Cattleman Park director named

Published 8:16 pm Monday, February 25, 2013

Ed Whatley, a 40-year veteran of the beef cattle industry, is the new executive director of Cattleman Park.

The announcement was made Monday afternoon at Cattleman Park by Chris Chandler, president of the Pike County Cattlemen’s Association and the association’s board of directors.

“We are excited about the experience and enthusiasm Ed brings to this new position,” Chandler said. “Ed’s name is instantly recognized as a reputable leader in the industry and we expect great things from him as our executive director.”

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Chandler said that Whatley was hired to promote and supervise activities at Cattleman Park.

“Cattleman Park has seen a lot of growth since it held its first rodeo on this property in 1993,” Chandler said. “Cattleman Park was a vision of the great leaders in our organization.”

The Pike County Cattlemen have managed the facility since it opened.

Chandler said the volunteer spirit was key to the park’s success but, as activities at the park increased, so did the workload.

“We are fortunate to have someone with Ed’s experience in beef promotion, advertising and event management to serve as executive director,” Chandler said.

Whatley said that he is excited about working for an organization he loves while promoting activities that encourage a wholesome family lifestyle.

“I’m looking forward to helping Cattleman Park grow,” Whatley said. “This is a strong group of visionary leaders who have accomplished positive growth with an all-volunteer workforce. We want to elevate this program to increase agricultural and youth educational programs.”

Whatley said the Pike County Cattlemen hope to increase the used of Cattleman Park by bringing in more even for young people.

“We will focus on working with Extension, 4-H, FFA, Boys Clubs and Scout groups,” Whatley said. “We want to offer livestock clinics, youth rodeos, public speaking events, purebred cattle shows and sales, church group meetings and country and gospel music events.”

Whatley said that proceeds from events held at Cattleman Park can help provide scholarships and other community services.

Whatley has experience in the retail meat business, restaurant management and most recently as a field man and public relations specialist for the Alabama Cattlemen’s Association.

After retiring in 2010, Whatley’s efforts focused on promotion of his all-natural meat and vegetable seasoning, “Cattleman’s Steak Shake.” A portion of the proceeds from its sales are donated to the Pike County Cattlemen Junior Beef Program.

Pike County Cattleman Johnny Garrett said the Cattlemen had been talking about hiring someone to handle the inner workings of the association for several years.