(Houston, TX) - The International Stockmen's Educational Foundation (ISEF) named five influential members of the agriculture industry to its board recently, announced Chairman Dan Gattis, general manager of the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo.
"As the ISEF works to increase its influence in agriculture, specifically the beef industry, we are working to add people to our board who bring that influence and are willing to bring about positive change to improve the industry," he said.
Added to the board was Marshall Copithorne, president of CL Ranches Inc., Calgary, Alberta; John J. Josserand, president of AZTX Cattle Inc. of Hereford, Texas; Russell Laird, Director of Agricultural Relations, Philip Morris Management Corporation, Washington, D.C., Norm Luba, Executive Director of the North American Equine Ranching Information Council, Louisville, Kentucky, and John Sykes, Assistant General Manager of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, Houston, Texas.
Josserand manages AZTX Cattle Company, a feeding operation that markets more than 300,000 beef cattle annually and includes five feed yards in three states. As president, Josserand oversees the day-to-day operations of the cattle company that was founded by his father, Robert D. Josserand in 1983. AZTX is also a strategic partner in the retail beef production system of Future Beef, which produces beef for a major retail supermarket chain. Josserand also serves on the Board of Directors of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, as well as the Texas Cattle Feeders Association, and is a 1984 graduate of West Texas A&M University with a degree in marketing.
Laird, who joined Phillip Morris in 1999, heads the Philip Morris Shared Solutions Agricultural Initiative. Shared Solutions is an effort on the part of the Philip Morris Family of Companies to work together with farmers and ranchers on issues of mutual concern. At approximately $5 billion per year, the Philip Morris Companies are one of the largest purchasers of agricultural commodities. Prior to joining Philip Morris, Laird served on the professional staff of the House Agriculture Committee, working as a consultant on agricultural policy issues for the committee chairman, Rep. Larry Combest (R-Texas). He holds a degree in agriculture economics from Texas Tech University.
In his capacity as NAERIC Executive Director, Norm Luba has served as the worldwide spokesperson for the organization, which unites more than 425 ranches throughout North America. In addition, he serves on the American Horse Councils Horse Welfare Committee, on the Canadian Animal Health Consultative Committee, is a board member and Treasurer of the Animal Welfare Council and a board member of the National Police Horse Academy. He holds an undergraduate degree in Animal Science from the University of Connecticut, and a graduate degree in Reproductive Physiology from the University of Maryland.