During last week’s Cattle Industry Convention in San Antonio, Texas, Marty Smith officially took the reins as President of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA). Smith is a rancher and an attorney from Wacahoota, Florida and operates Smith Brothers-Wacahoota, LLC, a cow-calf operation that has been in continuous operation since 1852. He talked with Southeast AgNet’s Randall Weiseman about trade, sustainability and producer involvement.
In 1997, Smith served as president of the Florida Cattlemen’s Association and was also a member of the Florida Beef Council, where he served a two-year term as treasurer. He’s been a board member of NCBA, worked on several committees and also served as treasurer and as a member of the Finance and Audit Committee.
A fifth-generation Florida rancher, Smith was elected president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) at the annual Cattle Industry Convention on Saturday. He replaces Jennifer Houston of Sweetwater, Tenn., 2019 NCBA president.
Smith operates Smith Brothers-Wacahoota, LLC, a cow-calf operation in Central Florida, that has been in continuous operation since 1852. It retains ownership through feedlots in Texas, Kansas and Iowa.
Smith graduated from the University of Georgia with a BSA in Agricultural Economics and Animal Science. While at UGA, he was on the livestock judging team and served as president of Ag Hill Council. He was also active in Alpha Gamma Rho and AGHON, the highest honor a UGA student of agriculture, forestry, veterinary medicine or engineering can attain. He graduated from the University of Florida College of Law and was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1984.
“It’s a tremendous honor to lead the oldest and largest national organization representing America’s cattle producers,” Smith said. “We have a great product with a great story, and I’m looking forward to helping tell that story without apology during the year ahead as President of NCBA.”
Smith was formally elected at a meeting of NCBA’s Board of Directors, who also set the rest of the officer team for the coming year. Jerry Bohn of Kansas was named President-elect, Don Schiefelbein of Minnesota was elected Vice President, and Todd Wilkinson of South Dakota was elected chair of the NCBA Policy Division, while Wyoming rancher Mark Eisele was elected policy vice chair. Buck Wehrbein of Nebraska was elected chair of the NCBA Federation Division, and Scott McGregor of Iowa was elected vice chair.
NCBA’s Board of Directors meeting and the selection of a new slate of officers capped a huge week in San Antonio, where more than 8,000 people met for the annual Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show. Convention attendees heard from speakers like U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, who also greeted visitors on the seven-acre Trade Show floor on Wednesday afternoon. Participants also received updates about how their beef checkoff dollars are being used to promote beef consumption, set public policy priorities for the coming year, and honored Blackbeard’s Ranch in Myakka, Fla., as the winner of the 2019 Environmental Stewardship Award Program (ESAP). The Convention ended on Friday night with the 2020 NCBA Professional Bull Riding (PBR) Invitational competition at the Alamodome.
“I want to thank everyone who took time away from their operations to join us in San Antonio this week,” Smith said. “I know that getting involved in promoting our industry or pushing for better public policy is often a sacrifice, but our grassroots members of NCBA are always willing to do what it takes to get the job done. I hope to see everybody at next year’s convention in Nashville!”