Wednesday, September 7, 2016

What's Going On Wednesday: September 7, 2016

Hello, September! Those cool morning temperatures are a much-needed break in the summertime heat and a reminder that the fall season is sneaking up on us quickly. Fall means calving season, bull sales, membership drives, October Beef Month, marketing plan meetings and so much more for Alabama's cattlemen. We're looking forward to getting out and about during these busy months to see our cattlemen at the many events on the calendar. As for this week, though, keep reading to learn about all that's happening at the ACA. 

County Chapter Officers Regional Training Workshops Start NEXT WEEK!

Regional Meetings are soon coming up, and the state officers and regional vice presidents will be joining state staffers on a conference call tomorrow to discuss agendas and discussion topics for those meetings. If you're in county leadership, be sure to save the dates for the upcoming County Chapter Officers Regional Training Workshops:

Central Alabama
9/13- Northport, 6:30 p.m. dinner at The Front Porch
9/14- Alex City, 7 a.m. breakfast at Jake's Restaurant

South Alabama
9/20- Troy, 6:30 p.m. dinner at Pig Cafe
9/21- Monroeville, 7 a.m. breakfast at Alabama Ag Credit

North Alabama
9/27- Moulton, 6:30 p.m. dinner at Mel's Family Steakhouse
9/28- Guntersville, 7 a.m. breakfast at the Mashall County Courthouse (Suite G21)

If you are in county leadership and would like to attend, please RSVP to Martha Davis.

Ag Coalition

After a Monday of celebrating Labor Day, ACA Executive Vice President hit the ground running on Tuesday morning with an Ag Coalition meeting. The group is still vigilantly monitoring the ongoing Special Session with the Alabama legislature and have no alarms going off for legislation that could affect Alabama's agricultural industry. 

Beef 101 Friday

Friday will be a day for learning about beef for the Wood
Fruitticher sales team. In July, half of the team went through the checkoff-funded program and the other half will have their questions answered Friday with Director of Checkoff Programs Erin Beasley and the crew at the Lambert-Powell Meats Lab at Auburn University. This relationship with the food distribution service is a great way to reach hundreds of industry influencers and even more consumers with good information about beef!

October Beef Month in the Counties

In preparation for October Beef Month, remember to call and secure a box of beef promotion items for your fall county events! ACA staff will be bringing these supply boxes to the regional meetings beginning next week. Here is what we have available to counties (all paid for by your checkoff dollars!)
  • Books for “Cowboys In the Classroom” reading program (We have two books. One for grades K-2 and another for grades 3-5)
  • October is Beef Month banners
  • Beef brochures and trinkets
  • Beef: It’s What’s For Dinner table wrap
Each county will also be receiving a membership packet and table tent to promote the Cowboy tag at upcoming events as well.

Beware of Pirella Mint

We've received word from a west Alabama cattleman that several
neighbors have lost cattle to toxic Perilla mint. While cattle do not normally graze on this plant, drought conditions and short grass have led cattle to eat this bushy, attractive plant that typically grows in shaded areas around farm structures and along fence lines. Cattlemen in the state should spray to kill this weed now and again next spring. Learn more about Perilla mint and its affects on cattle with this article.

We've got a full calendar of events! There's sales and meetings galore. Check them out on our updated Calendar of Events

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

What's Going On Wednesday: August 31, 2016

With August wrapping up today, your ACA staff is eagerly looking at a busy fall season ahead. October Beef Month, Alabama's Best Steak, regional meetings, 2017 membership kickoff and cattle sales galore are bound to keep your state staff going strong! Today's blog is just about what we've got going on this week, though, so take a few minutes to catch up with all the happenings in Montgomery this week! 

Meetings, Meetings and More Meetings

Bringing More to Garrett Coliseum
ACA Executive Vice President Dr. Billy Powell met with the Ag Center Redevelopment Board on Tuesday to approve a few new ideas that will raise more awareness for Garrett Coliseum. The Ag Center Redevelopment Board is a group of county, city and state leadership that oversees the Coliseum, and Dr. Powell represents Alabama's livestock industries on that Board. The group approved a plan to host more activities at the Coliseum, including basketball tournaments. Dr. Powell also presented on ways to create a more user-friendly environment for livestock shows. 

