November 23, 2012
R-CALF USA Vice President and Region XII Director Joel Gill lost his life Oct. 18, 2012, in a car accident on Mississippi Highway 17.
In addition to being a director and the organization's vice president, Gill was R-CALF USA's Beef Checkoff Committee Chair and Membership Committee Co-chair. Gill also was mayor of his home town, Pickens, MS, and had held that position since 2009. Gill and his brother operated their family cattle business, MS Order Buyers, Inc., which they started with their father in 1979.
Gill shared with his wife, Ann, one daughter, one son and four grandsons.
Gill entertained and awed his fellow R-CALF USA members at their annual conventions with his remarkable guitar playing, singing and song writing talents. And as emcee of the group's past several conventions, Gill spread good will and laughter while insisting on timeliness, which he artfully accomplished with his endless supply of humorous stories.
Gill was a selfless and innovative leader for the U.S. cattle industry. He was instrumental in building support for country of origin labeling (COOL) among cattle producers in the Southeast and in helping to stop the ill-conceived National Animal Identification System (NAIS).
When independent cattle producers in North Dakota wanted to form their own state-wide producer-oriented cattle association, Gill volunteered to make several trips to North Dakota to help the founders establish the Independent Beef Association of North Dakota (IBAND).
Cards and letters to Joel Gill's family can be sent to: Gill Family, P.O. Box 338, Pickens, MS 39146.