Learn to Learn

Just finished the final of five Regional “Stockmanship and Stewardship “ events in San Luis Obispo, California.

I have been working for NCBA presenting stockmanship for quite a number of years now, and feel like I have had a great opportunity at acquiring knowledge of the beef industry from all the presentations I have sat in and learned from.

I have learned about economics, nutrition, marketing, consumer trends, genetics, genomics, veterinary procedures, proper use of vaccines and antibiotics, how to cut a flat iron steak, how to deal with media, how to deal with protesters and a whole lot more. From all the knowledge I’ve received I should be about the smartest guy in all the beef industry. I said should be!


I’ve seen some really great presenters, and suffered through some terrible ones and tried to stay awake on some of the boring ones.

I think the favorite thing about my job is learning from so many great resources. The BQA state coordinators that I have got to work with are great. They present the materials to guide producers to produce high quality beef from the ideas they present.

I have listened to the originators of BQA to the young guns now carrying the torch to better beef, and it just keeps getting better and changing with the needs of the future, and present. It is really great.


Rene Loyd and Ryan Ruppert were the first to really bring the stockmanship and stewardship program to the NCBA. Ryan was a big believer in the program and worked very hard to get it on as many programs as possible. We had a real good program with sponsors for three years and then the support wasn’t there and it held its own for a few years, but even though people wanted it it really wasn’t promoted.

They got a new crew in the education and BQA head in the NCBA, and to be quite honest I thought it was going to be more of the same. They made the same promises I had heard before, and were a bunch of young folks that operated quite differently than what I was used to. I didn’t think they were going to get much done.Well, I was wrong. They stepped up and got it done. “They” being a bunch of young people that text while you are talking business, (most times they are doing business)having dinner and while you are presenting. “They” being a great mix of young folks that make sure they are providing everything the presenters and attendees need to make the event successful. “They” being the ones that make the event happen, but never need to be the center of attention. “They” being the ones that create the social media outlets that connected thousands of people to the knowledge we were presenting to the hundreds live. They were always polite, accommodating, and were as comfortable with seasoned producers as students. I never saw inappropriate behavior from any in all the events. “They” were great.


Chase DeCoite is the head of Beef Quality Assurance for NCBA. I was not used to how he did things when he started, and didn’t really understand how he did things and didn’t think he was doing a very good job for Stockmanshp and Stewardship. Well I was wrong again. He has attended all 5 events and has done an outstanding job of leading and presenting. I have enjoyed watching him get better and better at interacting with people, improving his speaking skills, and most of all, in my case, when he says he will do something, he does it.

Jill Scofield, Rob Eirich, Brandi Karisch, Libby Bigler and Jill Scofield (Jill did two events) took good care of us and put together great programs for producers. Much work and not near enough recognition or pay for the effort.

Jill asked us what the most significant thing that stuck out from all the programs we have done this year. We started out in Davis, California, then went to Lincoln Nebraska, Jackson Mississippi, Fort Collins, Colorado and finished up at Cal Poly at San Luis Obispo, California. I would have to say the diversity of the producers we met, but the desire to increase knowledge of the production of beef, no matter the level they were at was what stuck out most. Some people are so thirsty for knowledge.

One example of this was three attendees from the Dorrance family at the Cal Poly event.. I have studied the writings, videos, discussions and anything I can Bill and Tom Dorrance had anything to do with. I have always had them as examples in my mind of how I feel they would present things to animals and humans, and have tried to figure out how to present my self better to both, from the examples of folks with the kind of knowledge they had. I have often wondered how they gained the skills and knowledge they had.


The Dorrance group asked more questions than anyone in attendance, no matter the subject.
They seemed to be so thirsty to increase their knowledge. It was fascinating to see. They wanted to learn.

That is what I noticed about the great people that we saw at the five events. The need to improve.

I feel we all have addictions in life. Some are addicted to drugs, some are addicted to work, some are addicted to lots of things. I think some people are addicted to learning. That is one of the best addictions a person can have.

No matter what you are interested in, learn to learn. It will improve quality of life exponentially.

Education is what I am involved with and observe working with the National Cattlemans Beef Association. I am not interested or involved in the political side of it. I feel they are good and getting better at presenting things for beef producers to learn how to improve Beef Quality Assurance.

So to answer Jill’s question, I am fascinated at people that want to learn and people that can teach. I saw lots of both in the Stockmanship and Stewardship events this year. I can’t wait until next year!