Philip Ellis is a fifth generation rancher who stewards a commercial cow-calf operation in Bear Creek Valley in southeast Wyoming. Philip’s ancestors settled in that area in 1883 and established several ranches. The current ranch which is Marsh and Ellis Ranch, LLC, where Philip resides was established in 1923 by his Great-uncle Earl Marsh. Philip’s father, Bill Ellis, starting helping on the ranch at age 11 and became a full partner when he returned from World War II. In 1991, Philip took over the day-to-day management and has since given that responsibility to his nephew, Jacob.
Originally, the Marsh and Ellis Ranch was a purebred Hereford herd but now it is a commercial cow, yearling operation with Red Angus and Hereford cross cattle. On the ranch, calving starts March-April and the calves are fed and marketed in September.
Philip has been involved in the cattle industry for many years and has served in various leadership roles. He has been active at the state level in the Wyoming Stock Growers Association where he served on committees and as committee chair. He also served as Vice President (1996-1998), First President (2001-2003) and President from 2003-2005. He served on the NCBA Board of Directors and became active on the Ag Policy Committee. Philip was the Region V Vice President, President Elect and is now currently serving as the President.
Philip is active in his community and has been involved with multiple organizations, Oregon Trail Bank Board of Directors, President of Platte County Chamber of Commerce, President of Chugwater Economic Development and Chairman of Chugwater Valley Church Council.
Philip raised two daughters on the ranch with his late wife, Joy; Amanda and Mark Pollard live in Greeley, CO with their son, Lincoln Ellis Pollard. Sarah and Samuel Booth live in Denver, CO with their two sons, Ellison and Griffin Booth.
NCBA President Elect
Tracy Brunner is the 4th generation on his family operation located in Ramona, Kansas. He has served as president of his family corporation since its inception in 1988. Tracy manages the feedyard and the yearling grazing operation. He also oversees the cattle and grain marketing decisions, commodity risk management, customer relations, and financial reports.Tracy's family also operates a seed stock enterprise raising bulls and replacement heifers for many ranchers throughout the U.S.
Tracy graduated from Kansas State University in 1978 with a degree in Animal Science. Through the years he has held many leadership positions in the beef industry including; Kansas Livestock Association (KLA) President, KLA Executive Committee, Kansas Beef Council Executive Committee, KLA PAC Chairman, KLA Advisory Council and Kansas Governor's Agriculture Advisory Board.
Not only has Tracy been very active at the state level he has been active at the national level as well. He was the Policy Division Chair in 2009. He was on the Executive Committee from 2005 until 2009 and Tracy served on the NCBA Board from 1998-2011.
Tracy believes good cattle industry leadership focuses on working together to help NCBA members achieve their goals of prosperity and maintaining their lifestyle, through profitable and sustainable farm and ranch businesses.
NCBA Vice President
A fourth-generation cattleman from Elwood, Neb., Craig Uden has always been active in helping shape the ever-challenging and changing beef industry. He believes in giving back to an industry that has been good to him, and while he has stepped aside from the day to day management, he still enjoys buying and selling cattle and his customer relations title, because it is the relationships that are built in the cattle industry that make this business so rewarding. People work toward a common goal to improve and learn so that their industry is sustainable for future generations. Craig is a partner in Darr Feedlot Inc., a commercial cattle feeding operation in central Nebraska. Craig and his wife, Terri, also own and manage three commercial cow-calf operations.
They have a daughter, Blair, who is involved in agribusiness and her and husband own a registered Red Angus operation in Minnesota. His son, Andrew and his wife, work on the family operation overseeing the cattle operations with Craig in addition to the data management for the feedlot. Craig graduated from the University of Nebraska. He has been involved with NCBA since the mid-1980s and has served on several committees throughout the organization.
Craig is currently serving as NCBA President Elect; he has previously served as the Policy and Federation Division Chairman. He has been involved in a number of functions on a local and state basis, including past chairman and elder of Trinity Lutheran Church in Lexington, Nebraska, member and past chair of the Dawson County Cattlemens, and a 4-H leader. Along with serving on the Nebraska Beef Council, Craig has served on the Nebraska Cattlemens Board of Directors as a committee chairman and vice chairman, the Nebraska Cattlemens Research & Education Foundation, and involved in Nebraska Feedlot Council. Craig is also a member of Nebraska Ag Builders and sits on the Foundation Board of Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity.
