“We are very excited to start a new chapter at NLPA with the hiring of our new CEO, Kraig Roesch,” said Gary Smith, a fifth generation Iowa farmer and chairman of the board of the National Livestock Producers Association.

The 97-year old organization has been serving livestock producers since 1921 and represents more than 215,000 farmers and ranchers involved in animal agriculture in the United States and Canada, through member marketing associations and credit corporations.

“This is uncharted territory for most of us on the board, and in the office,” says Smith. “(Former CEO) Scott Stuart did a great job leading this organization for the past 30 years. Our Executive Committee wanted to make sure we found someone with the ability to continue moving NLPA forward.”

Roesch (pronounced Rush) brings a farm background and 18 years of experience working with livestock producers and livestock marketing associations to the table. “I’m a farm kid from way back,” he said. “I grew up in agriculture and I love being in the livestock industry.”

Roesch grew up on a diversified family farm in southeastern Colorado and was active in 4-H and FFA, serving as a Colorado State FFA Officer. He raised ewes and lambs and started a small cow-calf operation in high school, and after graduation from law school, returned to the farm to become a partner in a 200-head cow-calf operation, while establishing a private law practice.

“I have a huge passion for animal agriculture and for competitive markets for livestock producers. I know firsthand the time and energy it takes to be successful in the livestock business and am very interested in this opportunity at NLPA as an avenue to continue to be a part of this industry’s successful future,” Roesch said.

“His experience as a regional director with the Packers & Stockyard Division of the USDA has given him many leadership and organizational opportunities that we think will serve him well in this new position,” Smith said.

Roesch will also be heading up several associated organizations which are administered and managed by NLPA, including the National Institute for Animal Agriculture (NIAA) and the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB).

The National Institute for Animal Agriculture provides a forum to engage industry leaders and organizations in collaborative solutions to current issues in animal agriculture. NIAA issue initiatives encompass the entire animal agriculture field including cattle, sheep, swine, avian, equine, and aquaculture industries.

“We are really excited about working with Kraig and his vision for NLPA and NIAA and where we’ll go in forging new relationships and new opportunities,” said Nevil Speer, Chairman of the NIAA Board of Directors.

Roesch congratulated the NIAA Board, staff and planning committee on the successful Annual Conference that just wrapped up in Denver, Colo., last week and featured a livestock traceability theme.

”I thought this was a great conference,” he said. “I enjoyed meeting the broad spectrum of people who attended. It was all about ‘let’s get together and find solutions,’ and even though not everybody’s going to agree, let’s work on it together to find what works for agriculture. That really sets NIAA apart.”

The Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef, a global initiative developed to advance continuous improvement in sustainability of the global beef value chain, like other membership associations under the NLPA banner, has its own board and staff.