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New appointees bring diverse perspectives to Colorado Beef Council board

Gov. Jared Polis recently named Meghann Blach of Eckley, Colo., and Luke Larson of Fowler, Colo., to the Colorado Beef Council board of directors. The new appointees bring unique qualifications to the eight-member board, having raised and promoted beef both on the hoof and directly to consumers. Joining other beef producers and industry leaders on the board, Blach and Larson will help direct Beef Checkoff investments in promotion, research, and education programs to grow beef demand.

Raised on a 650 head dairy, Blach’s background embodies the diversity of agriculture in the state. Today, she and her and husband raise their family on a farming operation where they also manage a cow-calf herd. Her passion for agriculture extends to her small business, Farm House Market located in Yuma, Colo. Opened in 2011, Farm House Market is a local espresso and dairy bar, where Blach serves an array of locally grown and handcrafted products. She enjoys using her storefront to help bring the story of agriculture, beef, and dairy production to her customers.

“The Beef Council offers a wealth of knowledge to me as a producer to help educate people on an industry that I am so passionate about,” Blach said. “I’m very honored to be serving in the dairy seat and look forward to increasing my involvement in the beef industry within the unique area of consumer education and promotion.”



Fellow appointee, Luke Larson, brings matching experiences and enthusiasm to the board, where he will represent one of two cattle feeder positions. On a weekly basis, Larson deals with both corporate beef production as well as direct-to-consumer beef sales. Not only is he the general manager and partner of Ordway Feedyard, but he is also a partner in his family’s Otero County ranch, which operates in the cow/calf, stocker, and backgrounding sectors. In 2017, Larson launched Centennial Cuts, a local beef brand that markets directly to consumers. The Centennial Cuts brand can be found online, at farmer’s markets, and even at Denver International Airport.

“I’m incredibly excited to serve on the CBC board,” Larson said. “Beef has such a positive story to share regarding its positive impact on the environment, its important role in a healthy diet, and an abundant offering of great tasting cuts to fit any budget.”



Both appointees look forward to serving four-year terms on the board, and agree that there is excitement surrounding the future of the beef industry. As Colorado’s consumer dynamics continue to change and the beef industry faces new challenges, Blach and Larson are well positioned to help make informed decisions regarding Beef Checkoff investments.

“Consumers have always demanded a great tasting product, but they’re also increasingly demanding answers surrounding how beef is raised, how it fits within a nutritious diet, and what effects beef production has on the environment,” Larson said. “The Colorado Beef Council has a huge responsibility to create a return on producers’ checkoff investment while answering consumers’ questions. It’s a responsibility we don’t take lightly.”

Dickhut retires from Farmers National Co., new senior vice president of real estate operations announced

Farmers National Company has announced that Randy Dickhut, senior vice president of real estate operations, will retire Sept. 30 after more than 20 years of dedicated work and leadership within the company. Randy began his career with Farmers National Company in 2002 as a farm manager in west-central Illinois.

In 2006, he moved to Omaha, Neb., when promoted to vice president of client relations, and will complete his tenure with the company as the senior vice president of real estate operations. Dickhut also has served as a valued member of the executive team and on the board of directors.

Farmers National Company is pleased to announce that Paul Schadegg, western area sales manager, has been promoted to senior vice president of real estate operations. Schadegg brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to his new role with 20-plus years of real estate and farm management experience, including a successful track record in both real estate sales and business development.

In his new role, Schadegg will lead Farmers National Company’s strategy for real estate and appraisal, as well as the company’s Hunting Lease Network.

“I’m excited to move into this new role and leverage my real estate experience to continue the progress and success of Farmers National Company’s real estate operations,” he said. Schadegg’s profile can be found at http://www.FarmersNational.com/PaulSchadegg.

“I want to thank Randy for more than 20 years of service to Farmers National Company and congratulate him on his upcoming retirement,” said Clayton Becker, president. “We will certainly miss his experience and consistent media presence as an industry expert on the latest trends in the farmland market. I’d also like to congratulate Paul on his appointment as senior vice president of real estate operations to replace Randy. Paul possesses an abundance of knowledge and experience, and we are looking forward to his continued leadership within the company.”

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