DENVER -- The 2006 Cattle Industry Annual Convention concluded Saturday with the election of new officers by the National Cattlemen's Beef Association. Almost 5,000 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 said.



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 said.



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 said. "What I think I learned most, is to follow the example and values established by our ancestors."



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.



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.



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.



The National Cattlemen's Beef Association is the largest organization representing America's cattle industry. Initiated in 1898, NCBA is the industry leader in education, influencing public policy to improve producer profitability and in preserving the industry's heritage and future. Efforts are made possible through membership contributions. To join, contact NCBA at 1-866-BEEF-USA or membership@beef.org.



SOURCE: NCBA news release.