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White earns executive post at National Cattlemen’s Beef Association

 

By Jason A. Smith
Times Correspondent
 

  For Josh White of McDonough, agriculture is a way of life.

  “Both sides of my family, like most folks that lived in Georgia for several generations, go back to agricultural roots,” he said. “My paternal grandfather, T.K. White, had a herd of commercial Hereford cattle when I was growing up. When I was 12 years old, my family moved back to the family farm. That is when I really became deeply interested in beef cattle.”

Josh White of McDonough is the new Executive Director of Producer Education at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.                                                    Special photo

  White, 41, was recently named the Executive Director of Producer Education at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association in Centennial, Colo. NCBA, with more than 30,000 members, is the largest and oldest organization representing the interests of cattlemen in the United States.

  White graduated from Stockbridge High School in 1991, and obtained a bachelor’s degree in Animal Science from Berry College in 1995. He worked in his family’s real estate and development business, Realty South, Inc., from 1995-2009.

  The first 15 years of White’s work in the cattle industry was primarily voluntary. He served previously on the board of directors for both the Henry County Cattlemen’s Association and the Henry County Farm Bureau.

  “That experience and other state-level leadership positions led to my current job as the executive of the largest single ag commodity organization in Georgia,” said White. “Serving my fellow cattle farmers and ranchers at any level is a real honor.”

  White has received accolades in recent years for his efforts in the agricultural realm. He was recognized in 2010 by Georgia Trend as one of the “most influential” figures in Georgia agriculture. He is also the 2009 recipient of the Georgia Farm Bureau’s “Hero” award.

  White was also given the 2007 Mary Holloway Memorial Award as the 4-H Volunteer of the Year for Henry County for his work with youth livestock projects.

  Since 2009, he has served as the executive vice president of the Georgia Cattlemen’s Association. The group’s goal, he said, is continuous improvement of cattle.”

  “It is very rewarding to take care of the land and cattle and to raise food for a hungry world,” said White. “My hope is that this progress will lead to more people enjoying more beef more often.”

  White said increased government regulation in recent years has made it more difficult for cattlemen, as well as small business owners across the board, to be successful. NCBA, he said, has staff in Washington, D.C., to tackle such issues.

  “The Environmental Protection Agency and other agencies seem bent on making it impossible to be competitive in any industry,” he said. “They continue to expand their scope of regulation and rule-making, with very little concern for the resulting benefit that may be achieved. This threat is very real for cattlemen, but really spreads to our entire economy.”

  White acknowledged that cattlemen of today face their share of challenges. One such hurdle, he said, is to better educate about what they do.

  “There is so much misinformation in the general public about agriculture and food in general,” he said. “One opportunity that more farmers need to embrace is the ability to communicate what they do every day, and the passion they bring to raising high quality food.”

  White commended Southern Belle Farm co-owners Jake and Jimmy Carter, in particular, for their education efforts, but said there is more work to be done.

  “There’s just this huge myth out there about ‘corporate ag’ when, in fact, 97 percent of cattle farms and ranches are family owned,” said White. “My role as executive director of producer education will be to help farmers and ranchers continue to improve the cattle and beef they raise and to do so in a sustainable manner.”

  Jimmy Carter said he is excited about White’s new role with the NCBA. Carter described White as a man of integrity and said White has been a valuable asset for farmers statewide.

  “It’s going to be a great loss for our community and the state of Georgia, but he’s moving up to another level that can help cattlemen and the entire agriculture industry across the nation,” said Carter.

  White has been married to his wife Erin for 18 years. They have three children: T.K. White III, 12: Claire, 11; and Nathan, 8.

  For more information about NCBA, visit www.beefusa.org.

 

 

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