Dan Harris, owner of Holton Livestock Exchange in Holton, Kan., has been elected president of the Livestock Marketing Association (LMA). In this role, he will spend two years leading the nation’s largest membership organization representing more than 800 local livestock auction markets and allied businesses.
Harris is no stranger to having a microphone in his hand; but, as he told the LMA membership at Annual Convention, it is usually because he is selling something.
“I grew up in the livestock marketing business,” Harris says. “My father helped build our facility in 1951, and I’ve been coming along to the market ever since I was knee high to him. At a young age, I decided that I wanted to follow his footsteps to be a livestock auctioneer and in the marketing business.”
Following high school, Harris, along with his brother, attended auctioneering school in Mason City, Iowa. He then returned to the family business at Holton Livestock Exchange. Now, Harris is taking an additional step to represent not just his own market but all livestock markets as he takes the helm of the volunteer leadership at LMA.
“I’m an LMA member because I feel like we need a stronger voice than we have as individual market owners. LMA is a grassroots organization that allows us to come together to develop national programs and policy and to speak with one voice.”
In laying out his goals for his presidency, Harris stressed the importance of continued focus on LMA’s animal handling program and pushing back against unnecessary and overly burdensome regulation.
Additionally, Harris sees overregulation as a concern that LMA must continue addressing. The association will continue working to prevent new regulations that would overly burden markets or livestock owners. At the same time LMA will seek updates to bring Grain Inspection Packers and Stockyards Administration requirements more in line with the 21st century businesses today rather than the early 1900’s businesses the law was written to regulate.
In addition to owning Holton Livestock Exchange, Harris is a member of the Kansas Beef Council Executive Committee. He and his wife, Lesley, have three sons, Blake, Garrett, and Tyler.