Dec. 14 2011 08:14 AM

Dairy producers account for a sizeable portion (about 10 percent) of the nation's meat case, in addition to our dairy products. Participating and networking at beef meetings can help us learn and share our side of the story.

Last Wednesday reminded us that checkoff events are free to anyone who pays the checkoff. You, too, are likely a paying checkoff member as $1 per head per transaction is collected for the promotion of beef.

This year's annual meeting will be in Nashville, Tenn., February 1 to 4. The meetings include the Cattleman's Beef Board (Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday); Federation of State Beef Councils (Thursday); and joint committee meetings (Friday). To register, click the appropriate link at

The meeting is in conjunction with the National Cattleman's Beef Association (NCBA) annual convention. That meeting does cost $425, but you can view a full amount of information about the NCBA convention by clicking here.

Looking at the agenda, there are tours, education, fun at the Grand Ole Opry, and, of course, updates and changes to OUR beef checkoff. Remember, we're beef producers and deserve our seat at the table, too.