Getting To Know Your Beef Checkoff Leaders – Weldon Wynn, Secretary/Treasurer
Contact: , 303-867-6302;
Suggested Lead: Weldon Wynn, Star City, Ark., recently added “Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB) secretary/treasurer” to his list of titles, in addition to owning Wynn Beefmaster Farms and Wynn Rice and Soybean Farm, as well as owning and operating Wynn Insurance Agency with his wife.
Weldon says, “A leader leads, he doesn’t drive.” So we asked him what it means to him to be elected to serve fellow cattle producers.
Wynn 1: “You know, I can say that I am humbled and honored to be elected to the checkoff leadership. And the reason why is because I feel like giving back to what you believe in, and the cattle industry, through my life, has really been good to me and my family for so many years. And now it’s my time to give back. I believe in what we do – I have the greatest respect and confidence in our product, and I believe in our industry. And I also believe in what it stands for. I believe in our future, and I hope to be a catalyst to help us continue to move forward in this great industry that we’re in. You know, Harry Truman once said, ‘to be able to lead others, a man must be willing to go forward alone.’ And that’s kind of where I feel today that we are with the CBB is we have to take a stand and then go forward.” (45 seconds)
Weldon tells us what he wants to make sure other producers know about when it comes to their checkoff investment.
Wynn 2: “I want my fellow producers to know the people responsible for making decisions about their checkoff dollars at both the state and national levels are producer volunteers. I also want them to know that the process for representation is designed to make sure that producers are responsible for reviewing and approving how, when and where checkoff dollars are invested in how to build beef demand.” (25 seconds)
Weldon also wants fellow cattlemen and women to know a little bit more about how their checkoff is structured and managed.
Wynn 3: “Well, I think our checkoff is being managed well. Let me just give you a story on how I feel about it. It starts out at our qualified state beef councils. The dollar that’s collected, 50 cents of it goes directly to the Cattlemen’s Beef Board and 50 cents is retained at the state beef council. The producers sitting on the state beef councils determine how much of this 50 cents should be invested in local, state or even national programs. And the role of the Cattlemen’s Beef Board is to budget for and evaluate all of our national programs. And you know that we have the 20-member Operating Committee – 10 of which is Federation of State Beef Councils and 10 are selected by CBB. These people are responsible for approving the checkoff programs and contracting with the national industry governed organizations to implement these programs that we’re talking about. It’s our responsibility then to invest checkoff dollars wisely as if they were our own dollars and only as they are allowed to be invested. Enact programs that are producer-driven, follow government guidelines and make sure we all get the most for every dollar we have.” (1:05 seconds)
We asked Weldon what he feels the checkoff does for his own operation.
Wynn 4: “The checkoff does so much for all of us, and this is where we miss it as producers. But number one, there’s no way that, in my operation, that I could afford to advertise my product like the checkoff dollars do for me. And what I’m saying is that the checkoff works on a worldwide basis. It’s constantly promoting and working to continue to grow beef demand. Every day, the checkoff is funding more research to address safety and quality issues, and on my operation, our management practices are better because of checkoff dollars. I’m talking basically about the new program – BQA that we’ve got out. You know, independent research has shown us for every dollar we spend, that we invest in the checkoff program, we get a $5 return on our investment. And that’s where I’m at – you have to make some kind of a profit and it’s hard to do that within the walls of our confines on our farm. But with using every possible means that we possibly can, and where the checkoff dollar is concerned, it helps us to make a profit at the end of the year.” (1:05 seconds)
Weldon continues to do business and be a leader abiding by a quote he once heard: “Never mistake knowledge for wisdom. One helps you make a living, the other helps you make a life.”
To learn more about Weldon and other Beef Board leaders, as well as to get information on efforts being funded with your beef checkoff investment, visit MyBeefCheckoff.com.
The Beef Checkoff Program was established as part of the 1985 Farm Bill. The checkoff assesses $1 per head on the sale of live domestic and imported cattle, in addition to a comparable assessment on imported beef and beef products. States retain up to 50 cents on the dollar and forward the other 50 cents per head to the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board, which administers the national checkoff program, subject to USDA approval.