Home News Ag Economics Mike VanMaanen Elected President of Livestock Marketing Association

Mike VanMaanen Elected President of Livestock Marketing Association

Mike VanMaanen married into a family of Livestock Marketing Association members in the 1980s, but never dreamed he’d one day lead the organization. Even though he immediately recognized the benefits of membership, he thought he was too busy to get involved or since his niche market wasn’t nationally known, he didn’t have a place. Soon enough, VanMaanen learned he was wrong on both accounts, and May 17, he was elected president.

VanMaanen, who grew up on a corn, soybean and hog farm in Iowa, attended Missouri Western State University, where he graduated with degrees in agricultural economics and agronomy. It was there he met Lori Angell, a third-generation livestock marketer. The two married soon after graduation and joined her family’s auction market business in Columbia, Missouri, and bought into it in 1990. In 2000, the couple, along with two of her cousins, took over Eastern Missouri Commission Co., in Bowling Green. Last year, they became sole owners.

The World Livestock Auctioneer Championship was VanMaanen’s gateway to Livestock Marketing Association leadership, first serving as a judge in the Parsons, Kansas, qualifier in the fall of 2009 and at the finals in Oklahoma City the following summer. He joined the association’s government and industry affairs committee in 2014 and the board of directors in 2016. During his tenure on the board, he also chaired the membership services committee for two years. He said his time on the board has had many highlights, and he looks forward to what’s to come.

“I’ve had the opportunity to testify in front of the House Committee on Transportation, I worked alongside many others to get Dealer Statutory Trust signed into law and was a part of the producer profitability initiative we launched last fall,” VanMaanen said. “I’m extremely proud of the work LMA has done and look forward to continuing it.”

VanMaanen will take over the reins from Mark Barnett during the association’s annual convention in June. First up on his agenda? Having deep discussions with members and staff about how to protect the livestock auction market sector.

“We’re going to take a look at what it takes not only for the larger markets to survive, but what it takes for those small markets that are so important in their rural communities, to keep them alive and going,” VanMaanen said.

But the conversation won’t just be about markets. He said Livestock Marketing Association members will continue to push their producer profitability initiative, aimed at bringing the entire industry together for a common goal.

“By supporting America’s farmers and ranchers, we are supporting the future of livestock marketing, too,” VanMaanen said. “We know producer profitability is industry sustainability.”

The incoming president said he hopes all members will take the opportunity to get more involved this year, whether that means attending the convention, participating in the D.C. Fly-In, joining a committee — or even just staying in touch with their region executive officer.

“I think when people start getting involved, they find it really rewarding,” he said. “And you don’t have to be a big operator — I’m a good example of that. You just have to want to pitch in and do some work to improve your livelihood. If you can stay active and participate in conversations, we’d love to have you.”

About the Livestock Marketing Association

The Livestock Marketing Association (LMA), headquartered in Overland Park, Kansas, is North America’s leading, national trade association dedicated to serving its members in the open and competitive auction method of marketing livestock. Founded in 1947, LMA has more than 800 member businesses across the U.S. and Canada and remains invested in both the livestock and livestock marketing industries through member support, education programs, policy representation and communication efforts.

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