My family and I spent a few days this week at the Idaho Cattle Association’s Annual Convention. We look forward to this event each year. We spend time visiting with friends we don’t see often enough and attend meetings that provide relevant information about our industry.

This year we brought the kids with us. All of the kids. They took it all in, the trade show, all of the people and the beautiful setting (Sun Valley, ID). My husband and I (in yet another amazing display of parental wisdom) thought it would be fun to take the kids to the Baxter Black performance the first evening of convention.

The entertainment was scheduled to begin at 8pm, which happens to be the same time my youngest children are tucked into bed. They were surprisingly quiet and well-behaved, but only because I surrendered my phone to them to play. Fortunately the battery held it’s charge and lasted through the entire performance. Phew!

My older boys enjoyed Baxter’s brand of humor and laughed throughout the evening. They went up afterwards and asked Mr. Black to sign a couple of books for them. I decided to call the evening a win; the younger kids survived without getting us ejected from the auditorium and the older kids got new books and met an author. I had to re-think that decision a couple of days later when I overheard the older boys pretending to be veterinarians. They were assisting a cow with a bad case of “the runs”. (My husband assures me that small doses of boy humor is acceptable…I’m still reserving judgment on that one!)





The next day, the kids and I were fortunate to spend time visiting with Dane Rauschenberg, the featured luncheon speaker.

Dane is an elite athlete who ran 52 marathons in 52 weeks and continues to accomplish amazing goals in his running career. Dane is a spokesperson (spokesrunner) for the beef industry. As a beef producer, I greatly enjoyed hearing the message he delivers to consumers around the country.


It was an excellent convention and although I didn’t attend as many meetings as I would have liked, it was worth it to give my children this experience. They witnessed beef producers from each segment of our industry come together to create policy, hear governmental updates and discuss the cattle business.

Well, I’d like to think they witnessed all of this, in reality they spent most of their time wandering through the trade show stockpiling free pens and discussing what they learned from Baxter Black. Heaven help me!