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Property rights, reinforcing industry as an ally in preserving open spaces and wildlife habitat through grazing practices will be a top priority.

February 3, 2024

3 Min Read

Mark Eisele, a Wyoming rancher, ascended to the role of NCBA president during the 2024 Cattle Industry Convention. Eisele, along with his wife, Trudy, and their children, operate the historic King Ranch near Cheyenne, Wyoming, grazing both public and private lands.

The 2024 NCBA officer team, approved by the NCBA board of directors, took office at the end of this year’s convention. Buck Wehrbein of Nebraska was named president-elect and Gene Copenhaver of Virginia was elected vice president. Kim Brackett of Idaho was elected chair of the NCBA Policy Division and Skye Krebs of Oregon was elected policy vice chair. Dan Gattis of Texas and Nancy Jackson of Mississippi were elected as chair and vice chair, respectively, of the NCBA Federation division. Brad Hastings of Texas will continue to serve as NCBA treasurer.

Eisele’s focus during his time as president is to advocate for opportunities to strengthen the industry for future generations and for producers’ freedom to operate. Protecting property rights and reinforcing the cattle industry’s position as an ally in preserving open spaces and wildlife habitat through managed grazing practices will be a top priority.

“I manage both public and private lands and am often asked why protecting public land ranching is important. Aside from it being a part of how we raise cattle in the West, it’s also an important place to draw a line in the sand. If public lands are closed to cattle, or we’re regulated to the point that we can’t run cattle on public lands, it will only be a matter of time before activists end up on the doorstep of every farmer and rancher in the country, looking to restrict private property and water rights. I want NCBA to make sure that can’t happen,” he said. “Grazing is good, and beef is a valuable protein. We need flexibility in the way we produce it. Those are the simple messages I want to get across to decision makers.”

During the year ahead, Eisele also expects to tackle ongoing farm bill negotiations as NCBA works to secure reauthorization of animal health provisions, expand the accessibility and funding of risk management and disaster relief programs, and protect voluntary conservation programs. The significant challenge posed by federal government tax policies, particularly the death tax, will also be top of mind.

He expressed his commitment to advocating for producers in all segments of the industry. Eisele sees the year ahead as an opportunity to pay back the efforts of those who came before him. Acknowledging the influence of past leaders, Eisele explained that it’s critical for cattle and beef industry leaders to step up and lead while taking on the challenges of the future.

“I believe in this industry. I believe in its people. I want to meet as many members as I can and hear stories about good things that have happened,” he said. “I also want to hear stories about bad things that are occurring so we can find ways that NCBA can support our members and help solve the problems they face. In the year ahead, I plan to focus on these priorities while also opening opportunities for young leaders."

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