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R-CALF NAMES SOUTHEASTERN FIELD COORDINATOR

Billings, Mont. – Florida native John West has accepted a position with R-CALF USA as the organization's Southeastern Field Coordinator, assigned to cover the states of Texas, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Louisiana, and Florida. West's primary responsibility will be membership development throughout the southeastern United States.

“This is an exciting time for the U.S. cattle industry,” commented West. “R-CALF USA is the largest voluntary cattlemen's organization in the country and it is making a difference in terms of the industry's viability and profitability.

“I am committed to furthering the interests of independent livestock producers throughout the nation, and I'm proud to have the opportunity to focus on a region I grew up in and know,” West continued. “Cattle producers in the Southeast face unique challenges, and it is very important to give producers and state affiliates a strong voice in policy.

“It has been very rewarding communicating with cattle producers about the issues and learning what issues impact southeastern producers the most,” West said. “R-CALF has been well received once producers are made aware of the issues that R-CALF is pursuing, our positions on those issues, and the positive effect they have on the profitability of grassroots cattle producers.”

“There is no question that John's experiences in the industry, his knowledge of the issues, and his ability to network and communicate with people makes him a natural choice for R-CALF,” said R-CALF USA President and Region V Director Chuck Kiker. “He has a clear understanding of the production and marketing challenges producers face in the Gulf Coast region and he hasn't hesitated to provide a voice for producers.

“His strong roots in the region give him keen insight,” Kiker noted. “During R-CALF USA's Stampede to Washington, D.C., last month, John was there, meeting with policy makers and Administration officials, representing the interests of cattlemen.

“There have been a lot of misconceptions about what R-CALF USA is and what they represent,” said Kiker. “In the first few months of his position, John has spent a lot of one-on-one time educating producers about the intricacies of R-CALF, dealing with issues such as BSE, Country-of-Origin Labeling and Animal ID.

“John is a particularly valuable asset to R-CALF and to cattle producers throughout the Southeast,” Kiker said. “R-CALF USA welcomes John to his position as we look toward expanding our membership in the region.”

West was born and raised in Pasco County, Fla., where his family runs a substantial beef cattle and citrus operation. In 1992, West moved to Grapevine, Texas, where he was active in the Future Farmers of America (FFA) and exhibited purebred Santa Gertrudis cattle. He graduated from Grapevine High School in 1995.

West attended Connors State College in Warner, Okla., on a livestock judging scholarship while studying for his degree in agriculture. In 1998, he transferred to Texas A&M University at College Station, Texas. While attending Texas A&M, West was an active member of the Saddle & Sirloin Club. West graduated in December 2003 with a Bachelor's Degree in Animal Science.

Before accepting his position at R-CALF USA, West was a financial representative for the Northwestern Mutual Financial Network.

Past employment experience includes all phases of beef cattle production, including commercial and purebred production, stocker and feed yard operations, auction markets and order buyer.

R-CALF USA (Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund, United Stockgrowers of America) represents thousands of U.S. cattle producers on domestic and international trade and marketing issues. R-CALF USA, a national, non-profit organization, is dedicated to ensuring the continued profitability and viability of the U.S. cattle industry. R-CALF USA's membership consists primarily of cow/calf operators, cattle backgrounders, and feedlot owners. Its members – over 18,000 strong – are located in 47 states, and the organization has over 60 local and state association affiliates, from both cattle and farm organizations. Various main street businesses are associate members of R-CALF USA. For more information, visit www.r-calfusa.com or, call 406-252-2516.

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