The Minnesota State Cattlemen’s Association (MSCA) hosted another successful Annual
Minnesota Cattle Industry Convention on Dec. 15-16 at the Arrowwood Resort in Alexandria. The
convention included networking opportunities, entertainment, educational sessions, live and silent auction
and more. This year’s theme was, “Creating a Dynasty, Leaving a Legacy.”
“We wanted this year’s theme to reflect the hard work producers put in each day to leave a lasting
legacy for future generations,” says MSCA Executive Director Kaitlyn Root. “We are extremely happy
with this year’s turnout and the excitement for the future of the cattle industry.”
Convention kicked off Friday morning with a presentation from National Cattlemen’s Beef
Association (NCBA) Director of Producer Education Michaela Clowser on the 2022 National Beef
Quality Audit (NBQA) report.
The NBQA is a comprehensive survey which evaluates beef industry efforts to improve beef
quality. Conducted every five years since 1991, the checkoff-funded audit assesses progress the industry
makes on a variety of production issues which ultimately affect consumer demand for beef.
The luncheon speakers on Friday included American National CattleWomen President Pam
Griffin, NCBA President Todd Wilkinson and USMEF Senior VP, Industry Relations, John Hinners. They
all provided updates on the work their organizations are doing for the cattle industry and urged producers
to become more involved within the industry’s organizations.
Bruce Kleven, MSCA legislative consultant, concluded the Friday educational sessions with a
legislative update. He updated the crowd on what the MSCA does for cattle producers and his predictions
for the upcoming legislative session.
Convention offered many opportunities to network with producers and industry organizations,
including visiting the tradeshow which had 50 vendors. It was the perfect time to visit with old friends
and to make new connections.
Friday night ended with the “Best of Beef Banquet.” During this time, attendees enjoyed a beef
dinner, entertainment by Comedian C. Willi Myles, awards ceremony and a live auction.
Mark Pankonin was awarded as the 2023 Cattleman of the Year, and American Foods Group
received the 2023 Industry Service Award during the banquet. The Minnesota Beef Council awarded the
Cottonwood Cattle Producers with the Prime Promoter Award.
Saturday morning wrapped up with the Breakfast Panel with panelists including MSCA Past
President Grant Breitkreutz, Renovo Seeds Direct Sales Lead Colin Geppert, University of Minnesota
Extension Educator Eric Mousel and Minnesota Soil Health Coalition Chairman Ben Dwire. Panelists
discussed integrating grazing in a cover crop system, managing feed during drought years, how soil health
impacts profitability and more.
The MSCA Quarterly and Annual Meeting followed the panel. Rachel Gray was elected to serve
as president-elect. New regional directors include Region 2/3 Director Dustin Wiese, Region 5 Director
Darv Keehr and Region 6 Director Ryan Anderson.
The MSCA is a membership-based organization representing cattle farmers and individuals who
are part of the cattle community in Minnesota. For more information or to become a member, visit