As executive vice president of the Arizona Cattle Grower’s Association, Patrick Bray, 31, is known for building bridges.

“It can be a challenge,” said Bray, “getting producers and government agencies in the same room and finding common ground. But that’s what we have to do if ag producers are going to continue to have the freedom to produce a quality product.”

“Patrick can wade through complex political issues and build alignment between producers and political figures on many different subjects,” said ACGA board member Trever Hall, Vice President & Portfolio Manager- Farm Credit Services Southwest and owner of Hall Ranches, LLC.

Bray is focused on moving toward consensus between agriculture and those who seek to influence it, always aware of the changing means.

“It’s not just reaching the consumer, it’s getting the message of who and what we are to the future policy-makers. And sometimes, reaching those people, especially the millennials, will require using avenues like new technology that may be outside our comfort zone.”

Bray was born and raised on the family farm, FST Farms, near Tolleson, Arizona, where he still raises beef. Throughout his childhood his family raised sheep and his mother was Executive Director of the Arizona Wool Growers.

“I saw firsthand what it takes to keep the livestock industry a valuable part of the local, state, and national economy,” Bray said.

He received his B.S. degree in Agriculture Resources and Economics from the University of Arizona, and joined ACGA as Deputy Director of Government Affairs in 2007.

Throughout his career Bray has been involved with the Arizona National Livestock Show, as a judge in the show ring, and focusing on youth programs as Assistant Director of Operations. He also lends his hand and voice auctioneering state and county fair livestock auctions, and is involved with Project CENTRL and the Arizona Rural Leadership Program. At ACGA he works to develop internship programs.

“We need to work to remove the barriers that inhibit young people from entering ag,” said Bray.

Bray hopes to devote more time in the next decade to his on-farm ventures while continuing to be an active advocate for agriculture. “Whatever I do, I will always remain dedicated to the industry that raised me.”

What is the 40 under 40 award?

Farm Journal Media’s 40 Under 40 Awards recognize youngleaders in our industry who will be instrumental in meeting the2050 challenge. We are once again seeking the most innovativepeople in agriculture under the age of 40 – from animal and cropproduction, biotechnology and University researchers, to food andnutrition technology, agricultural equipment, agronomy and beyond.

Click here to learn more about nominating for the 2016 class.