The first female president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, who was instrumental in getting the beef checkoff passed, was awarded the Swan Family Leadership Award today at the 2015 Cattle Industry Convention in San Antonio.
The award, which recognizes worthy individuals who have made a difference during a lifetime of dedication and leadership to the beef industry, was presented to JoAnn Smith of Florida during the Best of Beef Breakfast.
We’ve known JoAnn since the early 1980s when she was very active in the beef industry and serving as president of NCBA in 2985. Her son Marty and her grandchildren now work cattle on the Smith Brothers Operation in Wacahoota, Fla., primarily a cattle and timber operation that has been around since the 1850s. Her grandchildren are the sixth generation to be on the ranch. She is definitely deserving of any award recognizing leadership in agriculture!
Besides being the first female president of the NCBA, JoAnn was also the first chair of the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board in 1986. In addition, she held numerous positions with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, serving as that agency’s assistant secretary for Marketing Inspection Services from 1989 to 1993.
The Swan Family Leadership Award is in honor of Bill Swan, and his son George, beef industry champions who served in leadership positions at the local, state and national levels, including as presidents of NCBA. The Swan Family Leadership Award was instituted by NCBA and the Idaho Cattle Association.