R-CALF USA Board of Directors Seat 3 New Directors

R-CALF USA Board of Directors Seat 3 New Directors
April 18th, 2024 | News Release

BILLINGS, Mont. – Recently, the R-CALF USA Board of Directors seated three new board members elected from Regions V (Texas), VI (Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma), and IX (Alabama, Florida and Georgia).

Region directors are elected by majority vote from cattle-owning members in their region’s respective states. The directors serve three-year terms, and no director may serve more than two consecutive terms.

The board also reelected Region III Director Brett Kenzy as President of the Board and Region VII Director Eric Nelson as Vice President of the Board. The president and vice president serve two-year terms.

Outgoing Region V Director Shad Sullivan from Olney, Texas, served on the board since 2018. Sullivan will retain his position as the Private Property Rights Committee Chair. Stacey Weldon White was elected as the new Region V Director. Region V is comprised of Texas. White lives in Cypress, Texas, with her husband and three daughters. She is vice president of the family ranching business, the Weldon Stacey Blake Corporation in Cuero, Texas. White’s father, Stayton Weldon, was among the founding members of R-CALF USA and is a former Region V Director.

“Since the first time I heard of market manipulations by the packers, I was outraged that there were laws on the books that could and should stop this practice,” said White.

“I am equally passionate about regaining the right to label our beef and am also increasingly worried about the methods of gaining information and potential control of our operations through programs like mandatory electronic identification.”

White concluded, “We should always fight for our private property rights as they are essential to our individual freedoms.”

Outgoing Region VI Director Kyle Hemmert from Oakley, Kansas, served two three-year terms representing members in Kansas, Oklahoma and Missouri. He served as Vice President of the Board from 2020 to 2021. Freddie Keaton was elected as Region VI Director. Keaton is a cow/calf and stocker producer from Licking, Missouri. He and his wife have two children.

“Before 2019 I was like many producers and wasn’t involved in any groups or associations,” said Keaton. “Then the plant fire in Holcomb, Kansas, happened and I decided it was time to get involved and started looking into industry issues.

“The misuse of our checkoff dollars influenced me to look into becoming a member of an organization that I felt was on the right side of the issues facing our industry,” Keaton continued. “In 2020, I attended the R-CALF USA convention and when I got there I felt at home!”

Outgoing Region IX Director George Chambers from Carrollton, Georgia, served two three-year terms and remained interim until the position was filled. Chambers formerly served as president from 2011 through 2013. Mario Tarango, a cow/calf producer from Fort Meade, Florida, was elected to replace Chambers and represent members from Georgia, Florida and Alabama. Tarango and his wife have six children. The family also raises and trains horses.

“Ten years ago, during a boom in cattle prices, I started really paying attention to the influence on the cattle market,” Tarango said. “When our good prices were suddenly gone, I discovered country of origin labeling and that it had been removed. Over the next few years, I started following R-CALF USA and became a member.”

Tarango added, “I hope to help other ranchers discover the issues affecting our businesses and bring awareness to the struggles cattle producers are facing to consumers. I think making everyday Americans an ally of ranchers is one of the strongest ways for our way of life to be protected.”


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