Kansas Livestock Association Tracy Brunner of Ramona has won the National Cattlemen's Beef Association Top Hand Award for recruiting the most new members in 2008.
Brunner brought in 57 new members during the year. His prizes are his choice of a dream vacation or a custom saddle, two airline tickets to either the 2008 Cattle Industry Convention and Trade Show in Phoenix or the Cattle Industry Summer Conference in Denver, registration and three nights lodging at either the convention or conference, and a personalized Schaefer vest.
Brunner, a fourth generation rancher, has been an NCBA member since 1996 and is active in NCBA efforts. He is on the NCBA Board of Directors in the Policy Division and serves on the Product Enhancement Committee. Brunner is a partner in Cow Camp Beef, a family-owned business that includes ranching, feeding and farming interests on the western edge of the Flint Hills.
Runner-up in the Top Hand Contest was David Fitzpatrick of Winchester, Ky., who won the contest last year. Fitzpatrick has won the contest 6 times; this is the second time he has been runner-up. Fitzpatrick, who is active on the NCBA Property Rights/Environmental Management Committee, signed up 56 new members in 2008.
Overall, membership and revenues increased significantly for NCBA in fiscal 2008, which ended Sept. 30. NCBA membership grew 6.7 percent over the previous year to 30,647, while revenues from membership grew 8.3 percent over fiscal 2007. Membership in the organization has grown 24 percent over the last 3 years.