Darren Doyle, story: ECCA photo:
If you've ever seen a sign in Edmonson County that says "BEEF: IT'S WHAT'S FOR DINNER," you've seen evidence of the Edmonson County Cattlemen's Association. But if you're like most folks here, that's about all you know about the local organization that's been around for over 20 years.
Local resident and farmer Scott Childress, who serves as the secretary/treasurer of the ECCA, says the organization is making a difference for local beef farmers and there's much more to the group than a few signs.
"We're not an organization out here that just meets and goes home," he said. "We're working hard to help our local beef producers be more efficient with production and provide good, quality beef."
Childress said that from the best of their knowledge, the first chapter in Edmonson County was organized with the help of the late Alvin Childress along with Jimmy Davis. He also said that Mrs. Beverly Reed served as the first sec/treasurer which was sometime in the early 90's.
"They say that Alvin was instrumental in getting things started here. It was like he could see into the future of beef farming and was able put things together that are still helping us today."
He said the group's goal is to be an advocate for beef farmers throughout the area as they promote the beef industry, advertise, lobby, and fight for legislation that helps working farmers.
"We now have all these unnecessary regulations that hurt us," he said. "You have to have a vet's prescription to get some common minerals that you used to be able to buy at the store or feed mill. We're fighting against these types of things."
According to the Kentucky Cattlemen's Association website (kycattle.org), Kentucky is the largest cattle producing state east of the Mississippi River with over 1.1 million beef cows and currently ranks 5th nationally in total number of farms.
The group has scheduled their next meeting on Thursday, January 12, 2017 at 6pm at the EC Public Library meeting room as they welcome guest speaker Dr. Michelle Arnold, who is a University of Kentucky veterinarian. Everyone interested in the promotion of local beef farming is encouraged to attend.
Joining the group and attending the local meetings are things that Childress says are very important for local farmers in Edmonson County. "Here's a chance for farmers to be part of something that can help them," he added.
The state KCA, which has over 10,000 members, will be holding their annual convention on January 19-20, 2017 at the Lexington Convention Center. Childress says he plans on going once again as the event is something he really enjoys.
Still need a reason to check out the ECCA?
"We've got some good sandwiches, too," Childress said with a smile.
The local chapter has around 100 members with Royce Vincent serving as president and Jimmy Luttrell as vice president.