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Roberts named next NCBA CEO

The National Cattlemen's Beef Association announced Jan. 3 Forrest L. Roberts will be its next chief executive officer. Roberts, 42, will start Jan. 20.

"We are thrilled Forrest will be joining us as CEO of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association. We are certain Forrest brings the right experience, vision and optimism to lead the nation's oldest, largest and most respected cattle organization," said Andy Groseta, rancher from Cottonwood, Ariz., and NCBA president.

Roberts grew up on a family-owned, diversified livestock operation in Uvalde, Texas. He worked side-by-side with his family when the operation expanded to include a retail meat market for "locally grown, corn-fed" beef and pork. Forrest went on to earn a bachelor's of science in animal science from Texas A&M University and a master's of business administration from University of North Carolina.

Roberts has held several marketing and sales positions in two animal health companies. He started with Upjohn Animal Health in 1992, and he remained with the company through its two mergers to Pharmacia Animal Health and later Pfizer Animal Health. In 2004, he left Pfizer to join Elanco Animal Health where he most recently served as the marketing manager for Elanco's Beef Business Unit.

The search for NCBA's next CEO was competitive, attracting more than 70 applicants. A 12-member producer committee reviewed the applicants, interviewed several candidates and selected two among the 70 for NCBA's officers to consider.

"Forrest's agriculture background, business experience and his passion for the industry clearly made him the candidate we wanted to lead our association into the future. Forrest is a goal-oriented and dynamic leader, who will take NCBA to the next level to better serve the cattlemen of this country. We fully expect him to meet the challenges of our industry head-on with innovative solutions that will help producers succeed in the global marketplace," said Groseta.

In addition to his agriculture and beef business experience, Roberts has served in several volunteer positions in NCBA. He has been a member of NCBA's Executive Committee, Board of Directors, Allied Industry Council, Long-Range Planning Committee and the National Cattlemen's Foundation Board of Trustees.

"My roots, my education, my passion, my career--they're all linked to the cattle industry. I can think of no greater honor than to be CEO of NCBA. I look forward to working with NCBA's staff, members, leaders, state and industry partners to ensure the future strength and sustainability of the U.S. cattle industry," said Roberts.

Terry Stokes stepped down as NCBA's CEO in September, after serving in the role for nearly seven years. Stokes has stayed on in the role during the search and will work with Roberts through the end of January to ensure a seamless transition. Both men will be present at the 2009 Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show in Phoenix, Ariz., Jan. 28 to 31.

6 Star Midwest Ag\9-B

Date: 1/6/09

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