Jim McAdams graduated from Texas A&M University with a B.S. in Agricultural Economics in 1972. While attending college, he was a member of the Corps of Cadets and the Ross Volunteers. Following graduation, Jim moved to Walker County to become a manager at McAdams Cattle Company, where he worked until 1990. During the next 20 years, Jim was an owner and partner on several ranches in Walker County. He later became COO of the Spade Ranch in West Texas, a ranch with 8,000 cows, sheep, horses, and an extensive commercial hunting enterprise.
Jim McAdams has been a leader in both Texas and U.S. agriculture during the past 30 years. He has served on the board of The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), the most significant and demanding cattle industry organization in the U.S., for 15 years and as President in 2005. He was on the Board of Directors for CattleFax, the premier market information organization in the country that is used by all segments of the cattle industry, from 1998-2004, and served as President during 2002. In the leadership of the U.S. cattle industry, Jim McAdams is regarded as in the top of the upper echelon, having provided critical and valuable leadership toward improving the economics of performance and evaluation standards.
McAdams was a catalyst in working with Dr. James McGrann and his students in the Department of Agricultural Economics in developing the Standard Performance Analysis (SPA) program, a standardized finance, marketing, and production performance measuring system for the beef cattle industry. The SPA program is of immense value to the U.S. cattle industry, with extensive applications throughout commercial and registered cow-calf ranchers in Texas and other states, with the SPA reproduction performance-measuring methodology being widely used today in the cow-calf sector.
Over the years, Mr. McAdams’ engagement with and support of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the Department of Agricultural Economics has been and continues to be substantial. He has provided land and livestock for research projects at Texas A&M, served as Walker County A&M Club chairman, and has been a keynote speaker at Muster. Additionally, he has served as a 12th Man Board Member, and a speaker at Beef Cattle Short Course and Saddle and Sirloin events. He is a member of the College of Agriculture Development Council and has served as a Professor-for-a-Day in Agricultural Economics classes. He is an icon of leadership, mentorship, and encouragement to students in Rural Entrepreneurship and other programs in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
Jim McAdams, his wife, Molly, and son, John Kohl, reside near Seguin, TX. Their son, Will ’04, Corps Commander 2003-2004, lives in Austin.