The Maryland Cattlemen’s Association, as we know it today, was formed through the merger of two prominent Maryland beef cattle organizations dating back to the 1950s. This merger, between the Maryland Cattle Producers Association, Inc. (MCPA) and the Maryland Beef Cattle Improvement Association, Inc. (MBCIA) occurred in February 1972.
The Maryland Cattle Producers Association Inc. was formed by Mr. Amos Myers in the early 1950s and functioned primarily as a marketing organization for Maryland-produced feeder cattle. This group conducted many feeder calf sales over the years and was primarily responsible for the development of graded sales in Maryland.
Dr. Jim Ferguson, of the University of Maryland, formed the Maryland Beef Cattle Improvement Association in 1958. The purpose of the MBCIA was to conduct and promote standardized performance testing of growing beef cattle across Maryland. In addition to on-farm performance programs, this group also conducted a central bull test program for Maryland cattle producers. In 1968, the MBCIA became a charter member of the national Beef Improvement Federation (BIF).
By the mid 1960s, the MBCIA was becoming the more active and effective of the two organizations and showed a clear desire to build a single, more unified cattle organization in Maryland. For example, the MBCIA had expressed a willingness to support the activities of both the Eastern National Livestock Show and Maryland Red Meat Council and had extended a hand to the MCPA.
Between 1957 and 1972, several failed attempts were made to merge these two groups into one large state organization. Finally, in 1972, under the leadership of Ken Pruitt and A. Leland Clark of the MBCIA, the two organizations were merged to form the Maryland Cattlemen’s Association, Inc. (MCA).
Today, the MCA serves as the unified voice of our state cattle industry and plays both an educational and political action role for the benefit of cattle and beef producers across Maryland. In addition, MCA promotes Maryland beef and beef products through their Beef Industry Council, established in 1986, using Checkoff dollars to fund those activities.