True completes NCBA term, foresees beef industry involvement going forward
Casper – Dave True has been an active advocate for agriculture and the beef industry since he went to his first National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) meeting in 1978 and says, “I’ve been engaged with the national association ever since.”
Through his tenure, True has served in multiple roles within NCBA and has been involved in all aspects of the organization.
“I’ve been engaged through several different aspects of the organization over the past 35 years,” True says.
True has served in numerous capacities at NCBA since the late 70s, culminating with his most recent post as treasurer.
“I’ve served in multiple roles, whether as a member or chairman of task forces, special purpose groups or standing committees,” True notes.
He also served as vice chairman and chairman of the Marketing Committee, chairman of the Resolutions Committee for several years and has been active in other aspects of the organization, as well.
In the first year of NCBA, after the National Cattlemen’s Association and Beef Industry Council of the Meat Board merger, True served as policy regional vice president of the organization and remained in that position for a total of four years.
“A little over three years ago, Bill Donald, who was the incoming president of NCBA at the time, called and asked if I would serve as treasurer,” he continues.
After accepting Donald’s invitation to serve NCBA, True also served as treasurer under NCBA President J.D. Alexander.
“Most recently, Scott George asked me to continue serving as treasurer,” he comments. “I’ve served in the treasurer’s role for three years.”
His term ended in February 2014.
With the chance to serve as leadership, True notes he has seen the unique opportunity to be involved in oversight of both divisions of NCBA.
“The treasurer is one of four officers that serves over both divisions of NCBA – the federation division, which is the Federation of State Beef Councils, and the policy division,” True explains. “That gives individuals in those roles the opportunity to see the many facets of the industry.”
Looking at both the promotional and research side of the industry that can be seen in the Federation and the advocacy side with the policy division, he says, “It has been rewarding for me to be able to serve in that capacity over the entire organization, as compared to just one division.”
In his additional experience also serving on the Wyoming Beef Council, True notes that he’s had exposure to both facets of the organization.
“An advantage that I’ve enjoyed over the years is being able to look at both divisions and serve in both,” True says.
Each of the four officers who serve NCBA has the chance to bring in the values from their home state and region.
“This past year, having Scott and I both in that group of four was an advantage for Wyoming,” True says. “It certainly gave Wyoming producers the opportunity to have a conduit both ways – in the form of feedback from the national organization and input to the national organization.”
Wyoming’s influence on the national level will also continue, True says, with Philip Ellis jumping into the president-elect position and Scott George serving as the immediate past president.
“Wyoming still has great leadership in that organization,” he adds. “In the last several years, we’ve had the benefit of great influence through the volunteer leaders who have contributed their time.”
While True’s term as treasurer is complete, he says he will remain active in the beef industry at both the state and national level.
“I’ll continue to be involved in both the Wyoming Stock Growers Association (WSGA) and NCBA,” he notes. “I’ve served on both the WSGA Endowment Trust Board, and I’m currently serving on the National Cattlemen’s Foundation.”
He hopes to continue serving on both boards into the future.
“Quite honestly, there is a double-edged benefit to continue being involved,” True comments. “From my perspective personally, I truly believe the industry has given me and our family great benefits. I’ve really enjoyed that part of my life.”
As a result, True says he feels it is appropriate to give back to the industry that has been important to him and his family.
“The other side is that I’ve made some great friends and acquaintances through the organization, whether they come from Wyoming or other states,” he says. “I’ve had the real benefit of getting to know people in this industry.”
Beef industry challenges
Dave True, immediate past treasurer of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, sees several challenges moving forward in the beef industry, but most notably, he targets consumer perceptions as the make-it-or-break-it factor.
“From the consumer perspective, we have to look at health and safety issues going forward,” he notes. “We have to make sure that we, as an industry, are constantly out in front of the consumer demonstrating the wholesomeness and safety of the product.”
Because of the increasing number of organizations working against agriculture, True says, “We can’t turn our back on that arena. It would be devastating in the long-term for our industry if we don’t make the investment to be out in front of the consumer, educating them about the product we have to offer.”
The consumer arena is one of the major challenges to the industry.
“On the production side, we also have environmental pressures,” True says. “Regulations fall in that same basket.”