BIF selects new board members and officers |

BIF selects new board members and officers

BIF selects new board members and officers

LOVELAND, Colo. — The Beef Improvement Federation elected new directors and announced new officers June 22 during the group’s annual meeting and symposium in Loveland, Colo. Lee Leachman, Fort Collins, Colo., was introduced as the 2018-19 BIF president.

Tommy Clark, Culpeper, Va., is the new vice president. New directors elected to serve on the BIF board were producers Kevin Schultz, Haviland, Kan.; and Gordon Jones, Lafayette, Tenn. New association representatives elected were Shane Bedwell, American Hereford Association; and Kajal Devani, Canadian Angus Association. The 2019 BIF Convention and Research Symposium will be June 18-21 in Brookings, S.D.

Wickett of Norfolk, Neb., finishes fourth in nation

Mid-Plains Community College bull rider Garrett Wickett has ended his college rodeo career fourth in the nation. The Norfolk, Neb., native was No. 1 in the Great Plains Region heading into the College National Finals Rodeo in Casper, Wyo., some rough luck in the first go-round threatened to take him out of the competition. “I bucked off,” Wickett said. “When I came down, the bull planted one foot on my head and another on my lower back. It was a pretty rough day. Luckily, they had a great sports medicine team out there, and by Tuesday, when I rode my third bull, most of the pain was gone.” Despite being sore, Wickett rode his second bull to a score of 74 points and secured a fifth place spot on the leaderboard. He earned a score of 52 with his third bull, but because the flank strap fell off, was offered a re-ride. Wickett didn’t take it. “The past couple of years, and now this year, too, the bull riding at the CNFR has been won on two head,” Wickett said. “I knew getting two bulls covered would get me to the short round.” The theory worked, and because no one made a qualified ride in the short go, he was able to maintain his fourth place ranking. “It feels pretty good,” Wickett said. “I didn’t come back No. 1, but given how my week started, getting stomped pretty hard and nearly knocked out, I’m happy with how things turned out. No matter the outcome, I was going to be happy with myself because my main goal was to do better than I had the year before.” Wickett is done with college rodeo.

Wickett graduated from MPCC in May of 2017 with an associate of applied science degree. He then opted to stay another year and pursue a welding certification. “I’ve already gone pro, but I now really want to focus on riding bulls full time and working my way up,” Wickett said. “I want to make it a career for as long as I possibly can.”

USDA announces United Sorghum Checkoff Program Board appointments

WASHINGTON — Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced the appointment of four members to serve on the United Sorghum Checkoff Program Board. Producers newly appointed to serve three-year terms are: Craig A. Poore, Alton, Kan.; Boyd Funk, Garden City, Kan.; Jim Massey IV, Robstown, Texas; Adam Schindler, Reliance, S.D. (at-large).

Saturno Joins U.S. Wheat Associates in South American Region

SANTIAGO, Chile — U.S. Wheat Associates announced that Andres Saturno has joined its staff as a technical specialist in its South American region. Saturno started his position July 9, 2018, and is based in USW’s Santiago office. Saturno has more than 10 years of experience in the milling industry, most recently working as the head of milling production for a mill in Honduras. Prior to that role, he spent time working in various milling and engineering positions, as well as consulting and teaching. Saturno is a native of Venezuela and earned a milling engineering degree from Venezuela’s Universidad Panamericana Del Puerto. In his role at USW, Saturno will work closely with customers in South America and their technical staff responsible for processing and analyzing U.S. wheat, to provide training, technical advice and on-going support. He will also conduct seminars and technical training to increase technical knowledge in the region and generate value to the industry.

Reimers-Hild named interim executive director of RFI

LINCOLN, Neb. — Connie Reimers-Hild has been named interim executive director of the Rural Futures Institute at the University of Nebraska. She assumed the role upon the June 30, 2018, retirement of Chuck Schroeder, founding executive director of RFI. Reimers-Hild has served in the role of RFI associate executive director since May 2015, leading several strategic priorities and initiating the evaluation efforts of the Institute. She has also keynoted and presented nationally in the areas of future-focused leadership and strategic foresight to strengthen innovation in individuals, communities and organizations. Her most recent invited journal article was published in May 2018, “The future of rural health staffing in America.” Prior to her role at RFI, Reimers-Hild served as unit leader of the Kimmel Education and Research Center in Nebraska City, Neb. Kimmel was the first public-private partnership of its kind in the nation and served as an example of innovation in Extension. While at Kimmel, Reimers-Hild consulted with more than 20 businesses and hospitals in the areas of leadership and innovation, attained more than $1 million in investments and financial support for Extension programming and authored more than 50 publications, including two books. Reimers-Hild holds a doctorate in human sciences with a focus on leadership studies, a master’s degree in entomology and a bachelor’s degree in natural resources from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She also holds a certificate in strategic foresight from the University of Houston, a certified professional coach designation from the International Coach Academy and a strengths coaching certification through Gallup. She lives with her husband and two children in rural Nebraska.

Oliver named Miss Rodeo Nebraska 2019

Eva Oliver of Merriman, Neb., was crowned Miss Rodeo Nebraska during the first performance of the Buffalo Bill Rodeo in North Platte. Oliver, 20, won the categories of horsemanship, personality and photogenic following four days of competition. Caitlin Davis, 22, of Waverly, received the Rising Star Award during the pageant. Madison Clark, 21, of Wellfleet, was named first runner-up after winning the categories of speech, written test, appearance and congeniality. She will fulfill the duties of queen, if at any point Oliver is unable to do so. Oliver’s prizes include thousands of dollars in scholarships (including a two-year, renewable full tuition scholarship to Mid-Plains Community College), a tiara, saddle, buckle, chaps, tack and jewelry, among many other items. She will remain a lady-in-waiting until January. Oliver’s job until then will be to prepare for her reign and fill in at rodeos, parades and other events Miss Rodeo Nebraska 2018 Kristin Kohmetscher is unable to attend. Oliver is the daughter of Chuck and Stacie Oliver of Merriman. She is currently studying veterinary technology at the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture in Curtis. While in college, Oliver has participated in intramural sports, the ranch horse team, Women in Agriculture, Collegiate Cattlemen and Phi Theta Kappa.

Stump confirmed as new OCTAE assistant secretary

On Monday evening, Scott Stump was confirmed by a vote of 85-0 to be the next assistant secretary for the Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education. ACTE had endorsed Stump’s nomination, and following the confirmation, released a joint statement with Advance CTE applauding the bipartisan support he received. We previously reported on the nomination on the blog, but as a reminder, Stump’s resume includes service with the Colorado Community College System, past president at Advance CTE, and most recently, CEO for Vivayic, Inc., a learning solutions company. The confirmation comes on the heels of proposals from the Department of Education to consolidate OCTAE into a primarily postsecondary office. ACTE strongly opposes the proposal, and helped circulate a letter signed by 25 organizations opposing the move. The Trump Administration also recently proposed merging ED with the Department of Labor. ACTE has worked with Stump in the past, and congratulates him on his confirmation. We look forward to continuing to work with him in this new role. ❖

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