National Livestock Producers Association, 1/18/2012 - William Beeman and Leon Graves will join the National Livestock Producers Association's Board of Directors at the NLPA Annual Meeting in Scottsdale, Ariz., Jan. 23-25, 2012.
Beeman serves as Chairman of Dairylea Cooperative Inc., a position he’s held since April 2011. He has served on Dairylea’s Board for more than 20 years, most recently as First Vice President. His farm has been a member of Dairylea for more than 30 years.Affairs.
Bill and his wife, Ginny, own and operate an 80-cow farm in Kingsley, PA. In addition to serving on the Board for Dairylea, Bill served as a director for the Pennsylvania Dairy Stakeholders and held a leadership position on the Executive Committee of the Northeast Dairy Leadership Team (NEDLT). Additionally, he has represented his region on the local dairy promotion board for more than three years.
Graves currently holds the position of VP Dairy Marketing Services New England, a position he assumed on Nov. 1, 2009. Additionally, on May 1, 2011 he assumed the position of General Manager for Empire Livestock, a Dairylea Cooperative Inc. owned company. Prior to assuming this position he was the Director of Operations & Regulatory Affairs for Dairy Marketing Services (DMS), a position held since Jan. of 2006. He started working for DMS in January of 2003 as the Director of Industry Affairs.
He was raised on a 350 acre dairy farm in Fairfield, VT, which he leased from his parents in 1973, milking 55 Brown Swiss and Holstein cows through June 1995, raising his own replacements and feed for his dairy operation.
Graduating from Bellows Free Academy (St. Albans, Vermont) in 1969, he was State F.F.A. President, 1969-70. He graduated from the University of Vermont in 1973 with a B.S. degree in Animal Science majoring in Animal Science and Vocational-Technical Education. He is a graduate of the Vermont Leadership Institute, June 1998.
He was a State Senator from Franklin County (1995) serving on the Agriculture, Health and Welfare, and Judiciary Committees; and Member of the Vermont House of Representatives (1987-1994) serving on the Agriculture, Appropriations and Education Committees. From 1973-80 he taught Vocational Agriculture.
In May of 1995, Governor Howard Dean appointed Leon to the position of Vermont’s Commissioner of Agriculture, a position that he held until January of 2003.
He is Past President of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA). His efforts were instrumental in establishing the Risk Management Task Force, which was comprised of representatives from throughout the country appointed by the NASDA President. He was NASDA's Secretary/Treasurer in 1997 and Vice President in 1998.
He served as the Co-chair of the Dairy Compact States Ratification Committee from 1996-2002.
He was a member of the Steering Committee for "The Council - Reinventing Agricultural Education for the Year 2020". He is a former member of the Lake Champlain Basin Program Steering Committee; The Board of Directors for the Vermont Economic Development Authority, the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, the Dairy Export Council, and served as a Director of the Coalition of American Agricultural Producers (CAAP) for several years, working to develop a new cost of production crop insurance program.
He is a member of the First Baptist Church in St. Albans, VT; former member of St. Albans Cooperative Creamery, and former advisory council member of Eastern Artificial Insemination Cooperative; member of State and County Farm Bureau, Northwestern Medical Center Board of Incorporators, U.V.M. Extension System Northwest Region Advisory Council, Member of American Farm Bureau Young Farmer-Rancher Advisory Committee, 1975-76; Northwestern Medical Center Board of Directors, 1986-92; President, Northwestern Medical Center, 1991-92; National Ski Patrol 1981-1987; and a Vermont Grange Member.
In March of 2003, he was elected as a member of Fairfield’s Select Board and served on Franklin County’s Regional Planning Commission’s Transportation Advisory Committee thru September of 2005. In September of 2003 he was appointed to serve on Holstein Association USA’s, Farm Animal Identification & Records (FAIR) National Advisory Board.
He recently stepped down from the Board of the Vermont Dairy Industry Association. He is currently serving as the secretary of The Green Mountain Federation of Farmer Cooperatives Board of Directors.
In July 2010, he was re-appointed to the Board of Directors of the Vermont Economic Development Authority and the Vermont Agriculture Credit Corporation for a six year term by Vermont’s Governor Jim Douglas and currently serves as the Authority’s Vice-Chair.
In December 2005 he was elected to a position on the Board of Directors of The Pennsylvania Dairy Stakeholders, Inc and is currently serving as the Board’s Chair.
He currently chairs the National Council of Farmer Cooperative’s Animal Agriculture committee.
In January 2010, he was elected to the Board of Directors of the Agriculture Safety & Health Council of America.
I July 2010, he was appointed to the Dairylea Cooperative Eagle Supply Board and in September 2010 elected to a position on Agri-surances Vermont Captive Insurance Board.
In January, 2012, he was appointed to a seat on the Board of Directors of the New York Beef Industry Council.
Leon and his wife Amy live in Marcellus, New York. He has two sons.