I want to begin my first article by thanking Henry Kempfer for his service and great work this past year as our association president. He challenged us all to “Circle the Herd” on issues affecting the Florida cattle business and he initiated the FCA Leadership Academy which will be critical to the development of future leadership for our association. I also want to thank those that have so graciously agreed to serve on the executive committee this next year. As I have called and asked individuals to serve in leadership roles I have been thankful for their support and their willingness to serve. Our association is extremely important to our industry. When we are united as ranchers we can accomplish things important to our industry that none of us can accomplish individually, especially when dealing with governmental and regulatory issues. I don’t think any of us really enjoy going to meetings; but, understanding the issues important to our industry, debating how to deal with those issues, and then moving forward with a united front is critical to the future of the cattle business in Florida. I encourage all members to be engaged and involved.
I look forward to getting to know many more of you this year as I travel the State. As a first generation rancher, it is humbling to follow these great past presidents whose families have been in the cattle business for multiple generations. Just to help you know me a little better, my day job is managing Deseret Ranches; but, frankly I’m just a kid that grew up in Kathleen, FL. My family was not in agriculture but I was fortunate enough to have an opportunity to begin working in the cattle business as a teenager on a small ranch in Polk County. I attended University of Florida and earned a BS in Animal Science and later went back to school to complete an MBA at Brigham Young University after working at Deseret for a number of years.
I have been married for 25 years to a wonderful woman named Renee and have 6 children from ages 12 to 23. There have been many leaders in the industry that have helped me find my way into the business over the years, I hope now that I can do the same for others. I am confident that the cattle business in Florida has a great future as the world’s need for protein continues to increase. I also believe that being united as an industry through our cattlemen’s association will become even more critical to our success in the future. I look forward to serving as your president this year and to what we can accomplish as we work together.