August 2016
Farm & Field

2016 Young Cattlemen’s Conference


Pickens County’s Jeff Reznicek represents Alabama at elite National Cattlemen’s Beef Association event.

Representing Alabama, Pickens County cattleman Jeff Reznicek participated in the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s 2016 Young Cattlemen’s Conference. Over 50 cattle producers from across the country and across the industry attended the conference. Reznicek was selected by his fellow producers to participate in the 2016 class.


An Aliceville native, Reznicek is the manager of Cow Creek Ranch, a commercial/registered Brangus cow-calf operation, specializing in Brangus bulls and commercial females, along with conditioning heifers for other ranchers in the Southeast.

Born and raised on a family farm in Hettick, Illinois, Reznicek is a graduate of Southern Illinois University. After college, he spent two years as a land surveyor and helping on the family farm until moving to Alabama to work his uncle’s ranch. He and his wife Erin have a 2-year-old son, Cade, and a baby girl expected in August.

Reznicek currently serves as president of Pickens County Cattlemen’s Association and is an alumni of the Young Cattlemen’s Leadership Program Class II. He was also named one of America’s Best Young Farmers and Ranchers of 2015 by The Progressive Farmer magazine.

NCBA’s YCC program is an opportunity for these young leaders to gain an understanding of all aspects of the beef industry from pasture to plate, and showcase the industry’s involvement in policy making, issues management, research, education and marketing.

Beginning at the NCBA headquarters in Denver, Colorado, the group got an inside look at many of the issues affecting the beef industry and the work being done at both the state and national level to address these issues on behalf of the NCBA membership. While in Denver, participants were given an organizational overview of NCBA and the Beef Checkoff Program, and CattleFax provided a comprehensive overview of the current cattle market and emerging trends. The participants received a first-hand account of the retail perspective of the beef business; toured the JBS Five Rivers’ Kuner feedyard, one of the largest in the nation; as well as the JBS Greeley packing and processing plant.

From Denver, the group traveled to Chicago where they visited McDonald’s Campus and OSI, one of the nation’s premiere beef patty producers.

After the brief stop in Chicago, the group concluded their trip in Washington for an in-depth issues briefing on current policy issues including international trade and increasing environmental regulations. Following the issues update, the participants were given the opportunity to visit one-on-one with members of their state’s congressional delegation, expressing their viewpoints regarding the beef industry and their cattle operations. John Deere then hosted a reception in the evening at their office.

The following morning, the group then traveled to Aldie, Virginia, for a tour and barbeque at Whitestone Farms, one of the nation’s elite purebred Angus operations. 

"The opportunity to travel to three major cities with cattlemen from across the nation to learn about the beef industry was a once-in-a-lifetime experience," Reznicek said.

With the beef industry changing rapidly, identifying and educating leaders has never been so important. As a grassroots trade association representing the beef industry, the NCBA is proud to play a role in that process and its future success. Over 1,000 cattlemen and women have graduated from the YCC program since its inception in 1980. Many of these alumni have gone to serve in state and national committees, councils and boards. YCC is the cornerstone of leadership training in the cattle industry.