Membership

Member Services

To say TCFA represents cattle feeders doesn't begin to tell the whole story of what Texas Cattle Feeders Association does for its members. TCFA members benefit from a wide array of services such as government relations, market information, Beef Quality Assurance education and certification, Quality Systems Assessment Program (QSA), environmental services, employee safety, communications, research and youth programs. TCFA also offers a long list of activities including its annual Convention, Fed Beef Challenge, seminars and more.

Arbitration

In any business, disagreements sometimes arise. To assist members in resolving their differences, TCFA developed its Arbitration Program.

The TCFA Arbitration Program expedites the settlement of business disputes among TCFA feedyard members and customers. Disputes are heard by an Arbitration Panel consisting of five members selected to render a decision after considering the testimony and evidence offered by all parties involved. This panel renders a decision, which can be appealed to another cattlemen’s panel if the parties desire. Both parties must agree to arbitrate. Key staff contact: Shannon Standley.

Communications

The TCFA Communications Department works to keep members informed about the events and activities that shape cattle feeding. TCFA members receive the weekly TCFA Newsletter and annual Cattle Feeders Resource Guide. In addition, brochures and special reports keep you informed on events and actions which may impact your business. The TCFA Communications Department often serves as the point of first contact with the media, helping reporters get accurate information about cattle feeding. Key staff contact: Carmen Fenton.

Education Foundation

The TCFA Education Foundation awards scholarships to graduate students involved in research projects on cattle feeding. Working through the Consortium for Cattle Feeding and Environmental Sciences, students apply for the scholarships through their major professors. The consortium is comprised of faculty from Texas A&M University in College Station, West Texas A&M University at Canyon, USDA research facilities at Bushland, Texas Tech University at Lubbock and New Mexico State University at Las Cruces. Scholarships are typically awarded in the spring to be used on summer research projects. Key staff contact: Shannon Standley.

Environmental Services

TCFA developed a model Pollution Prevention Plan for feedyards that has become the standard for other industries. To help TCFA Feedyard members become as environmentally proactive as possible, TCFA conducts environmental site assessments that help Feedyard members understand the many federal and state environmental regulations.

In addition, TCFA offers enhanced environmental services to help feedyards with monitoring, testing and recordkeeping. TCFA conducts training for feedyard personnel, inspects environmental equipment and facilities, reviews logs and records and assists with water, soil and nutrient sampling. Key staff contact: Ben Weinheimer.

Insurance

Texas Cattle Feeders Association is an agent of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas* (BCBSTX). Nearly one in three Americans has health coverage through a Blue Cross and Blue Shield plan. Most BCBSTX members have nationwide access to contracting providers linked through the BlueCard® program when they or their covered dependents live, work or travel anywhere in the country. When traveling outside the United States, members have access to providers that participate in the BlueCard Worldwide® program in more than 200 countries.

BCBSTX provides considerable discounts when using network providers. In addition to savings offered through its networks, BCBSTX also offers cost-saving alternatives for members who choose out-of-network care. BCBSTX ParPlan providers are non-network doctors who agree to accept BCBSTX's traditional/indemnity reimbursement amount, file claims for members, and not balance bill for amounts other than copayments, deductibles and non-covered services. BCBSTX contracts with 97 percent of the hospitals and more than 80 percent of the licensed doctors in Texas on the ParPlan basis.

Texas Cattle Feeders Association is ready to assist you with your needs in the following areas:

Small Group Health and Life Insurance (2 - 50 employees)

Texas Cattle Feeders Association, through Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas, has health plans designed with the small employer in mind. Flexible product combinations give you more benefit design options at an affordable cost, without compromising the range of benefits and service. Key staff contact: Kristi Gillispie.

Legislative Representation

The impact of government activities on everyday life is ever-present. That why TCFA officers and staff are in constant contact with legislators in state and national political arenas. Not only do TCFA officers and staff visit Washington and Austin, TCFA brings national legislators and their staffs to the TCFA area to provide them a first-hand look at cattle feeding.

Additionally, TCFA utilizes BEEF-PAC to help elect candidates who understand and are friendly to our industry. While TCFA is very active in the legislative arena, the Association cannot, by law, use dues money to make candidate contributions. TCFA BEEF-PAC, through member contributions, helps support candidates who understand our industry. Key staff contacts: Josh Winegarner (legislation) and Shannon Standley (BEEF-PAC).

