From the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association:
SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS (Feb. 6, 2015) – JoAnn Smith of Micanopy, Fla., was awarded the Swan Family Leadership Award at the Best of Beef Breakfast in San Antonio, Texas, Feb. 6, 2015. This award recognizes worthy individuals who have made a difference during a lifetime of dedication and leadership to the beef industry.
Smith has spent her entire life in service to the beef industry. Her son Marty and her grandchildren now work cattle on the Smith Brothers Operation in Wacahoota, Fla., primarily a cattle and timber operation that has been around since the 1850s. Her grandchildren are the sixth generation to be on the ranch.
Starting in the 1970s she became active in industry leadership roles, starting as a member of the Florida Beef Council. She became the first female president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association in 1985 and made countless appearances before congress on behalf of the cattle industry. She also had an impact on opening the Asian markets to U.S. beef while traveling to Japan and China. One of the successes that Smith is remembered for is helping to get the Beef Checkoff Program off the ground in the mid-1980s. She was the first chair of the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board in 1986.
Smith also held numerous positions with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, serving as that agency’s assistant secretary for Marketing Inspection Services from 1989 to 1993.
The Swan Family Leadership Award is in honor of Bill Swan, and his son George, beef industry champions who served in leadership positions at the local, state and national levels, including as presidents of NCBA. The Swan Family Leadership Award was instituted by NCBA and the Idaho Cattle Association.