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.
“Enjoyment of time around livestock is a major factor that keeps me loving my job,” Harris says. “Our consignors put a great deal of trust in us in allowing us to sell animals they depend on for their own livelihoods. It’s for this reason and others that I’m incredibly proud of the leadership LMA with our focus on animal handling.”
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.
LMA immediate past president Tim Starks of Cherokee, Okla., will now become Chairman of the Board and Jerry Etheridge of Montgomery, Ala., has been elected Vice President. Regional Directors, Mark Barnett, Guthrie, Ky. and Tom Frey, Creston, Iowa, joined the Executive Committee.
Directors from the Western Region: Joe Goggins, Billings, Mont.; Jake Parnell, Galt, Calif.; and Lex Madden, Torrington, Wyo. Goggins and Parnell will serve 1-year terms; Madden will serve a 2-year term.
Directors from the Midwestern Region: Tom Frey, Creston, Iowa; Clay Myers, Texhoma, Okla.; and Larry Schnell, Dickinson, N.D. Frey and Myers will serve a one-year term; Schnell will serve a 2-year term.
Directors from the Eastern Region: Mark Barnett, Guthrie, Ky.; Brian Glick, Bellville, Pa.; and Dean Hanson, Lewisburg, W.Va. Barnett will serve a 1-year term; Glick and Hanson will serve 2-year terms.
About the Livestock Marketing Association:
The Livestock Marketing Association (LMA), headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, is North America’s largest membership organization dedicated to supporting, representing and communicating with and for the entire livestock marketing sector. LMA has approximately 800 member businesses across the U.S. and Canada. For more information, visit lmaweb.com.