In my previous two articles I discussed leadership development for the industry through the Florida Cattlemen’s Leadership Academy and support of the Florida Cattlemen’s Foundation through the Ranch Rodeo State Finals and Foundation Herd. Thanks to all who participated in and came out to support the Rodeo, Heritage Festival and Ranch Horse competition! Your support is much appreciated and needed for the betterment of our industry.
In this article I would like to discuss funding of research and beef promotion which is the third of our four priorities for the year. As many of you know, the Florida Legislature granted the industry $1M in funds “to conduct programs designed to expand uses of beef and beef products and strengthen the market position of Florida’s cattle industry in the state and in the Nation.” We recently send Request for Proposals (RFPs) to various universities for research and others like the Florida Beef Council and Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs’ (FDACs) Fresh from Florida program for promotion. We specified that all RFPs for research should be consistent with the FCA research priorities developed by our Research & Education Committee.
A guidance committee has also been established consisting of a number of FCA officers, chairs of the Research & Education Committee and Animal Health Committee and a number of past presidents to oversee utilization of these funds. This guidance committee will review all RFPs in mid-October and determine, based on FCA priorities, which proposals to recommend for funding to FDACS.
This is a great opportunity to conduct programs designed to expand uses of beef and beef products and strengthen the market position of Florida’s cattle industry in the state and in the Nation. We appreciate the support of our Governor and the State Legislature. We will report back in future quarterly meetings and magazine articles on projects that are selected and funded.
We are also excited about the groundbreaking for construction of the new Beef Teaching Unit (BTU) facility at University of Florida. The groundbreaking ceremony took place during our September meetings. Like many of you reading this article, I spent many hours at the BTU. It is exciting to kick-off the reconstruction and modernization of this important facility. The project would not have happened without the Florida Cattlemen’s Association and the support of the Florida Cattlemen’s Foundation and our State Legislature. Thanks to all those who have been involved in making this happen, including faculty and administration at UF.