Mark Eisele, a Wyoming rancher, assumed the role of NCBA president at the 2024 Cattle Industry Convention, held in Orlando, Florida. Eisele, alongside his wife, Trudy, and their children, manages the historic King Ranch near Cheyenne, Wyoming, utilizing both public and private lands.
The 2024 NCBA officer team, sanctioned by the NCBA Board of Directors, officially took office at the conclusion of 2024’s convention. Buck Wehrbein of Nebraska was designated president-elect, and Gene Copenhaver of Virginia emerged as vice president. Kim Brackett of Idaho became chair of the NCBA Policy Division, and Skye Krebs of Oregon assumed the role of policy vice chair. Dan Gattis of Texas and Nancy Jackson of Mississippi were chosen as chair and vice chair, respectively, of the NCBA Federation division. Brad Hastings of Texas will continue his role as NCBA treasurer.
Eisele's primary focus during his tenure as president is to champion opportunities that enhance the industry for future generations and uphold producers’ freedom to operate. Safeguarding property rights and reinforcing the cattle industry's role as a supporter of preserving open spaces and wildlife habitat through managed grazing practices will be a paramount objective.
“I manage both public and private lands and am often asked why protecting public land ranching is important. Aside from it being a part of how we raise cattle in the West, it’s also an important place to draw a line in the sand. If public lands are closed to cattle, or we’re regulated to the point that we can’t run cattle on public lands, it will only be a matter of time before activists end up on the doorstep of every farmer and rancher in the country, looking to restrict private property and water rights. I want NCBA to make sure that can’t happen,” he said. “Grazing is good and beef is a valuable protein. We need flexibility in the way we produce it. Those are the simple messages I want to get across to decision makers.”
In the coming year, Eisele anticipates addressing ongoing Farm Bill negotiations as NCBA works towards reauthorization of animal health provisions, expanding the accessibility and funding of risk management and disaster relief programs, and safeguarding voluntary conservation programs. Addressing the considerable challenge posed by federal government tax policies, particularly the Death Tax, will also be a top priority.
He affirmed his dedication to advocating for producers in all segments of the industry, viewing the year ahead as an opportunity to reciprocate the efforts of those who preceded him. Recognizing the influence of past leaders, Eisele stressed the importance of industry leaders stepping up and leading while confronting future challenges. “I believe in this industry. I believe in its people. I want to meet as many members as I can and hear stories about good things that have happened. I also want to hear stories about bad things that are occurring so we can find ways that NCBA can support our members and help solve the problems they face. In the year ahead, I plan to focus on these priorities while also opening opportunities for young leaders."
“For me, one of the most meaningful things in my whole world is to have my family, my kids, my grandkids on the ranch with me. One of the reasons I want to serve, and do what I'm doing, is for my family. I also want to repay the mentors who gave me a leg up in the industry. And I’d like to do something significant with my time here on the planet. The agricultural landscape is evolving, and I am confident that with the same spirit that has carried our association through the last 125 years, we will continue to thrive, innovate and lead,” Eisele said.