“Burton has a unique ability to connect with the grassroots producers and feeders in our industry,” Roberts said. “His industry experience and wisdom is something I greatly respect. His more than three decades of service to this industry has certainly made it better for cattlemen and women.”
Eller began his service to the industry in Denver, Colo., with the former American National Cattlemen’s Association. He served as vice president of government affairs for the former National Cattlemen’s Association (NCA) from 1981-1991. According to Roberts, Eller’s role in Washington, DC, also contributed to the development of the beef checkoff.
“Burton played a pivotal role in the development and passage of the Beef Promotion and Research Act in the 1985 Farm Bill,” Roberts said. “He led the efforts to secure congressional passage of the one dollar per head national beef checkoff.”
Eller served as the CEO of NCA from 1991-1996. As CEO, Eller improved the financial health and resources of the association, which resulted in one of the most effective commodity organizations in agriculture, Roberts said.
Eller was actively involved in the merger of the former National Livestock and Meat Board and NCA to form NCBA in 1996. Eller also served as the deputy under secretary of marketing and regulatory programs at the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) during the Bush Administration. At USDA, he provided counsel in directing policies, programs and administration of the Agricultural Marketing Service, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration.
He returned to NCBA in 2008 to lead NCBA’s Washington, DC, office. Most recently, he served as NCBA’s senior vice president of member services and industry affairs. Eller is leaving NCBA to spend more time with his family and his cattle operation. According to Eller, he plans to remain active in NCBA and the cattle industry.