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Wyoming People

Ellis looks at value of cattle industry, leadership experience

Written by Saige Albert

Laramie – After taking the position of immediate past-president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) in January, Chugwater cattleman Philip Ellis noted that Wyoming’s history of leadership at the national level is unprecedented, especially when considering the state’s population.

“I am quite proud of Wyoming’s leadership, and I’m not ashamed to talk about it,” he said during a brief presentation at the Wyoming Stock Growers Association Summer Cattle Industry Convention and Trade Show in Laramie.

As a child, Ellis noted that his grand-uncle founded the ranch that he now operates.

“He was the son of an open-range cowboy who could see the opportunity to establish his own ranch,” Ellis explained. “In the 50s and 60s, under the leadership of Cliff Hansen in the governor’s office, he advanced to the level of Wyoming Stock Grower’s president.”

With a strong history of leadership from his family, Ellis noted that he followed in the footsteps of many great Wyoming cattlemen as NCBA president.

“We have a history of leadership, and three of the nine offices last year were from Wyoming,” he said. “It was noted and asked why that happens during one of our meetings.”

Ellis explained that Wyomingites exhibit common sense and character, two important traits, but he also noted that the state’s small population means that those with good character and leadership potential are quickly drawn to the top.

“People can’t hide,” he commented. “If  Jim Magagna, Niels Hansen or others recognize something in someone, they are going to work to get them involved, and there are more people out there with the leadership ability.”

“Anyone who has the opportunity to serve should. Get involved because I think we need more Wyoming leadership coming up the ranks,” Ellis said.

While serving as NCBA president, Ellis commented that the beef industry is strong and full of talent.

“When I was visiting with people and looking at cattle from Hawaii to Florida to Veracruz to Canada, my message was the same,” he commented. “We are the right people as beef cattle producers, doing the right things, on the land raising the right protein by every way that we can measure it. It’s the right protein that people need in their diets globally.”

“I’m proud to have served beef cattle producers across the nation, and I’m proud to be in Wyoming in my leadership role,” Ellis added.

Saige Albert is managing editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup and can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..