Sunday, January 09, 2011

The beef industry ushers in 2011


[ Photo captions -- Top: California Cattlemen's Association past president Tom Talbot (left) talks with Bill Donald, incoming president of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association. Middle: From left, Talbot, University of California-Davis graduate student Roxann Brooks and UC-Davis researcher Jeffrey Stott give an update on efforts to develop a vaccine for foothill abortion. Bottom: People socialize and examine silent auction items before the Tehama County Cattlemen's and CattleWomen's annual dinner Saturday night in Red Bluff, Calif. ]

A near record crowd gathered in Red Bluff, Calif., on Saturday night for the annual Tehama County Cattlemen's and CattleWomen's dinner and auction to raise funds for a scholarship program. The event was held at the Tehama District Fair grounds.

The packed house welcomed several beef industry dignitaries, including incoming National Cattlemen's Beef Association president Bill Donald, a Montana rancher, and new California Cattlemen's Association president Kevin Kester. Also on hand was U.S. Rep. Wally Herger of Northern California, the top Western Republican on the powerful Ways and Means Committee, as well as newly sworn in state Sen. Doug LaMalfa and second-term Assemblyman Jim Nielsen.

Among newsworthy goings-on during the evening:

-- In a presentation before the dinner, University of California-Davis researchers told area ranchers that progress is being made in the effort to develop a vaccine for foothill abortion, a tick-carried malady that kills calf fetuses. A federal licensing application process has begun, and an interim vaccine should be in the field within the next couple of years.

-- Donald, who will take over in February for outgoing NCBA president Steve Foglesong, said he wants to usher in a new spirit of cooperation with other national beef organizations after the industry was fractured last year over the debate over GIPSA. A one-time R-CALF member in its early days, Donald said dueling press releases between organizations doesn't help the industry.

For more details on these issues, check early this week.

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