Eisele assumes role as NCBA president
Wyoming Rancher Mark Eisele took over the reins as president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) during the organization’s annual convention, held Jan. 31-Feb. 2 in Orlando, Fla.
Alongside other elected officers, including Nebraska’s Buck Wehrbein as president-elect, Virginia’s Gene Copenhaver as vice president, Brad Hastings of Texas as treasurer, Idaho’s Kim Brackett as chair of NCBA’s Policy Division, Oregon’s Skye Krebs as policy vice chair, Dan Gattis of Texas as chair of NCBA’s Federation Division and Nancy Jackson of Mississippi as vice chair of the division, Eisele took office at the end of this year’s convention.
In his new role as NCBA president, Eisele notes his priorities will include advocating for opportunities to strengthen the industry for future generations and for producers’ freedom to operate, as well as protecting property rights and reinforcing the cattle industry’s position in preserving open spaces and wildlife habitat through grazing management strategies.
“I manage both public and private lands and am often asked why protecting public lands 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 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,” Eisele states in a recent press release.
“I want NCBA to make sure this can’t happen,” he adds. “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.”
Additionally, Eisele plans to tackle ongoing farm bill negotiations, with a focus on animal health provisions, expanding the accessibility and funding of risk management and disaster relief programs and protecting voluntary conservation programs.
Tax policies, such as the Death Tax, will also be a top priority.
A committed advocate
With the help of his wife Trudy and their three children, Eisele owns and operates the century-old King Ranch, located outside of Cheyenne.
The family runs a large herd of Angus cattle and harvests alfalfa and native grass hay, all while remaining committed to conservation and sustainability. The Eiseles’ progressive mindset has earned them several noteworthy honors, including the 2015 Leopold Conservation Award and the 2023 Kurt Bucholz Conservation Award.
However, Eisele’s dedication to the ag industry doesn’t end at his property borders. Eisele was one of the five founding members of the Wyoming Stock Growers Land Trust, where he also served as president from 2000-02 and 2006-08 and completed an 11-year term on the Board of Directors.
He has also served as the president of the Pole Mountain Grazing Association and was the NCBA president-elect, before being elected as president of the national organization.
According to the NCBA news release, Eisele sees the year ahead in his new position as an opportunity to pay back the efforts of those who came before him, and he believes acknowledging the influence of past leaders is critical for the beef industry to overcome challenges in the future.
“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,” Eisele states. “I also want to hear stories about bad things occurring so we can find ways 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 and 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,” he adds. “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 with the same spirit that has carried our association through the last 125 years, we will continue to thrive, innovate and lead,” Eisele concludes.
Hannah Bugas is the managing editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to email@example.com.