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 President Elect
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 Vice President
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 Past President
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 Federation Division 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 Federation Division Vice Chairman
Effertz and his wife, Norma, operate Black Butte Acres Limousin Ranch, raising seedstock Limousin cattle and backgrounding feeder calves. To educate people about the cattle business and stewardship of the land, they also operate Black Butte Adventures, which includes hiking and biking trails as well as farm tours. Effertz, the third generation of his family to own and operate their farm and ranch, also served in leadership positions in state and national beef industry organizations, including the North Dakota Beef Commission, U.S. Meat Export Federation, and several beef checkoff committees.
NCBA Policy 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 Policy Division Vice Chairman