The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) has a new president. Wyoming rancher Mark Eisele was handed the gavel during the 2024 Cattle Industry Convention, held last week in Orlando, Florida.
Eisele says his focus during his time as president is to advocate for opportunities to strengthen the industry for future generations.
“It’s a crying shame we have to keep revisiting this,” he said. “[Lawmakers] can kind of do what they want to do, and it doesn’t seem to matter because there’s not enough of us in rural America to outvote that. But we’re so critical. Everybody wants to be well fed. Well, that’s what it takes to be well fed. You’ve got to keep these ranches and farms in transition. You have to be able to go to the next generation. You have to keep them viable. [With] the death tax, I wonder how many ranches and farms have paid for themselves over and over and over again, through no fault of their own, other than the government wanting tax money.”
Other priorities for Eisele include 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. But at top of the list is a new Farm Bill.
“We’ve got to wrap up this Farm Bill,” he said. “We’ve got to get some certainty in the Farm Bill.”
Also important, he said, is a vaccine bank for animal agriculture, protecting checkoffs and educating the public about cell-cultured meat.
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. 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.”
Eisele will serve as president until next year’s Cattle Industry Convention.