The Oklahoma Beef Council (OBC) is a non-profit 501(c)(5) organization working for the farming and ranching families of Oklahoma. It was created in 1975 by representatives of the beef industry in Oklahoma.
Core Strategic Priorities:
Grow consumer trust in beef and beef production
Promote and Strengthen Beef’s Value Proposition
Drive growth in beef exports
We seek to accomplish this mission through a variety of programs funded by the Beef Checkoff in the areas of promotion, consumer information, research and education. In addition, the OBC strongly invests in national and international programs focused on driving beef demand in the US and around the world.
As a Qualified State Beef Council under the Beef Promotion and Research Order (7CFR,Part 1260), the OBC is responsible for collecting the nationally legislated $1 per head checkoff on all cattle, regardless of age or size, marketed in Oklahoma and for distributing those funds in accordance with provisions of the Order. Congress established the national Beef Checkoff Program with the passage of the 1985 Farm Bill. The Beef Checkoff Program is overseen by the Cattlemen’s Beef Board.
Fifty cents of each checkoff dollar is sent directly to the Cattlemen’s Beef Board; the remaining money is allocated for state beef promotion efforts by the OBC Board of Directors. The Board is comprised of representatives who are appointed by agricultural organizations within the state or by the Chairman of the Oklahoma House and Senate Agriculture Committees.
Becca McMillan is a graduate of Angelo State University, where she obtained a degree in animal science and a minor finance and marketing. She grew up in Georgetown, Texas, before heading off to Angelo State University, where she met her husband, Zeno McMillan. The couple has established roots in Mannsville, Oklahoma, where they run cattle and raise their 8-year-old daughter, Rory.
Becca and Zeno own and operate a cow/calf operation of approximately 250-head of cows on native grassland and are slowly transitioning from Brangus and Angus cattle to a Red Angus operation. When not helping at the ranch, Becca is currently in her 12th year of working full-time for the Noble Research Institute as an executive assistant to the director of ag systems research and technology. Becca loves spending time with Zeno and Rory. Her favorite pastime is teaching Rory and watching her learn the ropes of ranching. She also enjoys the occasional chance to catch a big bass at the ranch.
Becca is currently serving her second term as a board member of the United Way of South Central Oklahoma. She also represents the Oklahoma CattleWomen on the Oklahoma Beef Council Board of Directors and currently holds the title as vice chair.
Becca’s favorite part of ranching is being able to do what she loves to do with her family. She knows it’s rare to have a job that doesn’t seem like a job, and she feels satisfaction in knowing that she and other ranchers are producing food for thousands of people. They are helping other families just like theirs sit down and have a mealtime together. Her philosophy is that the land is not ours but on lend to us from God and that we must strive to leave the land better than how we found it for generations to come.
Monte is a fourth-generation farmer and rancher from Sweetwater. He ranches full-time with his wife, Danielle; their two sons Mason and Reed; his parents and 93-year-old grandmother. The family operation consists of wheat, native and improved grasses, stocker cattle, replacement females, a commercial cow-calf operation with ownership from birth to rail, and a small custom feeding operation where he sells beef direct to customers. He is a graduate of Oklahoma State University with a degree in animal science.
Monte represents Oklahoma Farm Bureau on the OBC board of directors. He is active in his community, and serves as president of the Roger Mills County Farm Bureau. He is currently serving his second term as a director of the Oklahoma Farm Bureau. He and his family are members of the Sayre First Baptist Church.
“It’s an honor to represent beef producers, and I take seriously the responsibility to invest Oklahoma beef checkoff dollars in an effective and judicious manner,” Monte said.
His overall philosophy acknowledges the importance of agriculture in society. “As a rancher, I simply create a living for my family and a benefit to my community by converting God-given renewable natural resources into consumable products,” he said. “In cowboy words, I turn sunshine, sandburs and scenery into ribeye steaks!"
Byron is a third-generation farmer and rancher near Dover. He and his wife, Carolyn, run a cow-calf and stocker operation along with raising rye, corn and soybeans. He graduated from Dover High School and attended Oklahoma State University, before returning home to farm and ranch full time.
He graduated from the Oklahoma Ag Leadership Program in Class VI. He is a member of the Kingfisher County Cattlemen’s Association and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. Byron is a lifetime member of the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association, and has served as a vice president of the north central district.
He has represented OCA on the Oklahoma Beef Council board of directors for the past three years. Byron serves on the Export Growth committee representing Oklahoma as a Federation of State Beef Council Director. Byron is active in his community, serving his volunteer fire department as a first responder and treasurer. He has served as a director of the Kingfisher County FSA. He is a member of Dover Christian Church.He ranks the Ag in the Classroom efforts as one of the most important checkoff programs.