NCBA Past President
Bob McCan of Victoria, Texas, oversees the cattle operations and recreational hunting and wildlife operations for his family’s company, McFaddin Enterprises, Ltd. in Victoria, Refugio, and Bee Counties. The ranches are stocked with Victoria cattle, a commercial cross-bred of three-fourths Hereford and one fourth Brahman with a uniform Hereford coloring.
Bob was born in Victoria County on October 16, 1957. He graduated from public high school in 1975. After spending his freshman year at Victoria College, he transferred to Texas A&M University in College Station and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Range Science in 1980.
Bob was appointed to the board of Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association in 1990. In 1999, he was named second vice-president of the Association and in 2003 he became president of TSCRA. Some of the accomplishments Bob is most proud of during his tenure there were organizing the association’s long range strategic planning process and creating a partnership stewardship award program between TSCRA and the Society for Range Management Texas section to honor Texas ranchers for their stewardship achievements.
During his tenure as president, TSCRA received an award for their leadership role along with Texas Beef Council and Texas A&M Extension Service on creating the Texas Beef Quality Assurance training program.
In 1995, Governor George Bush appointed Bob to serve on the Fire Ant Research and Management Account Advisory Committee. He was then elected chairman of this state committee. Under his leadership, Bob was responsible for helping coordinate research efforts for controlling the red imported fire ant between Texas A&M University, Texas Tech University, and The University of Texas.
Since 1993, Bob served on the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association board. He served as vice chairman of the Private Lands and Environment Committee. From 2005 through 2008, he served as a regional vice president for NCBA and served on the Executive Committee during this time.
Bob has also taken an active role with the Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative, serving as the state chairman on two separate tenures over the past fifteen years. GLCI is an organization founded by grassroots producers in an effort to re-establish technical assistance for range land producers and grazing managers and also to help provide education to grazing land managers. Under the leadership of Bob and many others in Texas, this coalition effort has been very successful in increasing technical assistance for ranchers.
In 2001, Bob was given the outstanding Rangeland Management Award for the State of Texas by the Society for Range Management. In 2007, he received the Lone Star Land Stewardship Award for the Gulf Prairies and Marshes region by Texas Parks and Wildlife Agency.
From 1995 to 2008, Bob served as chairman of the local Victoria Soil and Water Conservation District where he and other board members oversee the many different state and federal conservation programs. During his leadership tenure, the Soil and Water District of Victoria received an award for being the top soil and water district office in the state.
Governor Rick Perry appointed Bob to serve on the Farm and Ranch Land Conservation Council in 2006. Then in 2008, the Governor appointed him to serve on the Coastal Coordination Council of Texas.
Bob has served as a director for the First Victoria National Bank since 1997. He also serves on the King Ranch Institute for Ranch Management Council, which oversees a ranch management graduate degree program at Texas A&M University in Kingsville.
One accomplishment Bob and his wife, Julie, are most proud of are their two children, Robert August and Mary Isabel. The children are the sixth generation of their family to work on the McFaddin Ranch.
NCBA Federation Division Chairman
Jennifer Houston and her husband own and operate a progressive livestock auction market in Sweetwater, Tennessee where they sell approximately 50,000 head of cattle each year. In addition to her weekly cattle auctions, they have eleven graded feeder calf sales, a PVP feeder calf sale, and eleven graded Holstein steer sales. Jennifer also runs a stocker operation, commercial cow-calf herd and feed cattle in Texas and Kansas.
Jennifer has been actively involved in the beef industry through the years. She was President of the Tennessee Cattlewomen's Association from 1989 until 1991. She also was involved in the Tennessee Beef Industry Council. Jennifer served on many committees at the national level through the years. She served on the Foodservice Committee, Advertising Committee and New Product & Culinary Initiatives Committee. Jennifer held the position of Region II Vice President of the Federation Division.
NCBA Federation Division Vice Chairman
Steve operates a family farm and ranch in southwest Nebraska with his son, the fifth generation on that farm. He feeds out the calves they raise with grain grown on the farm. He is starting his fifth year on the Nebraska Beef Council after being elected by producers in his region. Industry involvement includes serving on the Freedom to operate committee, global growth committee, currently starting a fourth term on Beef Promotion Operating committee, and serving on the evaluation committee. He is also on the executive committee serving as the federation Region 7 vice president representative. Steve was elected chairman of the Nebraska Beef Council, is a member of the Nebraska Cattlemen and the local affiliate. He has served on local church and school boards as well as the Nebraska Ethanol Board, Midwest Electric Board and Tri State Generation and Transmission.
