressler, the Golf Scramble chairman, at (701) 223-2522 or (701) 391-7310.
The NDSA Board of Directors will be gathering for its quarterly meeting at the Bismarck Hotel and Conference Center at 10 a.m.
The Cattlemen’s Education Series will follow with buses loading at 1 p.m. and departing from the Bismarck Hotel and Conference Center at 1:15 p.m. for the Walt Neuens Memorial Horse Arena. The Cattlemen’s Education Series, a stockmanship and cattle-handling workshop, will feature low-stress cattle handling demonstrations, Beef Quality Assurance protocols, facility design discussions and tips for efficient and effective livestock handling with industry experts Dr. Ron Gill, Curt Pate, Jerry Yates and Lisa Pederson. The program will include live cattle, horses and an ATV. In case of inclement weather, the program will move to Kist Livestock in Mandan.
After the Cattlemen’s Education Series, there will be social and the opening of the NDSA Trade Show, which will feature 53 allied industry vendors. Convention-goers can earn a chance to win a grand prize by visiting the Trade Show vendors. Supper and the presentation of the golf awards and the “Riding for the Brand” recognitions will take place at Thursday’s supper. To close out the evening, attendees are invited back to the Trade Show to visit with industry professionals when the Trade Show resumes at 8 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 23
The NDSA Trade Show will reopen on Friday morning at 8 a.m., with the opening business session following at 8:45 a.m. Besides business, NDSA Nominating Committee reports and the Candidates’ Forum, the session will include a presentation by National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President-Elect Todd Wilkinson, who will share highlights from and answer questions about the organization’s Policy and Federation Divisions, with updates about the upcoming farm bill, Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule challenges, cattle marketing legislation and traceability. Wilkinson is co-owner and operator of a cow-calf operation in De Smet, S.D., and Redstone Feeders, a family-owned feeding and finishing operation. In addition, Wilkinson has practiced law for more than 38 years, specializing in estate planning and agricultural law.
Following lunch, the “nuts and bolts” of the convention will begin with the policy committee meetings. Members will hear from industry experts on topics like Food and Drug Administration’s Rule 263 antibiotic rule, anticipated Animal Disease Traceability regulation adjustments, the electronic brand inspection program, the 30×30 plan, weed control resources, new WOTUS challenges, local-food school foodservice opportunities, the cattle contract library pilot project and Livestock Market Reporting reauthorization possibilities.
When the work is done, it will be time to have some fun at the “All In” Casino Night. A social begins at 6 p.m., with supper following at 7 p.m. and the casino games beginning at 8 p.m. Participants will test their luck and show their best hand during this Vegas-themed event. Come dressed Vegas style to win fun prizes.
Saturday, Sept. 24
At 8 a.m. Saturday, activities will resume and convention-goers will hear from a powerful line-up of speakers.
Dr. David Ripplinger will be the first to take the stage on Saturday morning. Ripplinger is a professor, Extension bioproducts specialist and bioenergy economist for North Dakota State University. He will discuss foundational concepts of carbon trading, considerations for managing the development of credits, risk and opportunities associated with entering a carbon credit contract and economic market considerations in his address, “Foundational Concepts of Carbon Trading.” The goal is to inform cattle producers so they can make educated decisions regarding this emerging market.
Patrick Linnell, market analyst and manager of special projects with CattleFax, will also take the stage to give a cattle and beef market outlook. Linnell leads the fundamental analysis and forecasting of cattle and beef markets for CattleFax, serves as the main point of contact for its producer members in the Western region and helps them with risk management strategies.
After a brief break, NDSA and North Dakota Stockmen’s Foundation Building Committee Chairman Dan Rorvig, a McVille, N.D., cattleman, will share a progress report on the organizations’ ongoing Building Campaign and Jess Nehl, certified public accountant and senior tax manager at Eide Bailly, LLP., will suggest factors that producers should consider when charitable giving to maximize their gifts and their benefits.
The Foundation Luncheon will follow at noon. In addition to lunch, it will include scholarship presentations and Foundation board and intern recognitions.
Business resumes at 1:30 p.m. in the closing session. Committee chairmen will offer their reports, and members will discuss and vote on policy resolutions and select officers and directors to lead the organization for the 2022-2023 year.
Top-recruiter prizes, including a Henry Golden Boy Lever-Action .45 caliber rifle and $2,050 in Bull Bucks, will be awarded that afternoon. New members and the recruiters of new members are eligible for the Bull Bucks drawing. The winner must be present to win.
A banquet social will begin at 6 p.m.
The annual banquet follows at 7 p.m. and will include the recognition of long-time employees, as well as outstanding members selected for the Honorary Local Brand Inspectors, Honorary Membership, Rancher of the Year, Environmental Stewardship and Top Hand Awards.
To top off the convention, Amberley Snyder will give a keynote address, “There Is No Future In Giving Up.” Snyder was born in California as the second of six children and fell in love with horses at a young age. She began barrel racing when her family moved to Utah at the age of 7 and she competed in junior rodeos and high school rodeos, winning multiple titles and awards. In January 2010, Snyder was involved in a rollover truck accident, leaving her paralyzed from the waist down. Eighteen months after that day, with a seatbelt on her saddle, she returned to competing in rodeo. She now competes in the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association in barrel racing. In 2018, Netflix released a movie based on her life entitled “Walk, Ride, Rodeo,” where she was her own stunt double for the film. Snyder will share her story of triumph over tragedy, hoping to motivate others to believe in themselves and get back on the horse.
Full, one-day and student registrations are available ahead of time or on-site. Throughout the event, attendees will have a chance to win great prizes, including cash, a Samsung Smart TV, gift cards, a Bison Back Country Cooler package and a grill.
A block of rooms has been reserved at the Bismarck Hotel and Conference Center. To make reservations, call (701) 258-7700.