The Young Producers Council asked the leadership board to provide our readers with a little background information on themselves. Today we feature Ben Spitzer. Though Ben no longer serves in a leadership role on the board he is still a very active member in the organization.
Ben Spitzer grew up in the cattle business and very early in life made a conscious decision that animal agriculture would be his life’s work. His family involvement goes back several generations and has included both commercial cattle and registered cattle of several breeds.
Ben and his two older brothers were very involved on a County, State and Regional basis with 4-H and FFA; showing their home raised Brangus cattle and cross-bred lambs with much success. Ben was a founding member and elected as Vice-President, then President of the South Carolina Junior Cattlemen’s Association. Through his active involvement with the International Junior Brangus Breeders Association (IJBBA), Ben was the recipient of the Southeast Brangus Breeders Association (SBBA) scholarship as well as the International Brangus Auxiliary (IBA) Underclassman Scholarship. All during this time he was an active part of his family’s operation and helped with day to day management and genetic selection.
Ben attended Oklahoma State University (OSU) on an academic scholarship and majored in Animal Science with an animal production emphasis. While at OSU, Ben was selected to the OSU President’s Leadership Council and to the prestigious Oklahoma Agriculture Leadership Experience. He was actively involved with a variety of club activities, was elected President of Cowboys for Christ for two terms and served on AG Council. He worked a variety of jobs and was able to help care for animals and assist with several research projects as an employee at the Animal Science Department’s Nutrition and Physiology Center. Upon graduation from OSU, Ben decided to continue his formal education at Colorado State University (CSU) and enrolled in the Integrated Resource Management Master’s Degree program in 2004.
As part of his Master’s Program, Spitzer interned with the Red Angus Association of America (RAAA) in Denton, TX. He was involved with several projects, including a strong emphasis in commercial marketing. Upon graduating from CSU, he accepted the position of Communications/Member Services Director at RAAA. In this position, he represented the Red Angus Association at national, state and regional meetings, field days, and sales, as well as industry events across the country. He assisted with several aspects of breed promotion, including writing and editing news releases and articles as well as attending conventions and trade shows. He also performed compliance audits of commercial cow-calf operations, stockyards and feedlots to ensure strict adherence to RAAA’s USDA verified Genetic, Source and Age verified feeder calf program.
Ben returned to an active role in the Brangus breed as General Manager of Salacoa Valley Farms, Fairmount, GA in July of 2007. During his time there he was actively involved with the International Brangus Breeders Association (IBBA), attending multiple functions both locally and nationally as well as serving on the Commercial Marketing committee and as Vice-Chairman of the Promotions committee for IBBA.
In June of 2010, Spitzer accepted the position of Marketing Programs Director at the IBBA. In this position he oversees IBBA’s Commercial Marketing Programs as well as advertising and promotion of the Brangus breed. The IBBA is committed to adding value to the genetics used by commercial cattlemen through value added programs for both Brangus influenced feeder cattle and commercial Brangus females.
Ben was a founding member of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) Young Producers Council (YPC) and served as the YPC delegate to the NCBA Membership Committee. He served as Chair of YPC in 2010 and in an advisory role to YPC as Immediate Past Chair in 2011. He hopes all cattle producers, especially young people, will become more involved in their county, state and national associations and make sure their voice is heard in the shaping of the future of the Beef Industry.