NCBA division elects officers, reaffirms vision

Feb 14, 2014
by WLJ

Cevin Jones, a cattle feeder from Eden, ID, was elected Chair of the Federation of State Beef Councils during the 2014 Cattle Industry

Convention and NCBA Trade Show in Nashville last week. Elected Vice Chair was Jennifer Houston of Sweetwater, TN. The Federation of State Beef Councils, a contractor to the Beef Checkoff Program and national home of state beef councils, is a division of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA).

Jones previously served as the Federation’s Vice Chair. He is a graduate of Boise State University, and has been involved with the beef industry his entire life. Jones has served as Chair of the Idaho Beef Council, and as a regional Vice President for the NCBA Federation Division. He has also served on the U.S. Meat Export Federation Board of Directors.

Jones was awarded the Idaho Cattle Feeder of the Year award in 2008 by the Idaho Cattle Association, and has been inducted into the Southern Idaho Livestock Hall of Fame.

Houston grew up on a cattle and hog farm in West Tennessee, and graduated from the University of Tennessee with a degree in animal science. She worked for the USDA in Tennessee prior to joining her husband in a family livestock market operation. Houston has been deeply involved in the Beef Checkoff at the state and national levels. She was appointed to the newly established Tennessee Beef Industry Council (TBIC) in 1986, and served as the TBIC representative to the National Live Stock and Meat Board, a predecessor organization to NCBA.

As Chair of the Federation, Jones will serve as Vice Chair of the Beef Promotion Operating Committee (BPOC), which recommends Beef Checkoff projects funded at the national level.

Houston will also serve on that committee. Approval of BPOC-recommended projects and budgets is required by the Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB) and the USDA.

Retiring as Federation regional vice presidents at the Convention were Houston (Region II) and Jane Frost of New Mexico (Region VI). Replacing them were Donna Jo Curtis of Alabama and Linda Brake of Arizona, respectively.

Outgoing Federation Chair Richard Gebhart of Claremore, OK, challenged Federation directors to uphold the federation vision and beliefs in his departing remarks at the Federation Forum during the convention in Nashville. Gebhart said he was proud to have served as chair during the federation’s 50th anniversary in 2013, and said he believed the right staff and leadership was in place to create trust to enable growth in the organization as it begins its second 50 years.

The Federation Vision Statement was developed in 2008: To build beef demand by inspiring, unifying and supporting an effective state and national checkoff partnership. The Vision was followed by a Federation Statement of Beliefs in 2009 (reaffirmed in 2013) that stresses the need for a strong state/ national partnership, producer control of checkoff funds through state beef councils and the principle of unity through one vision, one plan and one voice.

A detailed Charter of Principles for the Federation followed in 2011.

Since 2008 the federation has worked to increase industry unity and understanding of its structure within the Beef Checkoff, including its operational ties to NCBA. These ties were created when the National Live Stock and Meat Board— the original home to the Federation—merged with the National Cattlemen’s Association in 1996 to form NC- BA. In 2010 the Federation Board of Directors approved a resolution reaffirming its organizational independence and intention to remain under the NCBA umbrella.

That resolution was reaffirmed in 2014 in Nashville.

The Beef Checkoff Program was established as part of the 1985 Farm Bill. The checkoff assesses $1 per head on the sale of live domestic and imported cattle, in addition to a comparable assessment on imported beef and beef products. States retain up to 50 cents on the dollar and forward the other 50 cents per head to the CBB, which administers the national checkoff program, subject to USDA approval. — WLJ