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Nebraska woman to help lead Beef Checkoff oversight board

Cattle producers Brett Morris of Ninnekah, Okla., Joan Ruskamp of Dodge, Neb., and Chuck Coffey of Springer, Okla., are the new leadership team for the Cattlemen's Beef Promotion & Research Board (CBB), elected unanimously by fellow Beef Board members during the 2017 Cattle Industry Convention in Nashville on Feb. 3, 2017. Morris will serve as chairman, Ruskamp as vice chairman and Coffey as secretary/treasurer of the Cattlemen's Beef Board to lead the national Beef Checkoff Program for the coming year.

The Beef Board also elected members to serve on the executive committee and others to fill CBB seats on the Beef Promotion Operating Committee.

NEW BEEF BOARD OFFICER TEAM

Newly elected CBB Chairman Brett Morris is a third-generation dairy farmer and runs a dairy, cow/calf and stocker operation and the Washita Fertilizer Co. 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, 100-125 beef cows and 200 stocker calves. Morris served as chairman of the Oklahoma Dairy Commission, vice chairman of the Oklahoma Johne's Advisory Committee, as a district voting delegate to Dairy Farmers of America, a director of the Federation of State Beef Councils, and as chairman and vice chairman of the Oklahoma Beef Council.

Joan Ruskamp 2017 CBB vice chairman and her husband, Steve, operate a feedlot and row-crop farm west of Dodge, Neb. She is a graduate of the University of Nebraska at Curtis, where she earned an associate degree in veterinary medicine in 1980. Ruskamp has been very active in the beef industry, with service to numerous producer organizations. In addition, she has been a 4-H leader for about 20 years, an EMT for more than a decade and a religious education teacher for nearly 30 years.

2017 CBB Secretary/Treasurer Chuck Coffey is a fifth-generation rancher who grew up on a ranch in the hill country of Harper, Texas. He earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in range science from Texas A&M. 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.

Chuck Coffey

CBB EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

The 12-member CBB Executive Committee includes the board's three officers and eight members elected at-large. The CBB elected the following members to its 2017 executive committee: Jared Brackett of Idaho, Amelia Kent of Louisiana, Bill King of New Mexico, Gary Sharp of South Dakota, Paul Moss of Tennessee, Don Smith of Texas, Richard Winter of Texas and Barbara Jacques of Oklahoma. CBB Vice Chairman Joan Ruskamp will serve as chairman of the executive committee, and CBB officers Brett Morris and Chuck Coffey will also be on the committee, As immediate past CBB chairman, Anne Anderson of Texas will serve as an advisor to the committee.

The executive committee operates under the direction of, and within the policies established by, the full board and is responsible for carrying out Beef Board policies and conducting business and making decisions necessary to administer the terms and provisions of the Act and Order between meetings of the full board.

OPERATING COMMITTEE

The Beef Promotion Operating Committee was created by the Beef Promotion Research Act to help coordinate state and national beef checkoff programs. The 20-person committee includes 10 members of the Cattlemen's Beef Board, among them the board's three officers and seven others elected directly by Beef Board members. The other 10 members are appointed from the Federation of State Beef Councils.

CBB members elected to the 2017 Beef Promotion Operating Committee during the annual meeting in Nashville include: Chairman Brett Morris; Vice Chairman Joan Ruskamp; Secretary/Treasurer Chuck Coffey; Michael Smith of California, Robert Mitchell of Wisconsin, Hugh Sanburg of Colorado, Stacy McClintock of Kansas, Sarah Childs of Florida, Tammy Basel of South Dakota and Janna Stubbs of Texas.

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