“It’s important that we educate teachers so they can relate information to their students because most people are so far removed from farming now. They don’t know where food comes from or how it was raised,” he said.
Byron’s favorite cut of beef is a bone-in ribeye.
Brett is a third-generation dairy farmer and runs a dairy, cow-calf and stocker operation, as well as operates the Washita Fertilizer Company in partnership with his father. Theirs is a diversified farming operation, including about 1,000 acres of alfalfa, wheat and grassland, 100 to 125 beef cows and 200 stocker calves.
Brett represents American Farmers and Ranchers on the OBC board and is the former Chairman of the Cattlemen’s Beef Board. He has served as chairman of the Oklahoma Dairy Commission, vice chairman of the Oklahoma Johne's Advisory Committee and as a district voting delegate to Dairy Farmers of America.
He previously served on the checkoff's joint retail committee as a representative for the Federation of State Beef Councils, was president of the Oklahoma Holstein Association, and was active in the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives. In addition to DFA, he is a member of the American Farmers and Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company, the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association, Holstein Association of America and Oklahoma Holstein Association.
In his community, Brett is a member of the Woodland Hills Baptist Church and has served as a judge for the Arizona State Fair, the Sooner State Dairy Show and for FFA events.
Jess Kane is a fifth-generation rancher. His family has been farming and ranching since his Great-Great-Grandfather, James Roach Kane, claimed his Union Army near Greensburg, Kansas in 1885. Five generations later, his family still owns and operates the original homestead.
Jess and his brother Richard are partners in Clover Leaf Cattle Co., LLC. Their primary operation is growing stocker cattle on native grass in Washington and Rogers counties in Oklahoma and in Kiowa County, Kansas.
Jess and his wife, Ashley, also partner on a cow herd in Southwest Oklahoma. Jess’ is also practicing attorney and a partner in a law firm with offices in Bartlesville and Pawhuska, Oklahoma. Jess practices includes real estate, oil and gas, agriculture law and general civil litigation. He is also a graduate of the Ranch Management program at Texas Christian University. Being active in the community and in the cattle community is a passion for Jess. He was a member of the Cattlemen’s Leadership Academy and served as the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) Northeast District Director and Northeast Vice-President. Within his community, he has served in multiple roles including Richard Kane YMCA (President), Bartlesville Rotary Club (President), Bartlesville Area Chamber of Commerce (Director), Cherokee Area Council, Boy Scouts of America (Director) and Hopestone Cancer Support Center (Director). Jess and his wife Ashley are raising the six generation of future Kane ranchers, daughter Samantha and son Robert.
His favorite cut of beef is the T-bone because it “give you the best of both worlds and leaves you with something to share with your dog.”
Since 1974, Melody Varner with her husband, Sam, have worked to meet the ever changing needs of cattlemen and cattle buyers through their company, Varner and Varner, an livestock dealer firm based in Bristow, Oklahoma. In addition to owning and managing Varner and Varner, Melody is also heavily involved in the Varner family sale barn, Mid-America Stockyards. Melody and Sam have proudly raised their two children, Pokey and Skye, in the cattle business, as well–naturally engraining the skills, values and hard work ethic of Oklahoma agriculture. Outside of the business, the Varner's stay busy keeping up with their children and grandchildren. Sam and Melody have five granddaughters who are actively involved in the family business, as well as, showing sheep and pigs in 4-H and FFA, and playing sports.
Melody believes the checkoff program is vitally
important to the longevity and sustainability of the beef industry. In a
world of false information and fad "health trends" people in the
cattle business need to be united in their effort to protect our industry and
stand up against misinformation and inaccurate data that is used against the
beef industry in an effort to stop production ag in the United States.
Angie and her husband, Tom, milk 180-head of registered Holsteins near Okarche in the same barn Tom’s grandfather built.
Once a city girl who married a third-generation dairy farmer, Angie is actively involved in running the family dairy. She and her husband Tom have four children and three grandchildren.
In addition to serving as chairman of the Oklahoma Beef Council, Angie also serves as a national director representing Oklahoma on the Federation of State Beef Councils. She is currently a member of the joint nutrition and health committee. She actively advocates for both the beef and dairy industries, telling her story to consumers, dietitians and health professionals.
Angie also serves as a voting delegate for Dairy Farmers of America and a board member for Oklahoma Dairy Producers Association. She is a member of the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association, Oklahoma Holstein Association, Holstein USA and a member of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Okarche, OK. In 2018, Angie and her husband Tom were given the John Cooper Award for their selfless dedication to the Southern National Holstein Show and continuous promotion of the Oklahoma dairy industry.
