Greeley, CO – Over 250 producers, industry partners, students, government and agency representatives met at the Colorado Livestock Association (CLA) Annual Meeting & Colorado’s Finest Celebration on April 5-6, 2017 at the Embassy Suites in Loveland. CLA’s Annual Meeting is one of the largest gatherings of livestock producers and trade show vendors in Colorado.
CLA Species Councils met to conduct business and discuss issues specific to their industries on Wednesday afternoon. In the evening, members mingled at the Welcome Reception and dined on exceptional cuts of beef, lamb and pork at the Colorado’s Finest Celebration, an annual event held in honor of Colorado’s livestock producers sponsored by Pinnacol Assurance.
Thursday morning kicked off early with the Annual Membership Meeting at which the membership elected Tom Wernsman to serve as Treasurer for a one year term and Board Members Britt Dinis, Luke Larson, and Justin Miller each for three year terms. In addition, the membership recognized and thanked outgoing Board Member Dave Amundson for his service to the Association.
The featured panel stimulated great discussion on the events in ‘The First 77 Days of the Trump Administration’ and on how President Trump’s policies will affect American agriculture. Panelists were Jackie Klippenstein, VP of Industry and Legislative Affairs, Dairy Farmers of America, Colin Woodall, VP of Government Affairs, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Michael Formica, Assistant VP, Domestic Affairs & Counsel, National Pork Producers Council. This dynamic panel was moderated by Thad Lively, Senior VP for Trade Access, with the U.S. Meat Export Federation.
The Past President’s Luncheon, was held in honor of the past leadership of the Association to recognize them for their service to the livestock industry in Colorado. Colorado Livestock Association honored Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture, Don Brown, with the Top Choice Award CLA’s most prestigious honor. “Commissioner Brown wears agriculture on his sleeve and is a great spokesperson, who tells the story of agriculture on behalf of farmers and ranchers in Colorado,” said Bill Hammerich, CEO of CLA. “He modestly introduces himself as ‘a farmer and rancher who happens to be the Commissioner of Agriculture’ and CLA is honored to recognize him for his contributions to our state.” CLA President Nolan Stone gave an overview of what the Association has been working on over the past year including; Rocky Mountain National Park, nutrient criteria, compost regulations, and animal welfare legislation. Nolan also gave an outlook for the future and priorities in the coming year.
Following lunch, JoAnn Winks, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, shared her experience as the Assistant Port Director for Trade at the Denver International Airport where her team works to protect America’s agriculture industry and the nation’s food supply from global threats and unknowing smugglers of animal disease. Attendees also watched a demonstration given by Joann and Bryce the Beagle on how they handle suspected threats. The afternoon also featured Donna Moenning, Center for Food Integrity, who shared key insights from their recently released transparency research that each member of the CLA can apply in their individual operations and through the Association.
Colorado Livestock Association would like to sincerely thank all of the sponsors of the annual meeting for their continued support of the livestock industry. Mark your calendars for the 2018 Annual Meeting April 4-5 at the Embassy Suites in Loveland!