20 NATIONAL CATTLEMEN
T H E
F E D E R A T I O N
STATE BEEF COUNCILS
Building beef demand by inspiring, unifying and supporting an effective state/national checkoff partnership.
2015 Federation Officers Elected Important Food Professionals Get
Jennifer Houston, a livestock market operator from Sweetwater, Tenn., was elected chair of the Federation of State Beef Councils during the Jennifer Houston 2015 Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show in San Antonio, Texas, in early February. Elected vice chair was Steve Hanson, a cowcalf operator from Elsie, Neb. Houston previously served as the Federation’s vice chair. She grew up on a cattle and hog farm in West Tennessee, and graduated from the University of Tennessee with a degree in animal science. She worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Tennessee prior to joining her husband in a family livestock market operation. Houston has been deeply involved in the beef checkoff at the state and national levels. She was appointed to the Tennessee Beef Industry Council when it was established in 1986, and served as the TBIC representative to the National Live Stock and Meat Board, a predecessor organization to NCBA. As chair of the Federation, Houston will serve as vice chair of the Beef Promotion Operating Committee (BPOC). Hanson will also serve on that committee. Approval of BPOC-approved projects and budgets is required by the Cattlemen’s Beef Board and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It’s the fourth term on the BPOC for
Hanson, who operates a family farm and ranch in Southwest Nebraska with his son, the fifth generation on the operation. He feeds out the calves they raise with grain grown on the farm. Hanson is also in his fifth year on the Nebraska Beef Council. His industry involvement with checkoff committees includes serving on the Freedom to Operate Committee, the Global Growth Committee and the Evaluation Committee. He has also served as the Federation Region VII vice president on the NCBA Executive Committee. In addition to Houston and Hanson, other Federation members of the BPOC for 2015 are Austin Brown III (Texas), Clay Burtrum (Oklahoma), Dawn Caldwell (Nebraska), Terri Carstensen (Iowa), Jerry Effertz (North Dakota), Cevin Jones (Idaho), Scott McGregor (Iowa) and Kristin Larson (Montana). Jones is past chair of the Federation. The CBB also appoints 10 members to the BPOC. Also at the convention, three new Federation Division members of the NCBA Executive committee were elected by their regions. Selected were Bill Sexton (Region I, Ohio); Weldon Wynn (Region IV, Arkansas); and Dan Hinman (Region V, Idaho). Retiring directors were: Garry Wiley (Region I, Michigan): Clay Burtrum (Region IV, Oklahoma); Sid Viebrock (Region V, Washington) and Dawn Caldwell (Nebraska Revenue seat). Continuing their service on the NCBA Executive Committee on behalf of the Federation are Donna Jo Curtis (Region II, Alabama); Tod Fleming (Region III, Wisconsin); Linda Brake (Region VI, Arizona); and Dawn Caldwell (Region VII, Nebraska).
Federation Expresses Support for Work of Beef Checkoff Working Group The Federation expressed appreciation for work done by the Beef Checkoff Enhancement Working Group at the NCBA Annual Meeting Feb. 7. Members passed a resolution stating the Federation “supports the work of the Beef Checkoff Enhancement Working Group and that the Federation continue as a resource in this process.” Because it is funded with checkoff dollars through state beef councils and their collections of the $1-per-head national
beef checkoff, the Federation may not take an active role in actions of the Working Group or in efforts to increase beef checkoff rates. It will not sign the Working Group’s Memorandum of Understanding, but instead work in a resource capacity for the group’s efforts. Involved in the working group to date have been Scott George, former Federation Chair and NCBA President, and Jennifer Houston, current Federation chair.
Taste of Hawaii Cattle, Beef Production
A group of about 20 food media, culinary professionals, food systems advocates and local ranchers participated in the Hawaii Beef Industry Council’s Pasture to Plate Tour in November. The project provided the individuals with an up-close-and-personal look at beef production on the islands, from cattle on the ranch through beef processing. The event was partially funded through a grant from the Federation Initiative Fund Program. The Federation also assisted by creating a new pamphlet for participants designed by the Federation design services team. Included in the tour was a visit to the Ponoholo Ranch, one of the largest ranches in Hawaii with 6,000 cattle, as well as Lowline Cattle Company, which has approximately 120 head. It also made a stop at Hawaii Beef Producers, a small slaughter and processing plant. “It’s a way to learn so much more about how beef cattle are raised on our island,” said Sonia Martinez, a food blogger who
was a tour participant. Catherine Toth, a writer/blogger who was also a tour participant was “blown away by the sheer beauty and serenity of these ranches,” she wrote on her blog. “The view was breathtaking, with a herd of cattle in the distance grazing and the Pacific Ocean below.” Toth will be including information from her tour in an upcoming story for Alaska Airlines inflight magazine on food in Hawaii, as well as an upcoming segment of the PBS food/travel documentary “Family Ingredients” that will feature Hawaii ranch culture and beef production. “We felt that the tour was very effective and enjoyable for all that participated, and the feedback from the participants was extremely positive,” according to Michelle Galimba, chair of the HBIC. “This first tour taught us a lot, and utilizing social media we look forward to reaching our target audience even more effectively.”
Funds Awarded to States Under Initiative Grants Program The Federation Executive Committee approved six grants to five state beef councils worth $33,400 through the Federation Initiative Fund grants program. The state beef councils and respective programs are: • California Beef Council, Consumerfocused Mobile Application Development: $14,000; • Georgia Beef Board, Culinary Student Farm Tours: $2,100; • Indiana Beef Council (two grants), American Culinary Federation Tour,
$2,000, and Indiana Team BEEF, $2,050; • Michigan Beef Industry Commission, Fitness Influencer Education and Outreach, $9,500; and • Wisconsin Beef Council, Farm to Fork Tour, $3,750. The Federation Initiative Fund has awarded about $2.3 million to 22 states conducting more than 190 programs since it was started in 2006. Additional projects will be considered at the 2015 Summer Conference in July.
Shalene McNeil, PhD, RD, executive director of Human Nutrition Research for NCBA, a contractor to the Beef Checkoff Program, explains to hundreds of convention attendees efforts the industry has made to increase understanding of beef nutrition as it relates to government dietary guidelines. The comments were made at the Understanding Beef’s Consumer session Feb. 5. Ann Wittmann, executive director of the Wyoming Beef Council, asks for clarification during the discussion of the Memorandum of Understanding at the 2015 Federation Forum during the convention.