Kendal Frazier, CEO of National Cattlemen’s Beef Association for the past four years, announced on Tuesday he will retire at the end of the year.

He has been with the organization and its predecessors 34 years.

Frazier first joined the staff of the National Cattlemen’s Association, and has served the beef industry through some of its most challenging times, NCBA stated in a press release.

“For more than three decades, the beef industry has benefitted from Kendal’s vision and leadership,” Jennifer Houston, NCBA president, said.

“There is no doubt in my mind that he has played a major role in ensuring the success of our industry today,” she said.

When the National Cattlemen’s Association merged with the National Livestock and Meat Board in 1996, Frazier was a member of the team that worked to address a steep decline in beef demand and consumer concerns — helping to reverse those declines and set the industry on a new, consumer-focused path, NCBA stated.

He was also instrumental in helping secure the passage of the beef checkoff referendum and worked to secure resources for the first checkoff-funded public relations and issues management work conducted by NCBA in 1998.

That work would prove vital to the long-term success of the beef industry in 2003, when the first domestic case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy was discovered. The work done by Frazier and the NCBA team helped maintain consumer confidence around the globe and minimize the impact on the beef industry, NCBA stated.

“Words really can’t express the industry’s appreciation for Kendal’s leadership on so many significant industry issues,” said Ross Wilson, CEO of the Texas Cattle Feeders Association.

“His steady hand and thoughtful leadership have been a key part of so many opportunities and challenges that have shaped the beef industry now and literally for the past few decades,” he said.

As CEO, Frazier has kept a sharp focus on the issues that matter most to the members and the industry he represents. During his tenure, his commitment to improving domestic and international demand for beef has been unwavering, NCBA stated.

He has also dedicated significant resources to ensuring beef producers continue to enjoy the freedom to operate by working for members’ priorities in Washington, D.C.

“I’m a lucky man to have worked in the cattle industry. What a wonderful journey this has been,” Frazier said.

“It has been an honor to serve the men and women who make their living in the cattle business. I am confident that I’m leaving NCBA in a good place,” he said.

Over the past several years, NCBA has worked to strengthen its relationship with stakeholders, build its financial resources and deepen its staff talent pool while continuing to ensure producers can meet growing demand for U.S. beef, he said.

NCBA will immediately begin the search to select a new CEO.

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