Joe Lovvorn Reception
Tuesday evening for Dr. Powell was spent at an ALFA-hosted reception for Joe Lovvorn. Lovvorn is running for House District 79 and is a cattleman from Randolph County. 

Alabama Agribusiness Council
Today's work day will be spent on the Plains for Dr. Powell as he meets with the Alabama Agribusiness Council Board in Auburn.

Wellness Forum at ACA

Pictured L-R are
Katye Fuglaar, American Heart Assn; 
Julia Meyers, American Cancer Sty;
 Kathy Shuleva, BCBS of Alabama; 
Laurie Eldridge-Auffant, AL Dept. of  Public Health; 
Teresa Fair, AL Dept. of Public Health 
and Erin Beasley, ACA staff.
Today, the Alabama Department of Public Health will hold a Wellness Forum at the ACA building. Attendees will include representatives from the American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, and American Diabetes Association. Checkoff Director Erin Beasley will serve as the staff representative from the ACA by addressing the group with beef information and participating in the meeting.

County Chapter Officers Regional Training Workshops Coming Up!

Regional Meetings are soon coming up, and the state officers and
regional vice presidents will be joining state staffers on a conference call tomorrow to discuss agendas and discussion topics for those meetings. If you're in county leadership, be sure to save the dates for the upcoming County Chapter Officers Regional Training Workshops:
Central Alabama

  • 9/13- Northport, 6:30 p.m. dinner at Front Porch
  • 9/14- Alex City, 7 a.m. breakfast at Jake's Restaurant

South Alabama

  • 9/20- Troy, 6:30 p.m. dinner at Pig Restaurant
  • 9/21- Monroeville, 7 a.m. breakfast TBD

North Alabama

  • 9/27- Moulton, 6:30 p.m. dinner at Moulton Mel's
  • 9/28- Guntersville, 7 a.m. breakfast at the Extension Office Courthouse (Suite G21)

October Beef Month Promo Boxes

We are getting ready for Beef Month!
All counties were contacted this week about beef promotion boxes, banners and books available to them for fall events. If you need a box, contact Jessica at the office. 

SLE Rodeo

There's a couple of things happening for the SLE this week. First, the auditors are in to generate the financial year-end statement. Accountant Cynthia Dondrea has been busy with them! 

Second, SLE Officers will have a conference call later this week to finalize plans for the Sep. 22 SLE annual membership meeting and to name committees for the 2017 SLE Rodeo. 

Beef Education: Wood Fruitticher

Tomorrow, ACA Director of Checkoff Programs Erin Beasley will meet with our friends from Wood Fruitticher to discuss the beef promotion that we will be doing with their sales staff during October to increase beef sales. In addition, they will be doing another BEEF 101 next Friday with us to incorporate the remainder of their sales staff that did not participate last month!

September Magazine

The September of the Alabama Cattleman magazine is quite large, and magazine Production Coordinator Nicky Bechard along with magazine staff have been busy creating content and building away! 

That's it for this busy week. We'll see you back next week for more catching up with the ACA. Thanks for reading!

Here's a list of all upcoming events:

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Bama Beef Blog: August 24, 2016

We are gearing up for a busy Fall season as August starts to come to a close. September, October and November are merciless on the office calendar, but we enjoy staying busy working for Alabama's cattlemen. Beef promotion is really beginning to pick up as October Beef Month is on the horizon, and we're getting prepared for the 2017 membership drive. That's just an overall highlight of events happening in the office, but keep reading to get the details about this week's to-do list. 

