CENTENNIAL, Colo., (Nov. 21, 2007) – The Cattlemen's Beef Board (CBB) will strengthen its efforts to keep cattlemen informed about how their checkoff dollars are being invested and the results of those investments with the addition of two new members to its staff.
Lynn Heinze, formerly vice president of information for the U.S. Meat Export Federation, is the new executive director of communications for CBB, and Melissa Slagle is its new trade media manager. Both veterans of agricultural communications, Heinze and Slagle join the CBB staff as the checkoff Board transitions management of producer communications from a contracted effort to a CBB staff responsibility.
“We are extremely pleased to have Lynn and Melissa complete the Beef Board team,” Chief Executive Officer Tom Ramey said. “Lynn has been working on behalf of the checkoff for many years –through his previous roles with the U.S. Meat Export Federation and, prior to that, on the producer communications team for the beef checkoff – so he's returning home, in a sense.
“Melissa brings checkoff experience to the table, as well,” Ramey continued, “having worked directly with the dairy checkoff and having written about the beef checkoff in previous positions.”
In his new role, Heinze will direct the checkoff's national producer communications efforts, including paid media, dairy and beef trade media, surveys of producers, direct producer communications and CBB's coordination with state beef councils. He is uniquely qualified for his new position because of his 20-plus years in the meat industry, where he has managed a number of checkoff-funded programs for the National Live Stock and Meat Board, the National Cattlemen's Beef Association and the U.S. Meat Export Federation.
In all, Heinze has more than 35 years of experience as a writer, photographer, editor, broadcaster and public-relations professional. Since leaving print and broadcast journalism to go to work for the meat industry in February 1987, his focus has been communicating for and about the industry to multiple audiences through all appropriate media channels.
Heinze is a Colorado native, who grew up on a farm near Greeley, graduated from the University of Colorado, served in the U.S. Marine Corps in Vietnam, and is a graduate fellow of the Colorado Agricultural Leadership Program. He lives in Centennial, Colo., with his wife, Jeane.
“Every producer who pays the beef checkoff deserves clear, no-nonsense answers to questions about how their money is spent,” Heinze said. “I see the Beef Board communications team as the conduit between producers and their programs. I'm looking forward to the challenges and opportunities this role brings with it.”
Slagle's new duties with the Beef Board will include management of checkoff efforts to earn editorial coverage of Beef Checkoff Program results in trade publications and broadcast media outlets that reach beef and dairy producers.
She comes to the Beef Board with extensive experience in agricultural public relations and media relations – with BCS Communications, McCormick Company and Nicholson Kovac – and also has extensive experience with dairy producer communications as a former communications specialist for Dairy Farmers of America. Melissa grew up in Brock, Neb., where her family raised livestock and farms corn and soybeans. She attended the College of St. Mary in Omaha and graduated with a degree in English with a communications minor.
“It's an honor to join the CBB team,” Slagle said. “The media contacts I've made along the way are truly friends as well as industry partners, and being able to bring them the latest checkoff information to help them meet their deadlines is truly rewarding. I look forward to forming new friendships and fostering existing ones as we work together to get critical information to producers who put their trust in us.”