Washington, Jan. 6, 2010 The National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) is pleased to announce the line-up of speakers for the 2010 Cattle Industry Convention. Christopher Gardner, author and inspiration for the 2006 film, The Pursuit of Happyness, will officially kick off the convention with keynote remarks at the opening general session, sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim. During the session, on Wednesday Jan. 27, Gardiner will share an inspirational message, based upon his own life experiences, about the power of positive role models and overcoming obstacles through hard work and dedication.

We're thrilled with the line-up of speakers set to participate in this year's cattle industry convention, said Gary Voogt, NCBA president. This diverse and knowledgeable group will help set the tone for a productive and engaging week ahead in San Antonio.

Gardner is the head of the successful brokerage firm Gardner Rich LLC in Chicago. Just 20 years ago, Gardner was homeless and trying to support his son as a single parent. Gardner's first book, The Pursuit of Happyness, chronicles his inspirational life story and serves as the basis for a blockbuster film by the same name starring Will Smith. Gardner currently volunteers with a number of programs serving the homeless. He also serves as a board member of the National Fatherhood Initiativewhich seeks to improve the well-being of children by increasing the proportion of children growing up with involved, responsible, and committed fathers.

The Policy Division Forum on Thursday, Jan. 28 will feature Edward M. Avalos, under secretary for marketing and regulatory programs at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Avalos provides leadership and oversight for USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, which addresses animal and plant pests and diseases; the Agricultural Marketing Service, which provides standardization testing and marketing of commodities and specialty crops; and the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration, which promotes marketing of livestock, cereals and meats, as well as fair trade practices.

Thursday's General Session II, sponsored by Bayer Animal Health, will feature an expert panel focusing on the future of the cattle industry. Panel members include: Paul Bennett, Knoll Crest Farms, Red House, Va.; Homer Buell, Shovel Dot Ranch, Bassett, Neb.; Dave Delaney, King Ranch, Kingsville, Texas; James Herring, Friona Industries, Amarillo, Texas; Wesley Batista, JBS, Greeley, Colo.; and Molly McAdams, H-E-B, San Antonio, Texas.

For more information on the 2010 Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show, visit: http://www.beefusa.org/convregistration.aspx.

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