Beef Girl at Culinard

On Tuesday, ACA's Director of Checkoff Programs taught a beef education course with 45 students from Culinard in Birmingham. The group discussed raising cattle from pasture to plate and then did a beef fabrication on a sirloin. The fabrication allowed Erin to explain how the beef community has advanced in the meat industry to cut beef different ways to enhance quality and provide more versatile product for culinary professionals to utilize in the kitchen.

Ag Coalition

Tuesday brought another Ag Coalition meeting to the ACA as the group continued to monitor Special Session proceedings. The session got bogged down with legislation this week, and it's becoming questionable whether anything will pass. ACA Executive Vice President Dr. Billy Powell reports that no out-of-the-ordinary legislation has been detected that will affect Alabama's agricultural industry, but the Ag Coalition will continue to play watchdog on session happenings.


Erin will be spending this nice Wednesday afternoon representing the ACA at the AU Agricultural partnership Council Meeting. This meeting will allow industry representatives to serve as advisers to the College of Agriculture on a number of topics and issues as a way to enhance the line of communication between the college and industry.

Farm Y'all

Erin is clearly busy this week! After two days on the road during the week, she will head north this Saturday to be a guest speaker at the Cullman “Farm Y’all” consumer event. She will be teaming up with Chef Matt Heim from Allsteak to discuss beef products with consumers.

SLE Rodeo

As a few of the Southeastern Livestock Exposition officers met to start preliminary plans and appoint committees for the 2017 SLE Rodeo this week, Accountant Cynthia Dondrea is busy preparing for next week's audit of the SLE account. The officers also made plans for the Sep. 22 SLE membership meeting and annual banquet. 

Save the date- the 60th annual SLE Rodeo will be held March 16-18 at Garrett Coliseum in Montgomery!

Frisco City Stockyard

ACA President Bill Lipscomb and Dr. Billy Powell will be representing the ACA at the Alabama Livestock Charter Board meeting this Friday. The duo will be discussing those who are interested in re-opening Frisco City Stockyard. 

September Magazine in the Works

The September issue of the Alabama Cattleman magazine is going to be a big one with AJCA Round-Up pictures and upcoming Fall sale information filling its pages. The magazine staffers are continuously working to create and acquire content for the September issue...coming soon to a mailbox near you!

Social Media Update

The ACA is booming on the digital marketing front! Our social platforms are buzzing with activity on a daily basis, and our follower base is at an all-time high. Here's the rundown:
Don't forget to follow us and LIKE, SHARE or RETWEET our posts!

Thanks for checking out this week's Bama Beef Blog! We'll see you back here, same time next week. -ACA Staff

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

What's Going On Wednesday: August 17, 2016

With August Board Meeting and the launch of the new behind us, it's time to start gearing up toward our Fall season projects here at the ACA. The MOOseum renovation's wheels are turning, October Beef Month plans have been mentioned a few times and our calendars are filling up with Fall bull sales. We're excited for all the fun events and projects coming up and want you to stay in touch with what's going on at the ACA office. Enjoy!

Ready, Set, Launch!

The new-and-improved has officially launched!! Our new website is the #1 online resource for Alabama's cattlemen and offers all the information you need in a slick, user-friendly fashion. We didn't try to reinvent the wheel; all the same information is still there but just much easier to find and fun to look at! We encourage you to visit the new website if you haven't already and explore what its many pages have to offer.

Alabama's Best Steak Announces "Fiery 4"

The "Elite 8" portion of the Alabama's Best Steak contest is complete, and the "Fiery 4" finalists have been announced! During the "Elite 8" portion of the contest held last week, the contest reached over 340,000 Facebook users through 13,693 overall likes, 505 comments and over 1,300 shares on Facebook. The finalists will now continue on to anonymous taste testings held throughout August and September. An added component for this year’s contest is beef ribeye sales during the “Fiery 4” round based on a percentage increase, so visit your local finalist, brings friends and order the ribeye to help them out! 

The "Fiery 4" Restaurants are:
  • Rock House Eatery, Guntersville, AL
  • Bull Pen Steakhouse- Oakman, AL
  • Diamond Jim's & Mrs. Donna's Steakhouse- Livingston, AL
  • Big Mike's Steakhouse- Thomasville, AL
Congrats to the finalists! The winner will be announced at the beginning of October to kick off Beef Month in Alabama. 

