(LEFT) U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue meets with MCA Past President Butch
Meier, wife Eileen, and Mike Deering. (RIGHT) Former Congressman and U.S. Army Lt. Colonel
Allen West was the featured speaker at a Missouri Cattlemen’s Association Political Action
Committee fundraiser held in Jefferson City, MO. He is pictured with Mike and Julie Deering.
Lt. Governor Mike Kehoe, MCA Executive Vice President Mike Deering, MCA President Greg
Buckman and Rep. John Wiemann are pictured with Governor Mike Parson as he signs MCA
priority legislation into law.
the Capitol. That success doesn’t just
happen, it’s because of our members.
We have a “Cowboys at the Capitol”
program, where every Wednesday the
legislature is in session, our members
come to meet with their elected leaders.
There may be 15 or 50 members in
their cowboy hats and boots talking to
legislators. They care, and they show
up. The legislators look forward to it,
because these are not just voters, but
they are passionate and committed,
and no one tells a cattleman’s story
better than they do themselves.
WR What’s a future accomplishment
you are still working towards?
MD We are the second largest cow/
calf producing state in the US, and
have the most individual producers of
any state besides Texas. So, increasing
membership is always the goal that is
fi rst and foremost for us. It’s diffi cult.
So many people see our value, and
even participate with what we are
doing, but they don’t always become
members. Getting people to join any
association is a challenge, and since we
are a small staff of only four, it’s hard
to focus time on a big marketing campaign.
We are always trying to prove
our value and will continue to chip
away at growing our membership base.
WR Where are you headed?
MD We say what we think, but do
what our leaders say. Our members
decide our future, and every three
years we sit down and come up with
a strategic plan for where we go. We
never make drastic changes, but we
move forward and continue building
on our legislative success and empowerment.
We’re always looking to think
outside the box and bring new ideas
to the table. Like everyone, we are
working to engage our young people
and get the next generation settled
into the cattle industry. That’s something
I think we do particularly well;
young people are a focus for us, and
we engage them through our social
media use and other programs. It’s an
area we want to continue to shine.
WR What would you say to someone
thinking about joining MCA?
MD It comes down to return on
investment, or what’s in it for them.
We focus on putting money back in
their pocket, not just tomorrow but
today. We’ve done that through our
legislative efforts. Disaster assistance
used to be taxable, and thanks to
MCA, it’s not anymore in Missouri.
It never should have been, so we
are leading the charge to see it fi xed
at the national level. We’ve also
stopped efforts to increase property
taxes, and not only have we
prevented increases, we’ve actually
gotten property taxes decreased.
That’s money back in our producers’
pockets that allows them to invest in
their operations and communities.
Helping our producers’ ROI is always
our focus, and we want them to be
part of the team and have their voices
heard. We don’t just focus on the
long-term, we need them involved
in the short-term as well.
WR encourages producers to have a voice
by being active and involved in an association
that aligns with your needs and ideals.
JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2019 I WORKING RANCH I 77