Search for Excellence in Livestock Production

Sarah D Baker
Extension Educator
Custer County

Baker, S.D.*1, , Church, J.*2, , Small, M.*3, , Wilmore, Carmen*4,
1 Extension Educator, UNIVERSITY OF IDAHO, Challis, ID, 83226
2 Extension Educator, University of Idaho Extension, Grangeville, I,
3 Extension Educator, University of Idaho Extension, Blackfoot, ID,
4 Extension Educator, University of Idaho Extension, Shoshone, ID,

The cattle industry in Idaho is one of the leading agriculture industries in the state. In 2015, University of Idaho Extension faculty developed a program to educate young beef producers across the state following input gathered and priorities set from Idaho beef producers. The Idaho Young Cattle Producer Conference (YCC), a three-day educational conference for young beef producers (age 18-40) was developed. To date, four conferences have been held: 2017 – Twin Falls, 2018 – Caldwell, 2019 – Lewiston, and 2020 – Burley. The conference is limited to 20 participants, who are nominated and selected by the committee. The YCC’s primary objective is to develop leadership qualities in young cattle producers and expose them to all aspects of the beef industry through educational presentations, hands-on learning, and industry tours. Topics from the YCC include: overview of the cattle industry, meat cutting demonstration, issues facing young cattle producers, financing a cattle operation, risk management, herd health, marketing cattle, public land grazing, and becoming involved in the industry. Tour stops include a cow-calf operation, packing plant, feedlot, and a purebred cattle or stocker operation. Twenty young cattle producers participated in the YCC each year and evaluated the program upon its completion. All of the participant surveyed indicated they would recommend this conference to others. On a scale of 1 – 5 (1 = not at all; 5 = very likely), the average response of participants was 4.9 when asked “Will what you learned and experienced at YCC provide economic value to your operation?” and “Do you intend to put any of what you learned to use in your operation?”. With the beef industry changing so rapidly, identifying and educating leaders to help guide and strengthen the industry has never been so important. With the excellent evaluations and feedback from industry, the University of Idaho Extension will continue to take the lead in educating and providing opportunities to young cattle producers in the state of Idaho for years to come. Planning is underway for the 2021 YCC program, which will be held in Salmon in conjunction with the Idaho Cattle Association midyear meeting.