- The Turnout – The FCA Convention was just held in June at the Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort, golf club & Spa. With approximately 1,350 in attendance, the FCA convention 2010 turnout was in line with recent years.[emember_protected custom_msg=”Click here and register now to read the rest of the article!”]
- Let the Show Begin – With over 120 vendors at the trade show, there was a diverse array of business professionals. The companies attending included a variety of businesses serving the cattle industry, including banking institutions, feed companies, equipment dealers, animal health companies, seed stock producers, hat makers, tack distributors, and much more!
- Keynote Speakers – The President of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Steve Foglesong, spoke on current legislative and regulatory news from Washington. Lana Slaten, who is President of the American National Cattle Women Association, gave an update on Beef Promotion at the National Level. Dr. Jack Payne, Senior Vice President, IFAS, University of Florida, and Dr. Brent Sellers, Weed Scientist, UF IFAS, FCA Researcher of the Year were also speakers at the event.
- Panel Discussion – Executive Directors from 4 of the 5 Florida Water management Districts: Carol Wehle of SFWMD, David Still of Suwannee River WMD, David Moore of SWFWMD, and Kirby Green of St. Johns WMD, all took part in a panel discussion on state of their respective districts, as well as the Numeric Nutrient Criteria being imposed by EPA on Florida.
- Going Once – Going Twice – Sold! – Two auctions were held at the convention, selling everything from art to livestock. The silent auction featured an array of products including art, furnishings, equipment, and even animal health products.
- The CattleWomen – With 150 guests at their Welcome Social, and another 120 guests in attendance at their Membership Breakfast on Thursday morning, CattleWomen, Inc. is a substantial cog in the wheel of FCA. Their mission is to “involve and support members in maintaining and building consumer need and desires for beef through education and promotion and to promote a positive image of the beef cattle industry.” (Floridacattlemen.org/cattlewomen)
- The Culture – Jack Taylor, a man widely known as the Cowboy Poet, is an established writer from Texas who entertained attendees at the CattleWomen’s Welcome Social with poetry about ranch life, human nature, and a little political commentary.
- FCA Sweethearts – The FCA Sweetheart Contest featured nine lovely ladies, each to represent their home county. The candidates were given written exams on the beef industry, gave a power point presentation, answered impromptu questions on stage at the youth luncheon, and were interviewed twice by the judges. They were judged based on their communication skills, personality, appearance, knowledge of the beef industry, and overall impression. The newly crowned 2010 FCA Sweetheart is Kelly Davis from Manatee County.
- The Art – Deon Kempfer, a Cattlewoman from Osceola County was the featured artist for the CattleWomen programs during the event. The masterfully portrayed pen and ink print entitled, The Paradise of Our Daily Lives was a much sought after piece, and was graciously donated to be awarded as a door prize.
- The Candidate Forum – While their was much fun to be had by all, the event was all business when it came to the two candidates running for Commissioner of Agriculture, who spoke at the Candidate Forum: Congressman Adam Putnam and Mr. Scott Maddox, came to address the convention attendees and the current political issues surrounding the cattle industry.
The candidates were given written exams on the beef industry, gave a power point presentation, answered impromptu questions on stage at the youth luncheon, and were interviewed twice by the judges. They were judged based on their communication skills, personality, appearance, knowledge of the beef industry and overall impression.
story by SARAH-JANE POTTER