A local rancher is giving North Dakota cattlemen a national voice.
Jason Schmidt of Medina was recently elected as a regional vice president of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association Policy Division.
Schmidt is now representing North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas beef producers.
It's a job that doesn't leave much extra time on your hands.
Serving on a national board is an even bigger time commitment than most volunteer efforts, but one Jason Schmidt is ready to tackle.
(Jason Schmidt / Rancher) "It's a three year position. Monthly conference calls we had our first one this morning and I guess I got to get used to some of that and a few meetings every year, plus a convention."
(Julie Ellingson / ND Stockmen's Association) "Jason has been a respected leader not only in the North Dakota Stockmen's Association, but on the North Dakota Beef Commission, in his local community and even in the state policy arenas. We are excited to have in that position. We really respect his leadership and the talent that he brings and we proud of him that he was recognized on a national level and will be able to utilize that resource to better the whole beef industry."
Schmidt says NCBA is an organization that stands for the industry he has spent his life working for.
(Jason Schmidt / Rancher) "When I go to the NCBA conventions I really appreciate the fact that the big picture is in mind and we are talking about all segments of the industry. We want to make this thrive for the next generation, not just for this year or next year and they have a long term perspective and I really appreciate that about them. "
Schmidt's new role keeps him in the heart of what is happening in the beef industry.
(Jason Schmidt / Rancher) "FDA regulations that are on antibiotic use. That is constantly on our radar and we want to make sure that the livestock industry is apart of the discussion and isn't getting those types of regulations pushed at us."
It's a 3 year term.
3 years when the beef industry is expected to go through some major changes that haven't been seen for decades.
(Jason Schmidt / Rancher) "W are finally talking about herd expansion,which hasn't happened in a long time. So from my own perspective for us to look forward and to be able to sell more beef down the road to the consumers, whether it be here in the state or world wide is gonna be important because we want to maintain these prices. Hopefully our costs will be in check."
Bringing a northern perspective to a national board to support a job that Schmidt calls a "life's work."
Schmidt is the first North Dakotan to serve in this role since Killdeer Rancher, Gene Harris, who served in 2001 through 2004.
NCBA started in 1898 and is the oldest and largest association of U.S. beef producers.