According to Angie, “Raising four children of the Millennial generation has taught me the value of the Beef Checkoff and its outreach to this critical demographic, our largest consumer base over the next forty years.”
Beef Promotion Operating Committee, Ex-officio
Clay is co-owner and vice president of operations for Farm Data Services in Stillwater, an agriculture accounting firm that specializes in managerial accounting for farmers, ranchers, feedlots and rural businesses.
He is a 1995 graduate of Oklahoma State University with an animal science degree. Clay served as chairman of the Oklahoma Beef Council from 2013 to 2015. He has served as a member of the beef promotion operating committee and was region IV vice president of the Federation of State Beef Councils. He has been a board member of the Payne County FSA since 2011. He serves on the advisory council of the Oklahoma Agricultural Leadership Program.
Clay and his father operate Burtrum Cattle LLC, a commercial cow-calf and stocker operation running Red Angus and Angus cows at two ranches located in north central Oklahoma. He credits the checkoff’s Beef Quality Assurance program as a crucial tool in his operation. The BQA program helps train producers to deliver safe, wholesome beef to consumers.
“Being close to a university, we employ students to help on the ranch, and they’re all BQA trained in the proper ways of handling and working cattle in a safe, friendly environment,” he said.
Cattlemen’s Beef Board, Ex-officio
Jean represents the fourth generation of her family to farm and raise livestock in Garvin County. The family operates 1,000 acres of dry land alfalfa, corn, soybean and wheat while raising 150 commercial Angus cattle.
Jean grew up showing cattle before she moved to California and earned an American studies degree from Stanford University in 2012. After working in Washington, D.C. for a year, she learned that you can’t take the Oklahoma farm girl out of the country, and moved back home to farm.
Jean has served on the National Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board since 2016, and is a member of the Consumer Trust committee. She serves as vice president of the Oklahoma chapter of the American Agri-Women. She is a member of the policy committee for the American Farmers & Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company. She is a member of the state and national Soybean associations as well as the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association. She is a 2015 graduate of the OCA Cattlemen’s Leadership Academy.
“Agriculture is an honorable way of life,” she said. “Unfortunately, in this day and age of social media, opponents of agriculture have access to numerous outlets allowing them to instantaneously spread their message of contempt. Unlike ever before we have to convince our nation that we are doing right by the animals and land.”
Cattlemen’s Beef Board, Ex-officio
Jimmy and his wife, Tracy, ranch south of Cheyenne on Taylor Ranch, which Jimmy’s great-grandfather started putting together in 1914. Their herd includes 600 Angus females running on 12,000 owned and leased acres in the heart of the rolling red shale hills in western Oklahoma.
New technology plays a large role in obtaining the goal of the operation which is to create the best steak possible so the consumer will have a good eating experience. “We develop every animal as if it were going to be served at our own table,” Jimmy said. He represents Oklahoma Farm Bureau on the Oklahoma Beef Council. Jimmy was appointed to the Cattlemen’s Beef Board in 2017. In 2011, Jimmy and Tracy were recognized with the Certified Angus Beef Award of Excellence, signifying their ranch as the National Commercial Producer of the Year for CAB. They were also named as the 2013 Oklahoma Angus Association Commercial Breeder of the year.
Jimmy is active in several organizations, serving as a current director and past president of the Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives, president of the Northfork Electric Cooperative, on the boards of Roger Mills County Farm Bureau, Roger Mills County Excise Board and Beckham County Rural Water District #3. He is a member of the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Oklahoma Angus Association and the American Angus Association. He graduated from Southwestern Oklahoma State University.
Cattlemen’s Beef Board Member, Ex-officio
Chuck Coffey is a fifth-generation rancher who grew up on a ranch in the hill country of Harper, Texas. He proudly earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in range science from Texas A&M University, where he met his wife, Ruth. They have three children, all of whom attend Oklahoma State University.
Chuck taught agriculture at Murray State College in Tishomingo, eventually chairing the department there, until he joined the Noble Research Institute as a pasture and range consultant in 1993, serving there until his retirement. Chuck currently serves as the secretary-treasurer of the Cattlemen’s Beef Board.
Chuck is extremely passionate about ranching and feels blessed to be able to work on the ranch every day, especially after a serious horseback-riding accident that threatened to leave him paralyzed before several surgeries and months and months of rehabilitation. With a wealth of activities on and off the ranch at any given time, Chuck said he has learned that “staying busy keeps you young.”