James Bezan was born in Russell, Manitoba, and raised on the family ranch near Inglis. The family was very active in 4-H and James was a director of the Manitoba Junior Hereford Association for a number of years, including a term as president. James attended the national junior Hereford show and convention in Chiliwack, BC and won the national cattle judging competition in 1983.
James attended Olds College in Alberta, receiving a basketball scholarship and playing for the Olds College Broncos. He graduated with a diploma in Agriculture Production, Livestock Technology Major, in 1985.
He began his career working for Red River Feedlot at Sanford, Manitoba. In 1987, the Interlake Livestock and Forage Improvement Association hired James as the Manager for the Gunton Bull Test Station.
In 1989, James became Executive Officer of the 14,000 member Manitoba Cattle Producers’ Association. As CEO, James spent several years lobbying governments, acting as the industry liaison and being the chief spokesman for the province’s cattle industry.
While with MCPA, James sat on numerous federal and provincial boards and committees, including: The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, Canadian Cattle Options Pilot Program, Western Canada Beef Research Committee, National Advisory Board on Beef Cattle Improvement, Manitoba Forage Council, Winnipeg Food and Beverage Council, Manitoba Safety Council and the Manitoba Red Meats Forum.
James also received ministerial appointment to the federal Continental Barley Marketing Advisory Board.
In 1996, James started a livestock exporting and consulting company. He has traveled to Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Jamaica on behalf of his company. In May of 2003, after the BSE crisis began, James was hired by the Manitoba Crop Insurance Corporation and fills the roles as a Crop Adjustor and Sales Assistant.
James and his wife Kelly, operate a farm in the Teulon area. He is the head leader of the Inwood-Teulon 4-H Beef Club. He is also the secretary and a director of the Teulon-New Life Church and helps teach adult Sunday school. James is a member and director of the Teulon and District Lions Club.
James has been a member of the Conservative Party since 1991. James was elected to the riding association executive as 2nd Vice President in September. James and Kelly were both elected in January 2004 to the new Selkirk-Interlake Conservative Party Board of Directors. In March, James successfully won the nomination to represent the Conservative Party of Canada in Selkirk-Interlake.