Jennifer Houston of Sweetwater, Tennessee, was named president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association at the organization’s annual meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana, Feb. 2. Houston had served as 2018 president-elect.
Houston and her husband, Mark, own and operate East Tennessee Livestock Center Inc., in Sweetwater. She has been active in the beef industry for more than 30 years, first serving at the state level then being elected to positions in national posts. She has been an NCBA board member since 1996.
Elected NCBA president-elect was Marty Smith (Florida). Jerry Bohn (Kansas) was elected VP. Don Schiefelbein (Minnesota) was elected chair of the NCBA Policy Division, and Todd Wilkinson (South Dakota) was elected vice chair. Laurie Munns (Utah) was elected chair of the NCBA Federation Division, and Buck Wehrbein (Nebraska) was elected vice chair.
Elected to serve on the Beef Promotion Operating Committee from the Federation, joining Munns, Wehrbein and 10 members elected from the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board, were: Katie Brenny (Minnesota), Gary Deering (South Dakota), Bradley Hastings (Texas), Chris Jeffcoat (Pennsylvania), Clark Price (North Dakota), Jeff Rudolph (Nebraska), Don Terry (Tennessee) and VeaBea Thomas (South Dakota).
NCBA policy priorities also were established at the meeting. These priorities included 2019 work in fake meat; trade and market access; dietary guidelines; and regulatory reform and implementation. In addition to the NCBA annual meeting, the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board, CattleFax, American National CattleWomen and National Cattlemen’s Foundation also conducted business meetings.
The board meeting followed a successful 2019 Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show. A total of 8,774 people attended the event, one of the most well-attended cattle industry conventions ever.
Attendees enjoyed a wide array of events Jan. 30-Feb. 1. The proceedings began a day earlier, on Jan. 29, when more than 1,500 producers attended Cattlemen’s College. Cattlemen’s College keynote speaker was Bill Cordingley, head of wholesale banking North America, RaboBank. Cordingley spoke on “Greater Expectations, Bigger Opportunities.” Eight Cattlemen’s College session tracks followed to educate attendees.
Entertaining a full audience at the opening general session Jan. 30 was four-time Super Bowl champion quarterback Terry Bradshaw. Singing the National Anthem at the session was Kari Wheeler of Biggs, California, winner of NCBA’s fifth annual National Anthem contest. CattleFax held its U.S. and Global Protein and Grain Outlook Seminar on Thursday, Jan. 31. The session looked at the factors that drive the market, such as domestic and international supplies and demand. Dr. Art Douglas presented his outlook for 2019 U.S. and world weather at the session.
The closing general session on Friday, Feb. 1, featured an appearance by Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. At the session, Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter John Ondrasik, better known by his stage name Five for Fighting, asked his audience, “What If? Harnessing Inspiration and Creativity to Design the World that You Want.”
Wrapping up the convention on Friday night was the 2019 Cowboy Concert Series, with headliners Big and Rich.
During the NCBA Trade Show, more than 350 exhibitors showcased their products and services on more than seven acres.