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Agricultural News

Oklahoma's Brett Morris Promotes Beef Through National Leadership Role of Beef Checkoff

Thu, 04 Feb 2016 16:21:57 CST

Oklahoma's Brett Morris Promotes Beef Through National Leadership Role of Beef Checkoff Beef is beef. That’s a message being carried by Oklahoma beef producer Brett Morris. He is third-generation dairy farmer that runs a dairy, cow/calf and stocker operation, as well as the Washita Fertilizer Company, in partnership with his father. Their diversified farming operation consists of about 1,000 acres of alfalfa, wheat and grassland, 50 registered Holstein cows for milking, 60 beef cows, and 40 head of stocker calves.

“Beef is beef,” Morris said. “What people probably don’t realize is 20 percent of the beef produced in the United States does comes from dairy. So dairy does have a role in the beef production."

Morris has been active in promoting beef for many years. He joined the Oklahoma Beef Council in 2006, served as a director on the Federation of State Beef Councils and now is serving as Vice Chairman for the Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB). That position is appointed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The individuals are nominated by state groups. He was nominated by the Dairy Farmers of America (DFA).

The CBB is the national board that controls how beef checkoff funding is spent that is collected in each state. The state collects the $1 per head assessment, 50 cents is retained in the state and 50 cents goes to the CBB. The board consists of 100 members nationwide and they are represented by cattle numbers. Oklahoma has five members, Kansas has six and Texas has 14 on the board. The CBB is all about the checkoff, from how the funding is collected and invested. Morris said CBB is audited internally, externally, as well as by USDA, so there are lots of oversight. With his involvement in CBB through the years, Morris said the board members nationwide are very harmonic in how they get along.   

“From what I’ve seen, the producer needs to be very comfortable about his money is spent, because we are very frugal, we are research based and we’re consumer focused,” Morris said.

A study released about 18 months ago shows the value beef producers get from their checkoff contributions. Morris said for every dollar that is spent on the checkoff, the producer gets an $11.20 return. He said that's a phenomenal return for the investment.

Social media and international markets have become two important areas for the beef checkoff. Morris said a couple of years ago the checkoff made the switch to digital advertising and putting a greater emphasis on social media. This past year, the checkoff also put a greater focus on export promotion. In certain countries in the world, he said beef demand is larger than their available supply, so that’s a good place for the United States to enter those markets.

Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays interviewed Brett Morris. Click or tap on the LISTEN BAR below to listen to the interview.

Brett will also join Ron Hays for the weekly In the Field report on KWTV News9 in the Oklahoma City area on Saturday morning at 6:40 AM.


Ron Hays interviews Brett Morris
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