October 29, 2010 -- A team of 18 beef industry leaders gathered in Denver Oct. 18 and 19 to initiate the beef industry's 2011 long-range planning process. The group's final report will be a three-year strategic plan for the beef industry. In addition to a significant amount of pre-reading material in preparation for the planning session, participants reviewed an industry economic outlook and heard from a group of industry experts who provided insights into some of the key trends in the areas of international markets, production practices, political issues and changing consumer/societal preferences. Following the presentations, the group engaged in a robust discussion about industry strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats and completed a formal, industry-wide situation assessment. The group also began drafting a mission and vision statement, defined relevant goals and objectives and framed a set of critical strategic issues/questions they plan to address in the industry-wide long range plan. The group will meet again in November and January, with the objective of delivering a completed draft of the long-range plan to the directors of various industry organizations for review early in 2011.

Participants in the industry long-range planning process include:

      Co-chair Charles Miller, owner of C&J Cattle Co., where he runs stockers. Charles, a former member of the Cattlemen's Beef Board, was instrumental in the creation of a genetic improvement program for Kentucky producers and is chairman of the board for Integrated Traceability Solutions, a company that deals with feeder cattle source and age verification.

      Co-chair Robert Rebholtz, President/CEO of Agri-Beef Co, a family owned business that operates ranches and feedlots in Idaho, Kansas and Washington and is also involved in processing beef. Agri-Beef operates Performix, a cattle-feed and supplement manufacturer.

      Ron Bryant, director of Non-Confined Beef and Dairy Cattle for Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health. He is a former officer for Embrex. Ron spent 25 years in a number of positions at The Upjohn Company, including vice president of North American operations and vice president of the NAFTA region.

      Homer Buell, co-owner of Shovel Dot Ranch in north-central Nebraska. Buell is currently vice chair of the Joint Evaluation Committee and serves on the Joint Nominating Committee. He is the former president of the Nebraska Hereford Association and the Nebraska Cattlemen. He has also been president of the Rock County Roping Club.

      Barry Carpenter, CEO of National Meat Association. Carpenter was a senior executive for USDA for 37 years and administered the Livestock and Seed Program. He received many national awards for his extensive industry contributions.

      Jack Cowley ranches near Montague, Calif. Previously in the purebred business, Cowley now has commercial cows. He is the current vice president and former president of the California Beef Cattle Improvement Association. Cowley is also a private practice ophthalmologist and professor of ophthalmology at University of California Davis Med School.

      Mike Engler, president and CEO of Cactus Feeders and current chair of Texas Cattle Feeders Association.

      Robert Fountain, a third-generation commercial producer. He serves as secretary/treasurer of the Cattlemen's Beef Board, and as vice president of the Georgia Farm Bureau board of directors.

      Ted Greidanus, CEO of Calftech Corp., which specializes in raising Holstein calves for beef production and creating unique partnerships for feeding cattle. He currently serves on the checkoff's Operating Committee, the California Beef Council Executive Committee and the California Cattlemen's Association Feeder Council.

      Paul Heinrich, a senior director of beef, pork, lamb, veal and strategic sourcing for Sysco Corporation in Texas.

      David Kent, senior commodity procurement coordinator for The Kroger Company. Kent negotiates commodity costs for beef, pork, lamb, veal, ground beef and poultry and is responsible for merchandising initiatives and category management. Previously he held similar roles at Spartan Stores and Meijer Inc.

      Charlie Mostek, vice president of value-added meat sales and production with Tyson Fresh Meats. He has been with Tyson for more than 40 years in various leadership roles. He also served on the NCBA Executive Committee, board of directors and various industry committees and task forces.

      Billy Perrin owns and operates a stocker/cow/calf operation in Oklahoma. Perrin also owns and operates five livestock markets: Durant Stockyards, South Oklahoma Livestock, Tulsa Stockyards, Idabel Livestock and Hugo Livestock. He is the past president of the Livestock Marketing Association and the Oklahoma Beef Council.

      Homero Recio, president and COO of Agri-West International, Inc (AWI). AWI markets meat and food products within the USA and exports meat products to Asia, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. Recio was the packer & export director for Certified Angus Beef and then worked for the U.S. Meat Export Federation as vice president, western hemisphere.

      Don Schiefelbein is a partner in Schiefelbein Farms, Kimball, Minn., a diversified farming operation consisting of 600 registered Angus cows and 4,000 acres of corn, soybeans, alfalfa and improved pastures. Schiefelbein Farms also feed approximately 5,000 head of cattle at the home feedlot in addition to the lots in Colorado, Nebraska and Texas.

      Todd Schroeder, past president of Nebraska Cattlemen's and currently vice chair of the Live Cattle Marketing Committee, is a feeder with Albers Feedlot in Nebraska.

      Don Stewart, president/owner of Stewart-Miller, Inc., an importer. He is currently treasurer of Meat Import Council of America. He serves on the checkoff's Operating Committee and as a leader of various industry committees including the budget committee.

      Bob Young, chief economist for American Farm Bureau Federation. He previously served as co-director for the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute at the University of Missouri and chief economist for the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee.


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