News Releases

Date: 11/12/2008

Title: Kansan Receives Top Hand Award for Recruiting Most New NCBA Members

DENVER - Tracy Brunner of Ramona, Kan., has won the 2008 Top Hand Award from the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) for recruiting the most new members to the organization during fiscal 2008, which ended Sept. 30. The contest was sponsored by John Deere.

Brunner brought in 57 new members during the year, and receives for his efforts a dream vacation or custom saddle, two airline tickets to either the 2008 Cattle Industry Convention and Trade Show in Phoenix or the Cattle Industry Summer Conference in Denver, registration and three nights lodging at either the convention or conference, and a personalized Schaefer vest.

Brunner, a fourth generation rancher, has been an NCBA member since 1996 and is active in NCBA efforts. He is on the NCBA Board of Directors in the Policy Division and serves on the Product Enhancement Committee. He is also president of the Kansas Livestock Association. Brunner is a partner in Cow Camp Beef, a family-owned business that includes ranching, feeding and farming interests on the western edge of the Flint Hills.

Runner-up in the Top Hand Contest was David Fitzpatrick of Winchester, Ky., who won the contest last year. Fitzpatrick has won the contest 6 times; this is the second time he has been runner-up. Fitzpatrick, who is active on the NCBA Property Rights/Environmental Management Committee, signed up 56 new members in 2008.

A total of 147 people who earned 2008 Top Hand Club status recruited 1,378 new NCBA members during the year. Altogether, 1,637 new members were recruited, with 51 Top Hand members recruiting 10 or more new members to win a personalized Schaefer vest and 16 earning additional prizes, such as free airline tickets, and Annual Convention registrations and lodging.

To join the Top Hand Club a current NCBA member must recruit three new members for the organization, and must recruit two new members each year after to stay in the club. 

Our Top Hand members are an elite group that helps keep NCBA vibrant,” according to Andy Groseta, a beef producer from Cottonwood, Ariz., and NCBA President. “We depend on these and other current members to help bring in new people to NCBA, giving the organization greater strength and renewed energy. Together with our 110-year foundation, our educational efforts, our aggressive defense of cattlemen, and our reputation in Washington, D.C. and around the country, our renewed membership helps us in our quest for a healthy and successful cattle industry.”

Overall, membership and revenues increased significantly for NCBA in fiscal 2008, which ended Sept. 30. NCBA membership grew 6.7 percent over the previous year to 30,647, while revenues from membership grew 8.3 percent over fiscal 2007. Membership in the organization has grown 24 percent over the last 3 years.

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