All policies adopted or amended by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) at the recent Cattle Industry Annual Convention are now subject to a mail-in vote of the full NCBA membership. Ballots will be mailed to NCBA members in the Feb. 17 edition of Beef Business Bulletin, with a return postmark deadline of March 21.

“We require NCBA’s policy process to be grassroots driven - to begin with a member and end with a member,” said new NCBA President Jim McAdams, a cattle producer from Adkins, Texas. “Policy resolutions at convention are brought forth by individual members and receive a full discussion at the committee level with the members in attendance. But it is also important to remember that many members are unable to attend convention. That’s why the mail ballot process is so important, so that all NCBA members will have a voice in the final policy.”

McAdams noted that NCBA’s 11-point policy directive regarding resumption of live cattle trade with Canada is the most publicized issue to emerge from convention, and is certainly the issue of greatest concern to NCBA members. The directive, which also emphasizes the urgent need to reopen U.S. export markets, emerged as a result of the report issued by a NCBA trade delegation that visited Canada on a fact-finding mission in late January. Both the trade delegation’s final report and the 11-point policy directive are available for review at

McAdams emphasized that while international trade is certainly the forefront issue emerging from convention, NCBA also addressed resolutions on many other key policy topics, including: agricultural research funding, labor policies, beef safety research, meat inspection equivalency, disease control, pest eradication, federal land management, taxation and credit, nutrition policy and environmental regulation.

“While international trade may be the top-of-mind issue, I urge NCBA members to read all policy resolutions and get as many facts as possible to help them make these important voting decisions, “ McAdams said. “We need strong member participation to ensure that NCBA policies are truly representing the views of the entire membership.”

NCBA policy resolutions adopted at convention are interim policy, and not considered final until they are affirmed by the mail ballot process. Twenty percent of the total ballots issued must be returned in order to for the mail-in vote to be valid, and four of the seven NCBA regions must also return at least 20 percent of their ballots. If these thresholds are reached, a simple majority of the ballots returned will determine NCBA policy on specific resolutions. Policies adopted at convention are affirmed if the majority of mail-in votes concur, or if these minimum thresholds are not achieved.