Where to begin? This has been a very fun week in Nashville and I still have one more day to go. A record 7,000+ cattlemen/women and community members have invaded the Opryland Resort. Every where you look there are advertisements from vendors, equipment sales, and breed association. Too many things to do. Too many people to find. (Literally, I’ve been looking for two days and there’s still people I haven’t seen).

I haven’t actually been staying at the Resort, rather making the drive in each morning. The University is bringing cattle in each day for the demonstrations, so I’m out here at the Research Station, loading cattle early each morning before heading in.

Wednesday morning kicked off with Cattlemen’s College. There were some great researchers and scientists from across the country there to present their research findings and answer questions from cattlemen. I attended sections on Feed Efficiency and Reproduction. A few of the presentations went pretty specific, and some kind of missed making their take home point. They tried to fit a lot of material into the sections and ended up rushing at the end of every section. (Why is it that so many people find themselves rushing at the end of a presentation. Time management?) It’ll take a few blog posts next week to explain these.

We had an awesome Tweetup on Wednesday night at the Angus booth. 25-30 people showed up and it was great to put voices and faces with the names. In twitter language that’s #IRL (in real life). We have another tweetup this afternoon at 3 with the Brangus booth! It has been great to finally meet IRL so many people who I talk to everyday through social media. These relationships forged through messages and phone calls become exciting when you finally get to meet at a convention like this.

The trade show is huge. I’ve been to a few, but this one is by far the largest. So many booths and vendors. Great people to meet. I got to meet Baxter Black. Our keynote speakers have been great, awesome, and entertaining. Some at one of the restaurants asked if I’d like to start with chicken strips (I kept my comments to myself).

I think the BEST part of this Cattle Industry Convention is being in one place with 7,000+ people who are passionate about the same thing. I can strike up a conversation with anyone and they’ll be more than happy to compare notes and see how things are different in other parts of the country. It is such an encouragement and motivation to be surrounded by so many people with the same passion. An event like this truly emphasizes why we refer to this group as a cattle and beef community.

Here’s a few of the bloggers who have been keeping pace with the convention.

Janice Person has many more great photos on her blog!

The Young Producer’s Council blog

Amanda Radke (Beef Daily) – great to finally meet her!