The 2015 NACAA AM/PIC in South Dakota was my first experience with a national meeting. I wanted to provide some insight to those who maybe looking to travel to Arkansas next year and let them know it is not a troublesome task to make the trip to a national meeting.

Our state association does a fantastic job on providing financial assistance for those who WANT to attend these national meetings. If you are willing to provide just a little information about UGA Extension through a seminar or poster, GACAA provides even more assistance. I know we have amazing young agents in Georgia and believe other states would benefit from the information we could provide. So, at this year’s state meeting in Tifton, GA, ask your senior or junior district director about the upcoming national meeting.

Posters, Seminars, Super-Seminars and Tours

The information provided by the poster presentations, seminars and super seminars was awesome. No matter what area an agent focuses in, they would have been satisfied with the wide range of topics presented at the meeting.


I must admit, the tour at the end of the week was what I was most excited about and it did not disappoint.

Stop 1: Tyson Fresh Meats Dakota City, Nebraska


Tyson is one of the largest food companies in the world and this facility is the largest beef slaughter facility in the world.  Originally, this plant was apart of Iowa Beef Processors (IBP) and that IBP symbol is still used on the meats you may come across in the grocery store.  To be the largest in the world the production numbers have to be big and they are. With 4,000 workers running on two 8 hour shifts a day on a 5 day week, this plant can process 7,200 cattle a day!

Stop 2: Feedlot in Sioux Center, Iowa

This feedlot will hold 10,000 fat cattle at any one given time and is one of the larger operations in the county. As we drove around, it was common to see a small feedlot in someones backyard that housed a few hundred head. Sioux County was the county and it was a HUGE livestock county, with 100,000 cattle in the county just in feedlots. This operation was unique because part of its waste management was composting manure and selling it to lawn and garden companies.


Stop 3: Trans Ova Genetics Sioux Center, Iowa

Just up the road from the feedlot we stopped at a place that was really pushing the envelope for genetic improvement in beef and dairy cattle. Trans Ova Genetics not only does Embryo Transfer (ET), but also cloning, invitro fertilization and sexed semen artificial insemination (AI).



I spoke on the information you gain from this trip but also you do truly meet some great folks at this meeting. I met agents from Montana, West Virginia and Kansas just on this Beef tour and had an opportunity to talk about Extension and how it differed from state to state. So, if you are interested in traveling to Arkansas in 2016, Utah in 2017 or Chattanooga, TN in 2018 I promise it is not tough to get there and you will enjoy your time at this national meeting.

Posted in: