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.
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.
2017 CBB Vice Chairman Joan Ruskamp and her husband, Steve, operate a feedlot and row-crop farm west of Dodge, Nebraska. 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 numerous producer organizations. In addition, she has been a 4-H leader for 23 years, an EMT for 15 years, and she is active in a variety of church activities.
Chuck Coffey is a fifth-generation rancher who grew up on a ranch in the hill country of Harper, Texas. He proudly earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in range science from Texas A&M and now has three children, all of whom attend Oklahoma State University. Chuck taught agriculture at Murray State College in Tishomingo, Okla. after completing his master's in 1985, eventually chairing the department there, until he joined the Noble Foundation as a pasture and range consultant in 1993. He is extremely passionate about ranching and feels blessed to be able to work on the ranch every day, especially after a serious horseback-riding accident that threatened to leave him paralyzed before several surgeries and months and months of rehabilitation. With a wealth of activities on and off of the ranch at any given time, Chuck says he has learned that "staying busy keeps you young."
Chief Executive Officer
As Chief Executive Officer of the Cattlemen's Beef Promotion & Research Board (CBB), Polly Ruhland is responsible for stewarding cattle farmer and rancher investments into the federal $1-per-head Beef Checkoff Program through strategic management of Board operations. This includes research, education and promotion programs, as well as compliance, evaluation and investor relations. Polly brings an extensive background in beef industry, non-profit management, strategic planning and communications to her position, including previous service as the vice president of planning and evaluation for CBB; senior positions in corporate and industry relations, communications and issues management at the National Cattlemen's Beef Association; and director of communications for the North American Limousin Foundation and the American Gelbvieh Association. She also served as Institutional Animal Care and Use coordinator for Colorado State University. Polly holds a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Colorado and a master's degree in agriculture from Colorado State University. She and her husband live in Castle Rock, Colo.