Check out this thank you testimonial from one of the "Fiery 4" finalists, Rock House Eatery in Guntersville:
  • "This contest for the Best Steak in Alabama has been so fun! Thank you to the Alabama Cattlemen's Association for providing a forum to get the word out of just how good Alabama beef is and to showcase some of the best restaurants in Bama! What I like best about the final 8 is that we are all family owned and operated establishments who give our ALL to ensure that our customers are belly-full and smiley-faced when they walk out the door. Every vote that we have all received is a vote reflective of our passion and commitment of giving our all to serve you, our friends and customers the very best we can offer. From our hearts, with love of what we do. Thank you all!"
That's your Checkoff dollars at work! 

News from Capitol Hill

The AG Coalition met Tuesday to monitor the Alabama Legislative Special Session. ACA Executive Vice President Dr. Billy Powell reports that no out-of-the-ordinary legislation has been detected, but the Ag Coalition will continue to play watchdog on session happenings. 

Newest BQA Certifications
Congrats to our Board Members who got BQA certified at last week's Board Meeting! We appreciate your contribution to Alabama's beef cattle industry. 
  • Dale Parris- Hillside Angus 
  • Bob Ebert- Sparks Ranch 
  • John Raymond Gibson II 
  • Dr. H. G. Caldwell- Triple C Farms 
  • Jim Jordan- 4J Farm 
  • Sabrina McKinney- Cedar Crest Farm 
  • Bo Walding- 5W Farms 
  • Bill Walding- 5W Farms 
  • Larry Laney- Laney Farms 
  • Glenn Will- Circle W Farms 
  • Brian P. Smith- Smith Century Farm 
  • James Parnell- Parnell Farm 
  • Jason Lee Edmondson- J-M Cattle Services 
  • Richard Meadows- Meadows Creek Farm 
  • Eugene Fernandes- Fernandes Farms 
  • Christopher Langley- Langley Farms 
  • Chandler Langley- Langley Farms
  • Bill Lipscomb- 3L Ranch 
  • Mike Dee- Dee River Ranch, Inc.

New Staff Settling In

Last week we introduced our new Receptionist/The MOOseum Coordinator Alex Thompson on the blog, and we are just following up to say that Alex is settling in nicely in her new position downstairs. Jessica Kennedy, our new membership coordinator, is also gaining ground on membership information. 

The MOOseum Renovation

The MOOseum renovation staffers met this morning to continue on with renovation updates and current projects. The staff, along with museum designers, have nailed down schematics and are working on the content that will go into the new design. Expect to see brighter colors, updated content and a few familiar faces after the renovation is complete! 

September Magazine in the Works

The September issue of the Alabama Cattleman magazine is going to be a big one with AJCA Round-Up pictures and upcoming Fall sale information at its core! Magazine staff are constantly working to develop and acquire content for the September issue...coming soon to a mailbox near you!  

County News

The Elmore County Cattlemen's Association summer membership meeting will be held this Saturday, Aug. 20. For more information on the meeting, contact county leadership --> Click Here for Contact Information

Thanks for checking out this week's blog! A new update will be published next Wednesday, Aug. 24 at noon. Have a great week!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

What's Going On Wednesday: August 10, 2016

It's a busy week at the ACA as we prepare for August Board Meeting tomorrow while managing the many other exciting events and tasks happening in and around our state office. Our sails are beginning to catch wind of the busy Fall season ahead, and we are looking forward to all the activity headed our way. As for this week, enjoy reading about what's going on around the ACA. 

