Hundreds of Iowa beef producers are gathering in West Des Moines this morning for the start of the two-day Iowa Cattlemen’s Association Winter Conference. Steve Stanton, a vice president of the Iowa Cattlemen’s Foundation, is helping organize the event. Stanton is expecting between 800 and one-thousand producers and members of allied industries to attend, representing almost every one of Iowa’s 99 counties. Started in 1994, Stanton says the Iowa Cattlemen’s Foundation strives to enhance the public perception of the Iowa cattle industry and to help provide educational and economic opportunities for Iowans in the cattle business. He says this is expected to be one of the group’s larger conferences.The agenda is designed to allow cattle producers to discuss all of the critical industry issues and to help set policy for the association as it moves forward. It was 50 weeks ago that the first B-S-E case appeared in the U.S. Stanton says last month’s scare with a possible Mad Cow case — which ended up being a false alarm — will be a topic everyone’s talking about. Stanton says “Beef safety is high on everyone’s mind and a very important factor and that will be covered in-depth, things producers can do to help maintain and create confidence in the American consumer out there in our product.” For more information, surf to “”.