2016 NCBA Policy Division Chairman
Tennessee native Jennifer Houston is the 2016 NCBA Policy Division Chairman. Jennifer and her husband, Mark, own and operate East Tennessee Livestock Center in Sweetwater, Tennessee. Their family-owned market has a history of embracing change to better serve their customers since it was founded by Mark’s father in 1962. In addition to regular weekly cattle sales, they hold video sales, graded feeder calf sales and Holstein steer sales. Jennifer and Mark believe that working together is necessary for cattle producers to maximize their returns. Through the years, Jennifer and Mark have worked closely with the Tennessee Cattlemen’s Association, the University of Tennessee and the Tennessee Department of Agriculture to find new marketing strategies for their producers. They participate in various pilot projects, host numerous producer educational events and speak to producer groups on innovations in livestock marketing.
Jennifer has been active in the beef industry for over 30 years. She became a member of the first Tennessee Beef Industry Council in 1986, and has served as chairman twice. Her national involvement began as she represented Tennessee on the Beef Industry Council of the National Live Stock and Meat Board. She has been an NCBA board member since 1996, chairing the Foodservice, Advertising and New Product and Culinary initiative committees during this time. Most recently, Jennifer served as Chairman of the Federation of State Beef Councils where she also served as a member of the Beef Promotion Operating Committee and the Meat Export Federation executive committee.. She served as Region II Vice-President and was a member of the NCBA executive committee from 1997 to 1999.
At the state level Jennifer has chaired the Tennessee Livestock Network, served on the Tennessee Cattlemen’s Association executive committee and as President of the Tennessee Cattlewomen’s Association. She currently serves on the University of Tennessee Regional Advisory Board. Jennifer is also active in the Tennessee Livestock Marketing Association.
Jennifer and Mark have a daughter, Virginia, who is a lobbyist in Washington, D.C. for the American Seed Trade Association and a son, Ross, who recently graduated in Chemical Engineering from the University of Alabama.
Jennifer grew up on a Hereford farm in West Tennessee and graduated in animal science from the University of Tennessee. She is active in her community and serves as a trustee and Sunday School teacher at her church.