The North American Gamebird Association welcomed recently elected Board Members during their meeting on February 5, 2013. Join us in welcoming Matt Ellis, Keith Houghton, William “Jeffrey” Maness, and Don Montgomery.Newly Elected Board Member Profiles – Please familiarize yourself with the new Board Members. Feel free to contact them with any issues you would like them for be aware of.
Matt Ellis – Cherrybend Pheasant Farm – Wilmington, OH
Matthew Wayne Ellis has owned and operated the Cherrybend Pheasant Farm since 2006. This licensed hunting preserve has been in continuous operation since 1954 and serves southwest Ohio, including Cincinnati, Dayton, and Columbus. Pheasant, Chukar, and Bobwhite Quail are raised and hunted on the 640 acre farm.
A lifelong resident of Clinton County, Ohio, Matt is married to Beth Ellis and they have two children, Carlie and Nathan. He graduated from Ohio State University with a B.S. in Agriculture and has been a full-time farmer since 1994, producing corn, soybeans, wheat and sorghum and a custom application business.
Matt served on the Clinton County Farm Bureau Board from 1996 to 2002 and he served as president for two years. He is a member of the NRA, NAGA and AOPA. Matt is also a private pilot.
Keith Houghton- Ring Neck Ranch, Inc. – Tipton, KS
Keith Houghton, with his wife Debra, developed Ringneck Ranch as a destination full service upland game bird hunting operation on the family homestead in north central Kansas. They are in their 30th hunting season this year.
Keith had successfully avoided responsibility with NAGA during his 33 year career as an airline pilot with Ozark, TWA, and American Airlines. Upon retirement last year, he was asked to complete the term of a retiring board member.
In the early 90s, Keith helped organize and was a charter member of the Kansas Sport Hunting Association. “Our state association and NAGA are currently faced with the same challenges of membership,” stated Keith. “It is very important that we speak with one voice when dealing with legislative and regulatory issues that can have devastating repercussions to our industry.”
William “Jeffrey” Maness – Shady Knoll Gamebird Farm, LLC – Asheboro, North Carolina
Jeffrey started working in the bird business in 1980 before he graduated from school and continued to do so after his graduation from NC State University where he majored in agriculture. He was active in FFA and received many awards. He also has been a recipient of the Randolph County Young Farmer of the Year.
Jeffrey raises quail (150,000), pheasant (25,000) and chukar (10,000-12,000), depending on the orders for the upcoming year. He also has a shooting preserve, grows corn and hay, raises beef cattle and is a board member and past president of the Randolph County Poultry and Livestock Association. Jeffrey is active in his church, President of Quaker Men and head usher.
Don Montgomery – Blue Hill Gamebirds – Tipton, KS
Don was born and reared in north central Kansas— right in the middle of pheasant country. He received a degree in finance from Fort Hays State University and then worked at the Tipton State Bank as a loan officer, insurance agent, licensed real estate salesman, and served on the Board of Directors. In 1985, while working at the bank, Don started Blue Hill Gamebirds as a hobby in his garage using eggs from native nesting pheasants. The hobby soon became a business and he quit the bank position in 1996 to devote all his time to developing a native strain breeding flock of pheasants. Blue Hill Gamebirds now hatch in excess of 500,000 pheasants and 100,000 chukar and quail.
Don also worked for twenty-five years as a licensed guide on a hunting preserve. During the early years of the business, Don helped organize the Kansas Sport Hunting Association. Since then, he has served as its secretary-treasurer and on the board of directors.