NCBA Policy Division Chairman
Kevin Kester is a fifth generation California rancher. He was born and raised in the Parkfield area of southern Monterey County where his family has lived for over 100 years. They have a stocker and cow-calf operation and farm wine grapes on 22,000 acres. Kevin attended California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo where he obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture Management. He then later returned to Parkfield with his wife June. They have three children, Kayleen 27; Kody 25 and Kara, 17.
Kevin owns and operates his families’ cattle and wine grape operation.
Kevin is very active within the industry, having served as President of the San Luis Obispo County Cattlemen’s Association, President of the California Cattlemen’s Association and is the current vice chairman of the CCA Cattle PAC.
At the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Kevin is currently the Policy Division Vice Chairman. Kevin has served as Chairman of the Joint International Markets and the Tax and Credit Committees. He has also served on the Board of Directors since 2007.
He has also been active within his community serving on the Shandon School Board of Trustees, the California Mid-State Fair Heritage Foundation board of directors and the California Mid-State Fair Agriculture Committee.
Kevin is also a member of the California Association of Winegrape Growers, Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance and the Central Coast Vineyard Team.
NCBA Policy Division Vice Chairman
Steve is a life-long resident of Prospect, Tennessee. Prospect is a small community located in southern Giles County. Scott Farms raises red Angus cows with Horned Herford bulls. A second generation cattle producer, Steve started out with 4-H and FFA where he served as President his junior and senior years. After high school, Steve started raising cattle and got involved in his local Cattlemen’s Association where he served on the board, in addition to serving as President for six years. After this, he was elected to serve on the Tennessee Cattlemen’s Association as a regional vice-president. Upon completion of this term, Steve served on the Executive board serving two years as President. Steve also served six years on the Tennessee Beef Industry Council as vice-chairman. At the end of term, he was elected by the Commissioner of Agriculture to serve on the Tennessee Livestock Network Board where he served as Chairman for three years. During this same time, Steve was elected back to the Tennessee Cattlemen’s Association Board to serve on Tennessee’s Board seat to the NCBA.
Steve has enjoyed being associated with the Cattlemen’s Association and the Tennessee Beef Industry Council, but also enjoys his time spent on his farm tending to his cattle and helping out neighbors and friends. He does custom hay baling and bush hogging for the public. He currently runs 100 head of cows and considers each day spent in the field and pasture to be a blessing.
Richard Gebhart is a fourth generation cattleman who with his family owns and operates Beacon Hill Ranch. The family-owned Hereford operation was established in northeastern Oklahoma in 1909 and focused on purebred Hereford cattle in the 1950’s which earned the family Golden Hereford Breeder status several years ago.
He has been an active volunteer leader in the cattle industry for many years, at the local, state and national levels. Nationally, he has served as a member of the Beef Promotion Operating Committee, Chairman of the Federation of State Beef Councils and vice chair of the Joint Issues Management Subcommittee. He is currently the treasurer of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. He is certified in Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) and a graduate of the Masters of Beef Advocacy (MBA), both of which are national producer-oriented education programs. He has also served as an advisor on several sustainability efforts concerning the beef supply chain, and participated in writing a comprehensive Life Cycle Assessment of the U.S. beef supply chain.
Within Oklahoma, Richard is the current president and a lifetime member of the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association. He is also the current vice-chair and former treasurer of the Oklahoma Beef Council. He is a member and past chairman of the Tulsa State Fair Junior Livestock Auction committee and currently serves as a board member of the Rogers County Cattlemen’s Association as well as treasurer of the Rogers County Fair Board.
A lifetime member of the American Hereford Association, Richard has long been active in Hereford breed activities having served the Oklahoma Hereford Association as a director, former president, and chair of the 2009 Junior National Hereford Expo committee. He is currently serving as breed superintendent for both junior and open Hereford shows at the Tulsa and Oklahoma State Fairs.
In addition to the ranching operation, Richard is professor of operations management and director of assessment in the Collins College of Business at the University of Tulsa (TU). He holds a law degree from TU; an MBA from Syracuse University; a master’s degree in agricultural economics/animal science from Mississippi State University; and a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Arkansas, doing post graduate work at the University of Kansas. Before joining the faculty at TU, Colonel Gebhart served in the US Army as an infantry officer. He and his wife Susan ranch with their family; daughter and son-in-law, Matt and Erica Boyer, their children McKenzie and Gus and daughter, Roxane Gebhart. Both daughters are members of the Oklahoma Air National Guard.