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BY MARY GARRISON
John Elliott has been a fixture in the beef cattle industry for 40 years, and on Saturday his longtime efforts were recognized. Elliott earned the Mississippi Cattlemenâ€™s Association 2014 award for Commercial Cattleman of the Year at the MCA annual conference in Jackson.
Itâ€™s not a simple process, either. In order to qualify for the award, candidates must be MCA members and nominated by another party for the honor. After a fairly extensive application process, a panel of MCA producers judge the entries and select one commercial cattleman honoree for the year.
â€śItâ€™s a once in a lifetime thing,â€ť Elliott said. â€śItâ€™s a great, great honor to me to be recognized as the top cattleman in the state. Iâ€™ve been recognized on the county level before, but not the state. Itâ€™s probably the biggest honor Iâ€™ve ever gotten.â€ť
MCA boasts a membership of about 3,400; this year six were nominated for consideration in the commercial category. LeAnn Peters, MCA representative, said judges will examine several factors when determining a winner for the year, including management practices, herd marketing and animal health programs. The organization has been giving out both the commercial cattleman award and honors for pure bred cattleman of the year since the 1980s, Peters said.
â€śHis management practices are particularly good,â€ť Peters said. â€śHeâ€™s a progressive producer in marketing his cattle â€¦ he goes in with a couple of other producers and they use clever strategies to market their calves together, and he has very good health protocol. â€¦ Mississippi has more than 17,000 beef producers, and heâ€™s been singled out as one of the better producers of our state. Not only is it us, but someone nominated him, and after the review process here he was awarded. Thatâ€™s a big deal.â€ť
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