McDonnell Elected to Angus Board of Directors


American Angus Association® delegates elected five members to its Board of Directors Monday, Nov. 15 at the 127th Annual Convention of Delegates in Louisville, Ky.

Newly elected Board Directors include: Leo McDonnell Jr., Columbus, Mont.; John Pfeiffer, Orlando, Okla.; Kevin Yon, Ridge Spring, S.C; and John Harrell, Opelika, Ala. Jim Rentz, Coldwater, Ohio, was elected to a second term on the Board.

Joe Hampton, Mount Ulla, N.C., was elected the American Angus Association president and chairman of the board. He succeeds Bill Davis, Sidney, Mont.

Jarold Callahan, Edmond, Okla., was chosen by delegates to serve as vice president and vice chairman of the board. Phil Trowbridge, Ghent, N.Y., will serve as treasurer for the year.

More than 350 elected delegates from 43 states and Canada represented American Angus Association members and conducted the business of the Association during the annual meeting and election. The meeting was at the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center in conjunction with the North American International Livestock Exposition (NAILE) Super-Point Roll of Victory (ROV) Angus Show. 

Joe Hampton, the Association’s newly elected president and chairman of the board, most recently served as vice president and vice chairman of the board. He and his wife, Robin, operate Back Creek, a cattle operation near Mount Ulla, N.C., focused on the production of Angus bulls for commercial cattlemen. Hampton received his bachelor’s degree from North Carolina State University and has been involved with agricultural research for more than 25 years. He has served as president of the North Carolina Angus Association and as board director for the North Carolina Cattlemen’s Association.

As Association president, Hampton will serve as chairman of the Executive Committee and will work closely with all directors to lead the board during the next year.

Hampton succeeds Bill Davis, who, with his wife, Jennifer, operates Rollin’ Rock Angus near Sidney, Mont. Davis served on the American Angus Association Board of Directors for eight years.

Jarold Callahan, the newly elected vice chairman and vice president, recently served as treasurer. Callahan received his undergraduate degree from Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College and a master’s degree in agriculture from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. He taught purebred beef production and livestock selection at Oklahoma State University and served as executive vice president of the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association before joining Express Ranches in 1996.

Phil Trowbridge will serve as the newly elected treasurer. Trowbridge received his animal science degree from Alfred State College prior to becoming herdsman at Gallagher’s Angus Farm, where he continues to enhance Angus genetics with Trowbridge Angus. Trowbridge has served on numerous boards on the local and state level and organized the Columbia County Feeders 4-H Club.

Brief biographical sketches of newly elected Board directors follow.

  • John Elbert Harrell is a lifetime member of the American Angus Association and grew up on the fourth-generation Harrell Brothers’ Angus Farm.

John Elbert has 41 years experience breeding Angus cattle, 25 years experience as a community bank president and 15 years of experience as a successful small business owner.

He holds several academic degrees including a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics, a master’s in human resource management, a graduate degree in banking and a certificate in financial planning.

He was manager of Harrell Angus Farm from 1977 to 1982 and served as ‘Pickett’ division manager of Lovana Farms, where he was promoted to performance director for all cattle operations. 

  • Leo McDonnell, is a fourth-generation rancher. He and his wife, Sam, live near Columbus, Mont., and have four children. They own the Midland Bull Test and a cow herd.

After attending college, Leo helped his father run Midland, which he purchased in 1993. In 2008, they turned the management of the operation over to their son and daughter-in-law to focus their efforts on the cow herd and ranching.

Leo is a past chair of the Montana Cattle Feeders; serves on the NCBA International Trade Committee and the Research and Education Committee; was a co-founder for R-CALF USA; and currently serves as director of the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association. He is active in other organizations and has testified on behalf of U.S. cattle producers at Congressional hearings.

  • John Pfeiffer is a fourth-generation Angus breeder who graduated from Oklahoma State University with a bachelor’s degree in animal science. John and his wife, Gaye, have two sons and operate the longtime Pfeiffer Angus business and diversified farming operation.

John spent 30 years teaching high school science and served two years as administrator. He served as president of the Oklahoma Angus Association and, with Gaye, serves as editor of the Oklahoma Angus Challenger and directory.

The Pfeiffers are extensively involved in youth development and have been named 4-H Volunteer Leaders of the Year on the state level. John was also president of the Logan County Cattlemen’s Association.

  • Jim Rentz, Coldwater, Ohio, begins his second term on the American Angus Association Board of Directors.

Jim established Creek Side Farm near Chickasaw, Ohio, 58 years ago. In his early career, he worked as herdsman for Forest Hill Farms before attending Ohio State University.

Jim served as an Angus Journal fieldman from 1959 until 1973, then started Rentz Auction Co., and spent 28 years as a sales representative for Post Printing Co.

He has served as president of the Ohio Angus Association, a member of the Ohio Beef Council and as a treasurer of the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association. He co-founded the Ohio Beef Expo and started the annual Showcase Sale.

  • Kevin Yon of Ridge Spring, S.C., is a first-generation Angus breeder who got his introduction into the cattle business at age 14. Thirty years later, Angus cattle are still a way of life for Kevin, his wife, Lydia, and their three children, Sally, Drake and Corbin.

After receiving an animal science degree from Clemson University, the Yons managed Congaree Farms before establishing Yon Family Farms in 1996 — the family’s sole source of income. Kevin has served numerous leadership roles, including president of the South Carolina Angus Association and Cattlemen’s Association, the Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) board of directors and on the National Beef Cattle Evaluation Consortium (NBCEC) advisory council. 

The American Angus Association is the nation’s largest beef breed organization, serving nearly 30,000 members across the United States and Canada. It provides programs and services to farmers, ranchers and others who rely on the power of Angus to produce quality genetics for the beef industry and quality beef for consumers.

For more information about Angus cattle and the American Angus Association’s programs and services, visit

Posted by Haylie Shipp


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