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New NCBA President May Have a Second Career

Sometimes, you might think that the farmer leaders of farm and ranch organizations are all consumed by the daily activities of their own operation and the business of their industry. So, it’s interesting to hear them talk about what they do outside of agriculture.

The new president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) is cattle rancher Kevin Kester from central California. It’s a big family ranch of 22,000 acres that he runs with his wife, June, and three adult children near Parkfield.

In my 30-minute interview with him, we talk exclusively about his ranch and the bigger concerns of the cattle industry. Then I ask, “What do you do just for fun? Any hobbies?”

That stopped him for a second. I’m not sure anyone else had asked that question. Then he tells me that he doesn’t golf or bowl, but he has held season tickets to the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers football games for 31 years in a row. “I love it,” he says. “The whole family goes, and we rarely miss a game.” 

They play at the stadium in Santa Clara, just up the road from the ranch. “They are getting better,” he says hopefully of his 49ers.

Kester goes on to say he used to coach football, part time, when his son was in high school. “I was an assistant; I coached the offense,” he says. “It’s all about the strategy. Maybe it’s a little like running a ranch in that sense.”

I tell him that maybe in another life, if he wasn’t a rancher, he’d be a football coach. “I would enjoy that, too,” he smiles.

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