The National Cattlemen's Beef Association's new president, Jim McAdams, assumes responsibility as several contentious issues batter the beef industry.

McAdams, a beef producer from Adkins, TX, is facing such challenges as re-opening Asian export markets and border relations with Canada.

Mike John, Huntsville, MO, is president elect; and John Queen, Waynesville, NC, is vice president. NCBA's policy division will be chaired by Paul Hitch, OK, with Andy Groseta, AZ, as vice chair. The Federation of State Beef Councils, which oversees checkoff funds, named Myron Williams, SD, as chairman; and Mike Vache, OK, as vice chair.

The NCBA Canadian trade delegation presented its findings during the International Markets committee meeting. The report showed the Canadian feed ban appears to be in place, processing procedures include line segregation and dedicated facilities to separate animals, Canadian cattle imports must be age-verified, and they estimated that 200,000-300,000 head of feeder cattle — not the 2 million head previously estimated by the USDA — could be exported to the U.S. in the next year. Factors that include expanded slaughter capacity in Canada, a weaker U.S. dollar, transaction costs and border requirements would limit Canadian exports.

Membership then developed a directive for NCBA staff to resolve a list of conditions before trade is resumed. The 11-point list included prohibiting the importation of cattle and beef products more than 30 months of age, assurance that all Canadian firewalls are in place to prevent BSE, harmonize other animal health standards — like anaplasmosis and bluetongue, prohibit USDA stamps and grades from being used on imported beef products, branding feeder cattle with a “CAN” and individually ID with an ear tag to certify cattle are less than 30 months of age before slaughter, and tie the opening of the Asian export markets to U.S. beef with opening the border to Canada.

NCBA members approved a national animal ID proposal that would enhance animal health surveillance while providing industry oversight.

Allen Bright, Ellsworth, NE, and chairman of NCBA's Animal ID Commission, says: “The proposal gives cattlemen one more tool to control their own destinies… It would go a long way toward resolving concerns about confidentiality.”

The proposal includes a multi-species database that would include cattle, swine and sheep, allows USDA and state veterinarians access for disease surveillance, but would be managed by a livestock industry representative.

Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns addressed convention attendees in his first speech outside Washington, D.C., since taking office.

Johanns praised the NCBA-USDA relationship and emphasized the importance of restoring Asian export markets and re-establishing trade with Canada.

“Making short-term, popular decisions is not good for the long-term interest of the cattle industry,” Johanns says of live cattle exports resuming from Canada. “If a country is determined to be ‘minimal risk,’ then trade should resume. It's the same we would ask of any country dealing with us.”

He also outlined increases farm programs will receive in President Bush's fiscal 2006 budget proposal. While not giving details, which were revealed by the President the following week, he did announce increases of $37 million in conservation assistance, $10 million in the Grazing Lands Conservation initiative, $144 million in the Food and Agriculture Defense Initiative, $34 million for the Healthy Forests Initiative, as well as $7.3 million for BSE research.

Al Svajgr, stocker and feedlot operator from Cozad, NE, is the 2005 Cattlemen's Beef Board (CBB) chairman. Svajgr, a 2000 CBB appointee, owns and manages a 5,000-head/year stocker-backgrounder operation and co-owns a 30,000-head feedlot.

Other officers include Jay O'Brien, an Amarillo, TX, producer serving as vice president; and Ken Stielow, owner of Bar S Ranch, Paradise, KS, serving as secretary/treasurer.

Eric Davis, Bruneau, ID, was elected 2005 Cattle-Fax president. He is president of Bruneau Cattle Co., a family-owned cow-calf and feedlot business. He's served as NCBA president in 2003, and held leadership roles in both Idaho's Cattlemen's Association and Beef Council.

John Maddox, a Wauneta, NE, cattle feeder, is vice president. He's owner/manager of Bentz Valley Inc.

Marlene Strickland, Sarasota, FL, is the American National Cattle-Women's (ANCW) 54th president. She's charged with helping ANCW through a transition year as it looks more closely at the needs of cattlewomen.

During convention, ANCW conducted five focus group discussions to learn about changing needs and how ANCW can best serve those needs.

Strickland is a former Florida CattleWomen president and served on the executive committee for ANCW as the Region II director, president elect and vice president. She and husband, Don, raise Angus cattle and have been 4-H leaders for 30 years.

The 2006 Beef Industry Long Range Planning (LRP) group was named. The 15-member group will conduct its planning work in 2005 and present its findings at the 2006 annual meeting. This group is charged with charting a successful road map to increase beef demand and enhance the business climate for cattle and beef.

Members include Dee Lacey, CA, chairman; Paul Avery, FL; Donnell Brown, TX; Brad Graham, NC; John Hayes, IL; Jack Hunt, TX; Steve Hunt, MO; Troy Marshall, CO; Jackie Moore, MO; Bill O'Brien, TX; Robert Rebholtz, ID; Bill Rupp, KS; Mike Thoren, CO; Richard Waybright, PA; and Roger West, FL.

The last LRP group was convened in 2001.

The Cattle Learning Center debuted at the 2005 Cattle Industry Annual Convention. The center is sponsored by Pfizer Animal Health through a $3-million grant Pfizer provided National Cattlemen's Foundation (NCF) last year.

The center offers courses producers can take at home — via print or DVD. The first curriculum will cover cattle reproduction, and five parts will become available over the coming months. To learn more, visit

Other initiatives will be offered through partnerships with RFD-TV and in meetings using the Producer Meeting Tool Box. “The Cattle Show,” an RFD-TV series on beef production economics, premiered Feb. 1.