Over 100 years of family livestock marketing experience behind LMA President, Vice President
Livestock Marketing Association's top two elected officers, President Bobby Smith and Vice President David Macedo, bring to their positions over 100 years of combined family experience in the marketing business.
They began the second year of their two-year terms at the recent LMA annual convention, held here.
Smith, Fairview, Okla., grew up working in the market he now owns and operates. Run by his father for 15 years, Smith has operated the Fairview Sale Barn since 1975.
Smith's address to the convention covered several topics of industry interest, including LMA's concerns over the proposed National Animal Identification System, country of origin labeling, humane livestock handling, and LMA's work to help seven member businesses recover about $1.43 million for livestock sold to the now-bankrupt Agriprocessors, Inc., headquartered in Postville, Iowa.
Macedo's Tulare Sales Yard, Inc., Tulare, Calif., has been in his family for 70 years. He is president of the market, which he has operated for 28 years.
Macedo is a former mayor of Tulare, currently is on the City Council and was the winner of LMA's 2006 World Livestock Auctioneer Championship (WLAC). 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 LMA board of directors for a two-year term is Charles Rogers, Clovis, N.M. He has spent 22 years at the Clovis Livestock Auction, Inc., the last 15 as sole owner and general manager.
Prior to coming to Clovis, he was part owner for nine years of the Roswell Livestock Auction, Roswell, N.M. He is a 1978 graduate of Eastern New Mexico University, a member of the New Mexico Cattle Growers Association, and Ag 50 of Clovis, an area agricultural promotion group.
Re-elected to the LMA board for two-year terms were Mike Bumgarner, Columbus, Ohio; E.H. Fowler, Sedalia, Mo., Dan Harris, Holton, Kan., and Dwayne Mays, Ogallala, Neb.
Jim Santomaso, Sterling, Colo., returns for the second year of a two-year term as chairman of the board. He was LMA president from 2006-2008.
President Smith has a lengthy involvement in industry affairs. He has been a member of the Oklahoma Livestock Marketing Association for 31 years, including a term as president, and served as the president of the Oklahoma Beef Council from 2006-2007.
At LMA, he's a past chairman of the WLAC Committee, and was vice president prior to being elected president.
In his convention address, he said:
"On NAIS, while he wouldn't predict its future, "I will promise you this: LMA will continue to work very hard to shape any ID program that comes down the road, so that it reflects and responds to the concerns we all have."
He outlined several of those concerns, including, among others, costs, untagged livestock showing up at markets on sale day, and doubts that current tag and tag reader technology is up to the task.
But the most important issue, LMA told USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, is that any ID system must not hinder the "speed of commerce"--he fast-paced process on sale day, by which livestock are processed, marketed and moved on to their next destination, with a minimum of delay.
That process also includes minimizing livestock weight shrinkage and protecting the safety and welfare of both livestock and market employees, he said.
On country-of-origin labeling (COOL), Smith pointed to an industry meeting last August, organized by LMA and co-hosted by National Farmers Union and the National Meat Association.
That meeting, he said, successfully tackled "one of the biggest issues surrounding COOL--agreeing on the universal procedures and the language for the documents that were needed, to move livestock origin claims along the custody and ownership chain from one buyer to another."
While some 30 industry groups and organizations participated, "it made sense" for LMA to organize it, "because after all, it's America's livestock markets that move millions of livestock every year, from one owner to another."
On livestock handling, Smith urged members to create a structured animal handling and employee training program--if they haven't already--by using material in the animal handling guide LMA has sent to them. The guide "brings together some of the best material available on the proper handling and treatment of livestock, from the minute you check them in, until they're loaded out."
On the Agriprocessors bankruptcy: LMA stepped in quickly to help any one member recover from about $44,000 to $535,000 for unpaid livestock. LMA's Executive Committee authorized several actions, including shouldering a major portion of the legal fees necessary to recover the members' money.