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Five Minutes With Forrest Roberts, CEO, NCBA

October 19, 2009

[Source: Cattle Network]

It took some time and a lot of thought to find Terry Stokes’ replacement. After looking at a long list of well-qualified candidates, the 12 member selection committee tapped Forrest Roberts. Some thought he was a dark horse.One of his old college buddies, though, wasn’t surprised.

Forrest Roberts, CEO, National Cattlemans Beef Association

Forrest Roberts, CEO, National Cattlemans Beef Association

“He was always the most serious and hard-working of us.Long after we had adjourned for a little ‘R & R,’ he was still at it,” said the old friend.

Andy Groseta, NCBA’s president, said this about Roberts when he announced the selection: “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.”

Roberts wasn’t an unknown within the Association.He paid his dues, serving on the Executive Committee, Board of Directors, Allied Industry Council, Long-Range Planning Committee and the National Cattlemen’s Foundation Board of Trustees.He’s well schooled in the way the NCBA works

Taking the position in January gave him a scant few days on the job before he was introduced to the membership at the Phoenix convention. He took the opportunity to talk with as many people as possible.For the thousands of members who didn’t get a chance to meet him, though, let’s spend a few minutes asking some leading questions.

Q. Congratulations on being appointed to your new position and for another successful Convention. Let’s start with a little background for those who didn’t get to Phoenix. How did you get into the cattle business and what in your background led you to the NCBA?

A. Thank you. I have a strong passion for the industry and for this organization and I’m honored to have the opportunity to serve as CEO. To me it seems my entire life and career to date brought me to NCBA.

I grew up on a family-owned, diversified livestock operation in Uvalde, Texas, where I learned about the business first-hand at a young age, working side-by-side with my family as we expanded the operation to include a retail meat market for “locally grown, corn-fed” beef and pork. This experience helped me understand that we are a consumer-driven industry and consumers are the key to our profitability.

After earning a Bachelors of Science in Animal Science from Texas A&M University and a Masters of Business Administration from University of North Carolina, I started my professional career in the animal health industry to help provide the tools producers need to be profitable. I began with Upjohn Animal Health in 1992, and remained with the company through its two mergers to Pharmacia Animal Health and later Pfizer Animal Health. In 2004, I left Pfizer to join Elanco Animal Health where I most recently served as the Marketing Manager for Elanco’s Beef Business Unit.

In addition to my production agriculture and animal health experience, I’ve had the pleasure of working as a volunteer leader with NCBA for the past 12 years—as 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.

All of these experiences have given me a good sense for the challenges facing the industry at a time when virtually every segment is struggling to remain profitable. NCBA’s focus on creating opportunities for profitability is one that I take very personally and I take very seriously.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. November 16, 2009 7:47 pm

    Interesting points here Would you ever consider guest posting on one of my blogs? Nicely done, Steven.

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