Oklahoman Bobby Smith, who grew up working in the livestock market he now owns and operates, is Livestock Marketing Association’s new president for 2008-2010.
Smith’s market is the Fairview Sale Barn, Fairview, Okla. He took office here during LMA’s recent annual meeting, June 25-27.
His inaugural address was a wide-ranging review of key topics for producers and markets, including humane livestock handling, the new mandatory country of origin labeling law, and concerns over the National Animal Identification System.
Smith, 57, succeeds Jim Santomaso, Sterling, Colo., who becomes chairman of the board.
LMA’s new vice president is David Macedo, Tulare, Calif., who moves into that position from LMA’s board of directors. He is the president of Tulare Sales Yard, Inc., a market that’s been in his family for 69 years.
Macedo is a former mayor of Tulare, currently is on the City Council, and was LMA’s 2006 World Livestock Auctioneer Champion. He was the livestock market representative on the California Beef Council for two years, and joined the LMA board in 2005.
Newly-elected to the board of directors are Randy Patterson, Anthony, Kan., and Rob Fraser, Miles City, Mont.
Patterson owns two markets, the Anthony Livestock Sales Co., and the Cherokee Sales Co., LLC, Cherokee, Okla.. He is also the owner-operator of a dealer-broker business, the Anthony Livestock Co., and Anthony Livestock Trucking.
Patterson has served LMA in a variety of positions, most recently as chairman of the board, and prior to that, as LMA president.
Fraser is co-owner of Miles City Livestock Commission, LLC. A 1981 graduate of Montana State University, Fraser is heavily involved in his state’s livestock industry, including membership in the Montana Stockgrowers Association, the Southeast Montana Stockgrowers Association, and the Montana Association of Livestock Auction Markets.
He has served the state markets association as secretary, vice president and president. He is also the co-owner of an internet livestock marketing firm, Frontier Stockyards.
Re-elected to the LMA board were T. Phil Harvey, Jackson, Ga., Jerry Etheredge, Linden, Ala., and Tim Starks, Cherokee, Okla.
President Smith has operated the Fairview market since 1975, and has been a member of the Oklahoma Livestock Marketing Association (OLMA) for 30 years, which included a term as president.
First elected to the LMA board in 2002, he has also been chairman of LMA’s World Livestock Auctioneer Championship Committee, and currently is OLMA’s representative on the Oklahoma Beef Council. Smith was the Council’s president from 2006-2007.
On the issue of humane livestock handling, Smith said the “heavy lifting on this issue must be done by you and me, in our daily operations. We must be vigilant and know who is on our property (and) we must make sure our employees know and follow humane handling practices, at all times.”
LMA will continue to speak out, “making it clear that, while there are some exceptions, the overwhelming majority of America’s 1,000 or so markets use humane handling practices.” By “working individually,” Smith said, “we can give (animal rightists) little or no reason to visit our businesses.
“And by working together, we can give them little or no reason to visit our corner of the industry.”
On mandatory country of origin labeling, scheduled to be effective Sept. 30, LMA has begun work “with our industry partners on how markets will pass” livestock origin information up the ownership chain, SMith said. “It may be (with) an affidavit of some sort, a unique ID tag, a foreign brand, any or all of the above, or something else,” he said/
How origin information is passed along the “chain of custody is not set out in the law itself. This will be decided by LMA and those who are ultimately responsible for putting the country of origin label on the end product,” Smith said.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is expected to publish an interim final rule on implementing the country of origin labeling law, with a public comment period to follow, by late August, he said. “We then should have many more of your, and our questions on mCOOL answered.”
On the issue of the National Animal Identification System, LMA has told members of Congress and USDA “We have to maintain the speed of livestock commerce, and we’re concerned the current ID technology may not be able to maintain that speed, particularly in the larger markets.”
LMA also expressed concern over the costs to producers, and to markets for equipment and retro-fitting their facilities. To make the program workable and cost-effective, all segments of the industry must be consulted, Smith said.
Under LMA bylaws, the board selects two directors to serve on the Executive Committee for one-year terms. The board selected Harvey and Starks, succeeding Macedo and Shawn Madden, Torrington, Wyo.