San Antonio, Texas – The Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) hosted their first annual Policy Conference Sept. 23-25 at The Westin Riverwalk in San Antonio, Texas. The meeting served as an opportunity for TSCRA members, leaders and staff to discuss current issues facing the beef industry and for TSCRA policy committees to conduct business.
The conference began on Wednesday in San Antonio, Texas, where association members, leaders and guests gathered to discuss a variety of topics. Attendees received a presentation about the current state of Texas politics and the 2016 elections from Evan Smith, editor-in-chief and CEO of The Texas Tribune. TSCRA members also heard a cattle market outlook and update from Dr. David Anderson, Professor and Extension Economist, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.
Cattlemen and women heard from many speakers during policy committee meetings on Thursday about a number of important issues, including property rights, wildfire response and forecast, animal health, food safety, risk management, and beef market exports. Dr. Todd Armstrong, Senior Director of U.S. Beef Operations, Elanco Animal Health, spoke to attendees about how cattle raisers can provide access to an affordable, healthy and stable food supply to feed a rapidly growing population. TSCRA also heard remarks from Gov. Greg Abbott about the 84th Legislative Session and what challenges lay ahead for ranchers and landowners.
The conference concluded on Friday with a board of director’s meeting. Attendees heard updates on TSCRA activities in the areas of member recruitment, law enforcement, young leadership programs and government affairs from association leaders and staff. Speakers included an overview of the Young Cattlemen’s Conference (YCC) trip from this year’s participants and an overview of the 2016-2020 Beef Industry Long Range Plan.
“The TSCRA Policy Conference was a huge success,” said TSCRA President Pete Bonds. “We had a strong lineup of speakers who discussed many important issues of interest to cattle ranchers and landowners. Additionally, the feedback and priorities we received from the TSCRA policy committees at the conference are invaluable and will help guide our association as we continue being actively involved in many state and federal issues. I look forward to seeing our members again soon at either a ranch gathering over the next few months or at our next Cattle Raisers Convention being held April 8-10, 2016.”
TSCRA is a 138-year-old trade association and is the largest and oldest livestock organization based in Texas. TSCRA has more than 17,000 beef cattle operations, ranching families and businesses as members. These members represent approximately 50,000 individuals directly involved in ranching and beef production who manage 4 million head of cattle on 76 million acres of range and pasture land primarily in Texas and Oklahoma, but throughout the Southwest.