CEO Report

CEO Report - January 2019

As my one-year anniversary as your CEO approaches, I would like to again express my deepest appreciation to you for your confidence in me and for giving me this incredible opportunity. There have been many changes since last February, and I am excited about how your staff team is coming together. I am looking forward to having you meet and get to know our newest staff members, Sarah Metzler, Director of Communications, Jeff Lutz, Manager of Financial Compliance, and Cyndi Heimerich, Senior Executive Assistant. These three are a great addition to our staff and will serve the CBB well for many years!

2019 - Off and Running

With 2018 in the rearview mirror, we are off and running in 2019! There was much to be thankful for in 2018 including the fact that the U.S. exported over $8 billion in beef to its many global trading partners; an accomplishment that has taken much work at home and abroad. This is an important milestone and one that, given the recognition of the quality of U.S. beef around the world and the ability of beef producers in this country to consistently produce great beef, may be in jeopardy of being surpassed soon!

However, there are always challenges that need to be overcome and the most recent is the release of the EAT-Lancet report in Europe which calls for a severe reduction in meat consumption in favor of more nuts, fruits, and vegetables. Your Beef Checkoff was prepared for the release of the report and work done on behalf of the checkoff by our contractors was excellent and provided an immense amount of fact-based information to the media on beef’s nutritional value in a diet as well as how cattle production is much less harmful to the environment that the report suggests, and, in fact, is a part of sustaining grasslands and other areas where they are used to “upcycle” materials which would otherwise be wasted. At this point, it appears the report is getting more pushback from many areas of health and nutrition than uptake which is good news. This is a prime example of why the Beef Checkoff is so important!

Winter Convention

As you know, we will be converging in New Orleans next week for the Beef Industry Convention during which you, as directors of the Cattlemen’s Beef Board, will be doing the important work of the checkoff. You, as beef producers, will be identifying the strategic initiatives in your committee’s area which our contractors will begin to develop their proposed programs for fiscal year 2020.

This year’s convention we are unveiling a new session that will give you a fantastic overview of some of the exciting work being done by your checkoff! During the Beef Checkoff Highlights Session, scheduled for Thursday, January 31st from 2:00-4:00 p.m., your contractors will be putting the spotlight on one of their projects within each committee area. Unlike the Program Update you receive at the Summer Business Meeting which delves into each tactic in every authorization request, this session will provide you a great snapshot of key successes. In addition, the contractors will be available at the committee meetings to make full reports on the tactics in your committee’s area.

Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, will be addressing you during the Closing General Session on Friday, February 1st, which should be interesting given recent events surrounding the government shutdown.

As a reminder, the following is a schedule of the convention with the CBB meetings in bold print.

Jan. 29 - Feb. 1, 2019, New Orleans, LA

2019 CBB Schedule of Events

January 29
10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. CBB Nominating Committee Interviews

January 30
8:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. CBB Nominating Committee Interviews

11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. Joint Evaluation Advisory Committee Meeting

2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. Opening General Session (Optional) Special Guest Terry Bradshaw

4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. CBB Executive Committee Meeting

3:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. NCBA Trade Show Welcome Reception (Optional)

January 31
7:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. CattleFax Outlook Seminar

9:45 a.m. - 11:15 a.m. CBB Audit Committee Meeting

11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. CBB Luncheon (Honoring retiring CBB members)

2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Checkoff Highlights Session

4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. NCBA Federation Forum

7:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. Mardi Gras Masquerade (Optional)

February 1
7:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. Best of Beef Awards Breakfast

9:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. Closing General Session (Optional)

12:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. Checkoff Committee Meetings

4:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. Cattlemen’s Beef Board Meeting

8:00 p.m. - 1:00 a.m. Cowboy Concert and After-Party (Optional) (CBB does not reimburse the ticket cost for this event)


Meeting and Talking with Industry

One of the important duties required of your CBB officers is to be spokesmen for the Beef Checkoff, and we are fortunate to have an officer team that is exceptional at doing that! On an ongoing basis they are called upon to do interviews and to make themselves available for speaking engagements. This past October, Jared Brackett, CBB’s Secretary/Treasurer, made himself available for over 20 interviews during the National Farm Broadcaster’s Trade Talk session in Kansas City. Answering questions and sharing the work of the checkoff comes natural to Jared!

Also, Chuck Coffey, CBB Vice Chairman, was featured on a Cattlemen to Cattlemen television episode during which he was able to discuss the checkoff’s role in sustainability research and its importance in furthering consumer’s trust in beef.

More recently, CBB Chairman, Joan Ruskamp, was a featured speaker at the Nebraska Cattlemen’s Convention as well as at the American Farm Bureau Federation convention in New Orleans. Focusing on the importance of the checkoff, Joan’s passion for the beef industry is infectious. In addition, leading up to convention she has been called upon for in depth interviews by the agricultural media which gives her more opportunity to tell the Beef Checkoff story in a deeper way.

I hope you will take the opportunity to thank the officer team when you see them for the time and effort they have taken in representing you as the CBB, and the Beef Checkoff!

Legal Update

Regarding the R-CALF v. USDA lawsuit in which this case challenges the interpretation of the concept of government speech and how it applies to the Montana Beef Council (MBC), the Federal District Court allowed the inclusion of 14 additional states in the action, as well as allowing four outside intervenors. Both USDA and the plaintiffs in this case are preparing full briefs which the Court will review and determine further action, perhaps later this summer. You will receive a more detailed update from CBB’s attorney, Wayne Watkinson, during the Board Meeting in New Orleans.

I look forward to seeing all of you at the convention!


Scott Stuart, CEO

Cattlemen’s Beef Board

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The beef checkoff increases beef demand through promotion, research and new product development, and a variety of other marketing tools.