More than 70 beef cattle producers and their families enjoyed the annual Monroe County Cattlemen’s Association (MCCA) Summertime Steak Fry & Potluck Supper at the Farm Bureau Building in Madisonville on Aug. 10.

Alan Thomas of Zoetis Animal Health sponsored the meal and gave an informative talk on protecting cattle from various diseases. Thomas has played an important role in the success of graded feeder calf sales held at the East Tennessee Livestock Center in Sweetwater for many years, and is a familiar face in this area. In 2018, the MCCA nominated him for the Tennessee Cattlemen’s Association Business Person of the Year, a title which he won.

Jennifer Houston of Sweetwater, who is the current National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) president, gave a very interesting and factual report of her activities on a national basis, on behalf of the NCBA. She has traveled all over the nation and to several foreign countries. She is currently involved in foreign trade agreements, fake meat legislation, US–Canada–Mexico Trade Agreement discussions, and has been to the White House 10 times. She has been involved in organized agriculture for a long time, and is using her experience very effectively as the head of the organization representing the entire beef industry in America.

Jonathan Rhea, the Monroe County agent discussed the Disaster Animal Relief Team (DART) Program. It is a network of farmers and interested people to be called in the event of an animal emergency such as a semi-trailer wreck, barn fire, tornado, etc.

Transporting animals involved in such events, to the East Tennessee Livestock Center, other farmer’s corrals, etc. has proven to be a very helpful concept in other areas of Tennessee.

Several people signed up to volunteer, so Monroe County now has a DART group in place.

David Bilderback discussed some agriculture economics of interest to beef producers, and mentioned UT Agriculture Extension programs coming up that would be of interest to beef producers.

On Oct. 17, the MCCA and the Soil Conservation Service will co-sponsor a day for the Monroe County Chamber of Commerce Leadership Monroe Class, involving Beef and Dairy Production, Ag Economics, and agribusiness with its impact on the economy of Monroe County. The annual Business Meeting and Banquet is scheduled for Jan. 20, 2020, at the Farm Bureau’s building in Madisonville.

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