Cassady takes reins at Beef Improvement Federation
Joe Cassady of Raleigh, NC, took the reins as executive director of the Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) during the organization’s midyear board meeting in Saint Joseph, MO, Nov. 9.
An associate professor in the College of Agriculture & Life Sciences at North Carolina State University (NCSU), Cassady has research interests in quantitative and molecular genetic applications to improve food animal production, including feed efficiency in beef cattle.
In his role as BIF executive director, Cassady will coordinate the activities of the board and ensure that its directives are properly executed.
“The beef cattle industry will continue to face many challenges, such as more restrictive environmental regulations, increased public interest regarding animal well-being, and increasing input costs,” Cassady says. “BIF’s role is to provide guidance and education with specific regard to genetic improvement of beef cattle. BIF must assist seedstock associations and producers in their efforts to meet the challenge of increased input costs by improving response to selection for economically important traits.”
Selected for the position this summer, Cassady has been working in tandem with his predecessor, Twig Marston, during a transition period. Marston, who is northeast research and Extension district director for the University of Nebraska, had stated his desire to resign as BIF executive director in spring 2009 after six years of volunteer service.
“Key to this position, a person needs to be able to manage competing egos and political cross-currents with quiet efficiency, respect and seemingly no independent agenda,” says BIF President Brian Mc- Culloh of Viroqua, WI. “We think Twig has demonstrated that ability and that Joe will be able to.”
Both men, he adds, see the big picture of the beef industry and have a passion for the seedstock industry.
“We live in a scientific age of accelerated technology development,” McCulloh says. “Somebody needs to help those in the production sector understand the new technologies so that we apply them appropriately. BIF is supposed to be that independent infrastructure that standardizes the development of genetic predictions and then helps producers apply those appropriately.”
For more information about BIF, visit www.beef improvement.org or contact Joe Cassady, Executive Director, Department of Animal Science, NCSU, Box 7621, Raleigh, NC 27695-7621, joe_cassady@ ncsu.edu; 919/513-0262 (phone), 919/515-6884 (fax). — WLJ