Montana Stockgrowers Association sends two attendees to elite cattle industry conference
Representing Montana Stockgrowers Association, Ariel Overstreet-Adkins and Andy Kellom participated in the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s 2016 Young Cattlemen’s Conference. Over 50 cattle producers from across the country and across the industry attended the conference.
Andy Kellom hales from Hobson, MT. He is currently cattle manager for Bos Terra LP which is a 15,000 head feedlot and up to 7,000 head stocker operation. Andy is responsible for day-to-day cattle management.
Andy was born and raised in Dubois, Idaho. He was involved with his family’s ranch from a young age. Andy’s love of the beef cattle business started here, as well as days working on many neighboring family ranches in the area.
Andy attended Montana State University where he received a bachelor’s degree in Animal Science in 2002. From there he worked on the cowboy crew of the 1.5 million acre IL Ranch in northern Nevada. He then spent two years as head cowboy for Harris Feeding Company which is a 100,000+ head feedlot and vertically integrated beef operation in Coalinga, California. Andy then became involved with the Montana Beef Network which was an MSU extension program that dealt mainly with Animal ID as it related to Montana ranchers. Andy was instrumental in the startup of Verified Beef LLC which is a company that at the time offered Source and Age, NHTC, and Never Ever 3 Natural certifications to cow- calf operations throughout Montana and surrounding states.
Ariel Overstreet-Adkins is a 2016 graduate of the University of Montana School of Law. Ariel’s article “Extraordinary Protections for the Industry that Feeds Us: Examining a Potential Constitutional Right to Farm and Ranch in Montana,” was published by the Montana Law Review in February. In August, she will begin a yearlong clerkship for a U.S. District Court. Then she will work as an associate attorney at the Moulton Bellingham law firm in Billings, focusing on ag, water, property, and natural resource law.
Ariel was named a W.D. Farr Scholar by the National Cattlemen’s Foundation in 2014. Prior to law school, Ariel served as director of communications and lobbyist for the Montana Stockgrowers Association for five years. She graduated from Princeton University with a degree in cultural anthropology where her senior thesis was entitled: “Growing Up Cowboy: High School Rodeo in Montana.” Ariel grew up on her family’s horse ranch in Big Timber.
She and her husband, Zac, raise a few acres of alfalfa in Helena. Ariel is currently serving as vice president of the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame & Western Heritage Center.
NCBA’s YCC program is an opportunity for these young leaders to gain an understanding of all aspects of the beef industry from pasture to plate, and showcase the industry’s involvement in policy making, issues management, research, education and marketing.
Beginning at the NCBA headquarters in Denver, Colo., the group got an inside look at many of the issues affecting the beef industry and the work being done on both the state and national level to address these issues on behalf of the NCBA membership. While in Denver, participants were given an organizational overview of NCBA and the Beef Checkoff Program and CattleFax provided a comprehensive overview of the current cattle market and emerging trends. At Safeway, the participants received a first-hand account of the retail perspective of the beef business and then toured the JBS Five Rivers’ Kuner feedyard, one of the largest in the nation, and the JBS Greeley packing and processing plant.
From Denver, the group traveled to Chicago where they visited McDonald’s Campus and OSI, one of the nation’s premiere beef patty producers. After the brief stop in Chicago, the group concluded their trip in Washington D.C., for an in-depth issues briefing on current policy issues including international trade and increasing environmental regulations. Following the issues update, the participants were given the opportunity to visit one-on-one with members of their state’s congressional delegation, expressing their viewpoints regarding the beef industry and their cattle operations. John Deere then hosted a reception in the evening at their office.
The following morning, the group then traveled to Aldie, Va., for a tour and barbecue at Whitestone Farms, one of the nation’s elite purebred Angus operations.
With the beef industry changing rapidly, identifying and educating leaders has never been so important. As a grassroots trade association representing the beef industry the NCBA is proud to play a role in that process and its future success. Over 1,000 cattlemen and women have graduated from the YCC program since its inception in 1980. Many of these alumni have gone to serve in state and national committees, councils and boards. YCC is the cornerstone of leadership training in the cattle industry.