National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) President Bill Donald says U.S. cattlemen who attend the 2011 Cattle Industry Summer Conference, Aug. 1-4 in Kissimmee, Fla., will not only be heavily involved with the organization’s grassroots policy process, but will also have the unique opportunity to experience the local agricultural landscape firsthand.

“As a part of the post conference tour, conference participants will have the opportunity to visit Deseret Ranches in St. Cloud, Fla., as well as Kempfer Cattle Company in Deer Park, Fla.,” Donald said.

“In order to work as a unified front for the good of our diverse industry, it is important for cattlemen to understand the production practices utilized by ranchers in different locations around the country as well as the unique challenges they face. This tour will do just that.”

Executive Vice-President of the Florida Cattlemen’s Association Jim Handley said managers of Deseret Ranches, who were regional winners of the 2010 Environmental Stewardship Award and run more than 44,000 head of cattle, will emphasize the importance of developing and implementing innovative practices that not only preserve land and other natural resources, but also improve them and make them more sustainable for generations to come.

“Ranchers have always been the greatest stewards of the land,” Handley said.

“It is the work of operations like Deseret Ranches that set the standard for all cattlemen to continue making a positive difference in the industry.”

He said the second stop on the tour, Kempfer Cattle Company, consists of nearly 3,000 head of cattle as well as sod and timber. The Kempfer family also owns and operates a sawmill and the oldest established hunting club in Florida.

“This tour will be an excellent chance for cattlemen to network; broaden their knowledge of regional production practices; and learn from fellow producers,” Handley said.

“I wholeheartedly recommend the experience and hope cattlemen from across the country will take advantage of this rare opportunity.”

The tour is scheduled for Thurs., Aug. 4 from 11:30 a.m. through 5:30 p.m. Participants can still register for the tour onsite.

For additional information about the 2011 Cattle Industry Summer Conference and Florida Post-Agriculture Tour not found at www.beefusa.org, call the NCBA Association Marketing Department at 303-694-0305 or e-mail at meetings@beef.org.