Producers Talk About the Checkoff

Kristina McKee, Tennessee

Kristina McKee is a partner in Mid-South Livestock Center in Unionville, Tenn., and has been serving the area’s beef producers since 1996. Her late father-in-law had been in the auction market business for 65 years. Because of this, Kristina has a passion for agriculture.

“I’ve had many roles over my short lifetime, but the one I’m most proud of is the 30-plus years that I’ve spent in the livestock-auction business. I’ve had the opportunity to see first-hand the responsibility that market owners take in providing a place where cattle producers can sell their products and receive a fair and competitive price for those animals. It’s a challenging business because of course, markets are cyclical, so we have good years, then we’ve had downturns. But, those checkoff dollars that we’ve collected on hundreds of thousands of animals have opened up program opportunities to increase demand for the product.

“I’m extremely proud of the checkoff. I’ve seen firsthand the work that is done from those dollars collected.

“We are dealing with the salt-of-the-Earth with farmers and people involved in agriculture; people that love the land, respect and take care of the commodity that they produce, and do it with such passion. All these people that come to the market every week become part of our family. Their business is appreciated, but their friendships are cherished.”

Watch KristinaClick here for the full video from Kristina’s auction market in Tennessee.

Chuck Kiker, Texas

Chuck Kiker, Cattlemen's Beef Board member from Fannett, Texas, has been involved in the beef industry since he was a young child.

He says, "I first went on the Beef Board in 2004. I’m about to serve the last year of my second term and not many people have been able to do that. It’s been a pretty eye-opening experience.

"One of the things our checkoff does is profiling different muscles. We had so many cuts of meat that weren’t high dollar cuts that would end up in grind and it was very important to add value to those cuts. One of the things derived out of that kind of research was the flat iron steak and the petite tender. We needed cuts of steak that people could go out and buy and enjoy whether they were grilling at home or going to a restaurant."

Chuck believes more producers should volunteer and be part of the checkoff and learn about it. "It’s a very complicated process because it gets in to research, new market development, and things that we don’t even think about as ranchers."

Watch ChuckClick here for the full video from Chuck’s cow-calf operation.


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