Quick Note to the Board:

We look forward to seeing our Board members TOMORROW in Auburn. We are excited to welcome a large crowd of 105 county leaders representing 41 counties. We've been working hard to get our staff, membership and financial reports in, and we'll look forward to meeting with our Board members tomorrow. Here's some quick reminders:
  • Time: 10 a.m.
  • Place: Room 255 of the Veterinary Education Center at Auburn's College of Veterinary Medicine (1220 Wire Rd, Auburn, AL 36849)
  • Side Note: Following lunch, we will go to the Lambert-Powell Meats Laboratory for breakout groups. One session will be conducted by Dr. Soren Rodning where you can get BQA Certified as well as hear the latest on the Veterinary Feed Additive Initiative. **Reminder** Bring a jacket if you plan on attending the carcass fabrication breakout group.

Alabama's Best Steak Has Rave Results

We are thrilled with the results thus far of the Alabama's Best Steak contest. During the nominations portion of the contest held in July, we received over 2,000 nominations representing more than 150 Alabama restaurants. After collecting those votes, the "Elite 8" restaurants were named and are now competing to become a finalist in the "Fiery 4" round. 

The "Elite 8" Restaurants are:
North Region
  • George's Steak Pit- Sheffield, AL
  • Rock House Eatery- Guntersville, AL
Central Region
  • Bull Pen Steakhouse- Oakman, AL
  • Nick's in the Sticks- Tuscaloosa, AL
South Region
  • Elmer's Restaurant- Notasulga, AL
  • Diamond Jim's & Mrs. Donna's Steakhouse- Livingston, AL
Gulf Region
  • Big Mike's Steakhouse- Thomasville, AL
  • Conestoga Steakhouse- Dothan, AL
Since Monday, the "Elite 8" portion of the contest has brought in over 5,000 votes and has exposed some delicious ribeye steaks to over 160,000 people in Alabama. Not only that, but its acquired media attention from all corners of the state. Times-Daily article

Be sure to participate in this round of the contest by visiting our Facebook page and "liking" the picture of your favorite steakhouse's ribeye and support your local "Elite 8" restaurant by visiting and trying out their steak! 

ACA Welcomes Alex Thompson

We are proud to welcome our newest staffer on the state staff team,Alex Thompson, as our new receptionist and The MOOseum coordinator. Alex is from Citronelle where she was an Azalea Trail Maid, and she is soon to complete her B.S. degree from Auburn University Montgomery. She is excited about meeting all of the folks who call and visit the Cattlemen’s Building. 

Jessica Kennedy will spend a week training Alex then move upstairs to her new role as Membership Coordinator.

Ag Board Meeting Held Tuesday

ACA's Dr. Billy Powell represented Alabama cattlemen at the Department of Agriculture's Board Meeting on Tuesday where Board members were given an update of the Department’s recent activities. 

In November, the ACA will present to the Board a copy of the State Checkoff financials, State Beef Checkoff Marketing Plan and the Annual Report. The Board oversees all commodity checkoff programs in the state. 

While at the Department of Agriculture, Dr. Powell spoke with State Veterinarian Dr. Tony Frazier about animal I.D. and any potential cattle disease problems. He also discussed proposed national legislation before Congress that will provide more oversight for Packers and Stockyard over online and video cattle auctions.

Speaking of Legislation...

With Gov. Robert Bentley calling a special session of the Legislature beginning Monday Aug. 15, the Ag Coalition met Tuesday and will meet again Monday at the Cattlemen’s Building to monitor the process. Usually Special Sessions are limited to special legislation that was in the Governor’s call, but careful monitoring is still very important. That’s why we are here to represent and protect your interests.

Aside from the upcoming Special Session, state general elections are sometime away, and politics are already heating up for the constitutional offices. On Friday, Dr. Powell will meet with a person interested in running for Commissioner of Agriculture as we appreciate anyone who has the desire to do so and share our concerns.

Ag and Forestry Economic Impact Study

Also happening this week, Dr. Powell will meet with Extension Director Dr. Gary Lemme to discuss the status of updated Ag and Forestry Economic Impact Study. It's looking like cattle will remain in third place behind timber and poultry.

Thanks for reading our weekly blog update. See you here next Wednesday at noon!