The 2006 Cattle Industry Annual Convention concluded last week with the election of new officers by the National Cattlemen's Beef Association. Almost 5000 cattlemen from across the nation attended the event, including delegations from 64 state and breed affiliates representing over 230,000 members.
Huntsville, Mo., cattleman Mike John was elected NCBA president. John is manager of John Ranch, Inc., a retained ownership, commercial cow-calf operation. He is also director of MFA Health Track Beef Alliance in Columbia, Mo., a feeder cattle source and process verification program. John has previously served as chairman of NCBA's Animal Identification Commission and its Membership and Association Services Committee. He also served as group chair of Industry and Producer Services for NCBA.
At the state level, John was president of the Missouri Beef Industry Council and was also president of the Missouri Cattlemen's Association. He is a 1980 graduate of Kansas State University, with a degree in Animal Science.
John thanked NCBA members for the opportunity to serve, and expressed great optimism for the year ahead.
"There's more opportunity in the beef industry today than at any point in my lifetime," he says.
This convention marked the 10th anniversary of the meeting at which NCBA was created through a merger of the National Cattlemen's Association and the National Live Stock and Meat Board. But John emphasized that the cattlemen's group's history and member-driven policy process date back more than a century.
"While we celebrate 10 years of NCBA, our organization has survived as a democracy for more than 107 years," he says.
John also recognized the contributions of outgoing NCBA President Jim McAdams, a rancher from Adkins, Texas. NCBA members paid tribute to McAdams for his leadership and advocacy - not only during his term as president, but also in three previous years as a NCBA officer.
"Being NCBA president has been the most gratifying experience of my life," McAdams says. "What I think I learned most, is to follow the example and values established by our ancestors."
Also paying tribute to McAdams was Matt Brockman, executive vice president of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers â€“ the NCBA state affiliate in which McAdams has been a longtime member and leader. Brockman introduced a video message from Texas Governor Rick Perry, which recapped McAdams' many contributions to Texas agriculture.
Waynesville, N.C., cattleman John Queen was elected NCBA president-elect. He is president and owner of John Queen Farms, a third-generation cattle operation founded in 1917.
"I am so proud of what NCBA and its affiliates and councils have done for producers over the years, particularly last year to support producers hit hard by the hurricanes," Queen says. "That's what NCBA is about for me: producers helping producers. To carry on this tradition will be a real honor for me."
Queen also owns and operates Southeast Livestock Exchange, a video-telemarketing service covering the Southeast Region. He is a past president of the North Carolina Cattlemen's Association, and is a member and director of the Haywood County (N.C.) Cattlemen's Association. He is a graduate of Western Carolina University.
Paul Hitch, an Oklahoma cattle feeder and stocker, was elected NCBA vice president. He operates Hitch Enterprises, which is an agricultural production company that includes beef, pork, corn, wheat, sunflower and alfalfa production. Hitch resides on the Hitch Ranch, located near Guymon, which was founded by his great-grandfather in 1884. He is a graduate of Oklahoma State University and holds a Master of Science degree in Business Administration from Stanford University.
"I consider it an honor and a privilege to be chosen to serve as NCBA vice-president," says Hitch. "I look forward to traveling the country and visiting with all sorts of beef producers. We have the great opportunity to work together to make U.S. beef the most desired meat product in the world."
Hitch previously served as chairman of NCBA's Live Cattle Marketing Committee, and was NCBA Policy Division chairman in 2005. Cottonwood, Az., cattleman Andy Groseta was elected as the new chairman of the NCBA Policy Division. Steve Fogelsong of Astoria, Ill., will serve as vice chairman.
NCBA's Federation Division, comprised of representatives of participating state beef councils, will be under the leadership of Larry Jones, a cattleman from Holcomb, Kan. Gary Voogt of Marne, Mich., will serve as vice chairman of the Federation Division.