Beef Board LeadershipOfficers of the Cattlemen’s Beef Board are elected by fellow board members and serve as volunteers. Please click on the name of the member to view their profile and contact information. You may contact the Beef Board office if you wish to be put in contact with any of the officers or the staff CEO.
Anne is a cow-calf and stocker operator from Austin Texas and a former executive vice president of the Texas Beef Council. She and her husband, Jim, own a small cattle ranch in Colorado County and a larger one, which Anne manages, in Menard and MuCulloch counties. In addition to ranching, she has spent more than 15 years providing assistance to individuals and groups trying to build new companies -- mostly in the beef industry, and all in the food industry. Anne also is a co-founder and former CEO of AgInfoLink Global, one of the largest food-tracking companies in the U.S., with additional international offices in Australia, Canada, Mexico and Argentina.
Brett is a third-generation dairy farmer and runs a dairy, cow/calf and stocker operation, as well as the Washita Fertilizer Company, in partnership with his father. Theirs is a diversified farm operation, including about 1,000 acres of alfalfa, wheat and grassland, 65 registered Holstein cows for milking, 100-125 beef cows, and 200 stocker calves. Brett was nominated to the Beef Board by the Dairy Farmers Of America (DFA), and is very active in both industry and community activities. He has served as chairman of the Oklahoma Dairy Commission, vice chairman of the Oklahoma Johne's Advisory Committee, as a district voting delegate to DFA, and as chairman and vice chairman of the Oklahoma Beef Council, on which he has served since 2005. He previously served on the checkoff's Joint Retail Committee as a representative for the Federation of State Beef Councils, was president of the Oklahoma Holstein Association, and was active in the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives. In addition to DFA, he is a member of the Oklahoma Farmers and Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company (a National Farmers Union affiliate), the Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association, Holstein Association of America, and Oklahoma Holstein Association. In his community, Brett is a member of the Woodland Hills Baptist Church and has served as a judge for the Arizona State Fair, the Sooner State Dairy Show, and for FFA events.
Joan Ruskamp and her husband, Steve, operate a feedlot and row-crop farm west of Dodge, Nebraska, that has been in Steve's family for nearly 100 years. On the farm, Joan's main jobs include walking pens, cattle doctoring/ processing, and office manager. She is a graduate of the University of Nebraska at Curtis, where she earned an associate degree in veterinary medicine in 1980. Joan has been very active in the beef industry, with service to organizations including the Nebraska Cattlemen, National Cattlemen's Beef Association, American National CattleWomen; Nebraska Farm Bureau; Nebraska Soybean Association, and the Alliance for the Future of Agriculture in Nebraska (AFAN). In addition, she has been a 4-H leader for about 20 years, an EMT for 10 years, and a religious education teacher for nearly 30 years. She has served on a committee for the annual Ag-Ceptional Women's Conference; is an alum of the Nebraska LEAD program; and volunteers for CommonGround. Joan and Steve have been married for more than 30 years and have five children, a son-in-law and a granddaughter.
Chief Executive Officer
Polly Ruhland has served the beef industry for more than 20 years, most recently as vice president of planning and evaluation for CBB. Previously, she was with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), holding senior positions in the areas of state beef council and affiliate relations, issues management, membership and communications. Polly served as communication director for the North American Limousin Foundation (NALF), was compliance coordinator for the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) at Colorado State University, and worked as director of communication for the American Gelbvieh Association. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Colorado and a master’s degree in agriculture with an emphasis in beef industry leadership from Colorado State University.