Take one organization focused on offering top notch research information to Iowa’s beef industry, add another organization committed to growing Iowa’s beef business through advocacy, leadership and education, and what do you have? A collaborative effort for helping Iowa beef producers that’s second to none.
Iowa Beef Center director Dan Loy says the center’s strength is access to a leading research university with faculty and staff who share a commitment to provide relevant unbiased information to the state’s beef industry.
“Iowa State University Extension and Outreach has a long history of providing information to ag-minded professionals to make operational decisions that can lead to longer term sustainability,” he says. “Our regional program specialists and county extension staffs’ expertise complements our ability to be at the gate of the producer’s needs.”
As chief executive officer of the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association, Matt Deppe (’99 animal science) understands and appreciates the cooperation between the two organizations. Prior to becoming CEO, he worked for ISU Extension in county and regional extension education director roles.
“While the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association is the political and legislative voice for Iowa cattlemen and women, our interests in proactive policy measures utilize science and economics as a key component of working topics forward,” Deppe says. “The Iowa Beef Center provides access to information and that’s why we need and value the center as our partner.”
As an ISU Extension center funded partially with state dollars, the Iowa Beef Center is accountable to the people of Iowa. The Iowa Cattlemen’s Association is a grassroots membership organization with nearly 10,000 members and a network of county cattlemen’s associations across Iowa, and it is funded through membership and industry support.
Working together is a win-win situation for both groups, Loy says, because such cooperative programs provide cutting edge information that’s relevant to the needs of the producers.
“One recent example of success was a 10-site series of heifer development clinics across Iowa. Nearly 600 people learned about technologies available for the successful development of productive heifers,” Loy says. “The center and the association worked together from the beginning on this program from sponsor identification to publicity to attendance recruitment. We plan to continue to work together on programs like this in the future.”
Utilizing the combined staff and resources of two partners is efficient and effective when it comes to getting valuable resources and information into the hands of members, Deppe says.
“There’s no doubt that combining efforts and sharing credit for helping producers be profitable is something our association will be looking for well into the future,” he says. “Ultimately this relationship makes both organizations more effective as we continue to work for the same stakeholder.”