New events designed especially for young people will give an extra kick to the 2009 Cattle Industry Convention and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) Trade Show in Phoenix, Ariz. Jan. 28-31, 2009. The programs, for young people ages 9 to young adult, are focused on education, leadership and teamwork. They are being exclusively sponsored by a grant from the Farm Credit System Foundation.

The events are being coordinated by the NCBA and include the NCBA Team Marketing Contest, NCBA Beef Quiz Bowl Contest, NCBA Prepared Public Speaking Contest and the NCBA Cattle Judging Contest.

“We’re thrilled to be able to offer these events for young people attending the Cattle Industry Convention,” says Andy Groseta, a beef producer from North Central Arizona and NCBA president. “The next generation of beef producers deserves our attention and encouragement. These programs will provide valuable instruction as well as entertainment for the younger convention-goers in January.”

The team marketing contest will encourage team participation while promoting development of communication skills, marketing techniques and an understanding of cattle performance information. The Beef Quiz Bowl offers opportunities to demonstrate knowledge related to the cattle industry, while the public speaking contest stimulates interest in leadership through presentation skills. The judging contest will include a novice division (under age 9 or, if it’s their first judging contest, under age 11); junior division (ages 9-14); senior division (ages 14 to 19); and college division.

The activities for young people at the convention are part of a larger effort by the NCBA to boost efforts directed at those who will lead the cattle industry in the future. That effort includes a new Young Producers Council directed at people ages 18 to 35, allowing them to interact with other young producers, enhance their leadership abilities and further their professional development. The Council’s first meeting will be at the 2009 Convention.

“These are the kinds of opportunities our young people need to thrive in this industry, both now and in the future,” Groseta says. “The more we can do to provide for the needs of our young people, the more we can assure the success of the cattle industry down the road.”