LINCOLN - Nebraska Cattlemen (NC) once again reflects on membership and leadership happenings as another year passes.
Nebraska Cattlemen started the year off with excitement about the big move to the newly constructed office building as well as the formation of a professional business relationship with the Harry A. Koch Co. to create NCIG. This entity is a joint venture to offer insurance products of all types to NC members, with a percentage to be remitted to NCIG. The Board's primary motivation for this joint venture was to address the critical challenge of escalating health care costs. With HAK & Co. seeking out NC to offer this opportunity, it allows a path to a significant member benefit the association has never had previously.
March brought devastation in the form of bomb cyclone Ulmer, impacting the entire state, it's people, cattle and the beef community. The sever and negative impacts will continue to challenge Nebraska Cattlemen and its members moving forward. In order to help those cattlemen and women in need NC formed the Nebraska Cattlemen Disaster Relief Fund and generated $1.7 million in donations all of which went to the applicants of the fund.
Another event that caused significant financial and emotional hardship on cattle and beef producers was the fire at the Tyson plant in Holcomb, Kan., on Aug. 9. This event gave evidence of how any disruption can negatively affect the entire industry. NC, in conjunction with the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, actively worked with a variety of entities, including Tyson Fresh Meats, for ongoing transparency to producers; the U.S. Department of Agriculture, to emphasize oversight in all phases of government functions; Commodity Future Trading Commission, to actively monitor market manipulation; CME, to ascertain that market trading activity is not abused; the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, to allow federal hauling and facilitate the needed hours for transport; and the Food Safety and Inspection Service, to move federal meat inspectors to plants increasing harvest levels. The plant is just now coming back online to levels that existed prior to the fire.
The conclusion of the calendar year is complete with the passing of the baton from one NC leader to the next. Ken Herz is a respected, thoughtful leader who is ready to make a difference as NC's president. His experience as NC's Tax Committee chair has positioned him to be the right leader at the right time, with property tax and relief more possible than in recent years. Ken and the 2020 Board are poised to act on proposed property tax relief and reform and other issues for the membership's benefit.