Market Information

If knowledge is power, then TCFA members swing a big stick when it comes to getting top dollar for fed cattle, thanks to the TCFA Market Department. The TCFA area accounts for about 30 percent of all the fed cattle marketed in the U.S., making Cattle Feeding Country the center of the nation’s fed cattle market. TCFA’s market analyst keeps his thumb on the pulse of the market and can give up-to-date information to qualified members.

Thanks to M-Net, TCFA’s two-way computer satellite market information system, feedyards are only a computer screen away from detailed market information. The system allows members to automatically receive market updates every 30 minutes, or more frequently if market conditions dictate. In the fast-paced cattle business, M-Net can help put market power in your hands and help you get the best price possible for your cattle. Key staff contact:  Brady Miller.

Other Services

Young cattlemen in 4-H or FFA looking for education and a hands-on experience can compete in the TCFA Junior Fed Beef Challenge. Junior Fed Beef Challenge participants feed a pen of three or four steers, then compete on the carcass merit of their cattle and their knowledge and understanding of the cattle feeding industry. Students compete for college scholarships, cash and other prizes. Key staff contact:  Brady Miller.

TCFA strongly supports the beef checkoff and works with various organizations, including National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB), U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) and Texas Beef Council (TBC) to form a powerful beef promotion team. Key staff contact: Ross Wilson.

Preparing Future Leaders

TCFA is working with public schools to enhance existing high school Vo Ag curriculum by adding courses focused on the management and operation of feedyards. In addition, TCFA works to attract young people to the industry through its Junior Fed Beef Challenge and Junior Fed Beef Career and Leadership Program held at West Texas A&M University.

TCFA also helps students at the college and university level with scholarships provided through the TCFA Education Foundation and sponsors representatives to NCBA's Young Cattlemen's Conference to enhance knowledge for younger professionals already in the industry. The Richard McDonald Leadership Institute additionally provides leadership training for cattle industry organizations throughout the country. The program includes a comprehensive curriculum covering the basics of volunteer and staff leadership for cattle associations. Key staff contact: Ross Wilson.

Quality Assurance

TCFA was the first state cattlemen’s association to implement a Beef Safety and Quality Assurance ProgramSM. TCFA’s program has served as the foundation for beef quality assurance efforts now in place in nearly every state.

TCFA’s BQA Program includes HACCP principles and recognizes feedyards for meeting strict requirements. Feedyards must be audited by TCFA and certified by a third party expert. Feedyards then must re-qualify every year to keep their certification. Key staff contact: Matt Davis.

Regulatory Liaison

Between the state and federal government, feedyards in Cattle Feeding Country must adhere to regulations from more than 20 different agencies. Sorting through the maze of regulations can be a difficult task. That’s why TCFA maintains a close relationship with many government agencies whose actions can affect you.

Feedyard members gain a valuable return on their membership by consulting with staff as they draw plans to comply with various regulations. Should a feedyard need interpretation or clarification of regulations, TCFA can help. Should a feedyard need to contact a government agency, TCFA can assist in the discussion. Should a member wish to suggest changes, reductions, or additions to regulations, those can be channeled through TCFA. Key staff contact: Ben Weinheimer.

Research

Feedyards in Cattle Feeding Country combine the traditions of cattle production with cutting-edge technology in an effort to do the best job possible feeding cattle. With an industry that was raised on technology and whose future will be determined by scientific advances, TCFA encourages research into various aspects of fed cattle production.

TCFA works in concert with the academic community to provide cattle feeders with technical knowledge by planting “seed money” in research projects that will provide the information needed to stay ahead of the curve. In fact, TCFA has helped fund more than 80 research projects over the years and has developed Research Reports. Key staff contact: Ben Weinheimer.

Safety

The TCFA Safety Program helps feedyards develop worker safety programs, designed to prevent accidents, reduce insurance premiums and cut losses. TCFA can conduct on-site feedyard inspections and then help management and employees create a safe and healthy workplace environment. Key staff contact: Brady Miller.

Seminars & Meetings

Cattle feeding is a unique business, and cattle feeders have unique and special needs for knowledge and information. To satisfy those needs, TCFA sponsors many seminars that help members work smarter.

Members and employees can benefit from seminars on such topics as feedyard office procedure, feedyard safety, animal health, feedmill management, financial management, labor law and others. The TCFA Annual Convention is another event that provides fertile ground for education and the exchange of ideas.

TCFA’s cost-effective educational seminars can return significant benefits to your operation through greater employee productivity. Key staff contact: Brady Miller.