Through our ongoing partnership with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), we’ve long been focused on providing young people with risk management education to enable them to advance their careers in the beef industry. At the 1989 NCBA convention we took a big step towards codifying this commitment. That was the year that, in conjunction with the National Cattlemen’s Foundation, we established the CME Beef Industry scholarship.
The choice to establish the scholarship that year was not arbitrary. 1989 marked the 25th anniversary of the Live Cattle futures contract at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. We wanted a way to mark the occasion, and decided to establish a lasting gift for the industry that relies on that contract – one that would help ensure the future success of the beef industry. For the past 25 years, the scholarship has helped do that by providing $15,000 each year divide among 10 students dedicated to a career in the industry.
The scholarship has helped fund the education of people who went on to work in and run cattle operations, or help the industry through processing feed, brokering trades, providing logistics and capital and advocating for beef producers at the state and federal level. Any industry is only as strong as its future prospects, and the beef scholarship helps ensure that talented young people committed to the beef industry are able to pursue their careers.
It’s been 25 years since we introduced the scholarship. Certainly a lot has changed in the industry in that time, but there are a couple of constants: livestock producers still rely on the Live Cattle futures contract to manage their risk, and the need for future leaders in the industry is as great as ever. That’s why, for this year only, we’ve expanded the CME scholarship to $25,000 for 25 recipients.
We think it is a great way to commemorate what has been a successful quarter-century partnership with the National Cattlemen’s Foundation, and advance the careers of more outstanding students.
We also look at it as a way to highlight some of the ways the scholarship has impacted the industry. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be highlighting some of the past winners of the scholarship and where they are now. You can also look for interviews with beef industry influencers about what the scholarship and the Live Cattle contract – which celebrates 50 years this year – has meant to the beef industry.