News Releases

Date: 7/9/2008

Title: Washington Veteran to Represent Cattlemen in Nation’s Capital

WASHINGTON – The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) has hired J. Burton Eller Jr. to manage the association’s legislative and regulatory office in Washington, D.C., a return for the senior executive of the former National Cattlemen’s Association (NCA). Burton will report to CEO Terry Stokes, who served an additional role as interim head of the D.C. office during the search for a new senior vice president of government affairs.

“I have seen firsthand the challenges facing cattlemen in Washington, D.C.,” Stokes said. “My goal was to find someone who could step into this role without missing a beat and am confident Burton is the right man to lead NCBA government affairs as we go forward."

Eller served as senior vice president of government affairs for NCA for a decade (1981-1991) before leading NCA as executive vice president for five years (1991-1996). He was also a member of the initial industry-wide long range plan task force and the subsequent oversight committee that facilitated the formation of NCBA. 

“I am blessed to have the opportunity to return to the industry I grew up in and have spent so many years of my career serving. I am eager to get to work on the issues affecting cattlemen across this great country,” Eller said. “The challenges we face today are very different from the 1980s. Record high corn and fuel prices and overly burdensome regulations threaten the livelihood of families who have been in the cattle business for generations. I look forward to working with Terry and the rest of the NCBA team to cultivate a more favorable business climate for beef producers.”

Since leaving NCA in 1996, Eller has built on his “inside-the-beltway” experience as the president and CEO of an international trade association and, most recently, serving as Deputy Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Prior to his appointment as Under Secretary, Eller spent three years directing the Office of External Affairs for USDA’s Farm Service Agency.

Eller will lead a staff of experienced lobbyists and experts in trade, environment, animal health and public lands issues, including: Colin Woodall, executive director of legislative affairs; Gregg Doud, chief economist; Tamara McCann Thies, chief environmental counsel; Dr. Elizabeth Parker, chief veterinarian; Elizabeth Bostdorff, manager of policy affiliate relations; Jeff Eisenberg, director of federal lands and executive director of the Public Lands Council; Dustin Van Liew, Public Lands Council coordinator; and Steve Hadley, director of information technology.

In addition, NCBA has recently added three new staff, including: Heather Vaughan, associate director of public affairs; Quintina Giambrone, associate director of NCBA-PAC; and Jill Davidsaver, manager of legislative affairs.

Burton resides with his wife Laurie and daughters Leah and Landree in Gainesville, Va.  He has three grown children, Trey, Kara and Ashley, and five grandchildren. 

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