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.

MISSION: Strengthen beef demand in the domestic and global marketplace. 

VISION: Be a positive difference for Oklahoma’s farming and ranching families and the greater beef community.

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. 


Board of Directors

Melody varner, Chair 


Since 1974, Melody Varner and her family 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 and her family were heavily involved in the Varner family sale barn, Mid-America Stockyards for more than 50 years.  Melody and her husband, Sam, 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, Melody is busy keeping up with her children and grandchildren.  She has 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.      

Her favorite cut of beef is the filet. 

Leanne Robison, Vice-Chair

Leanne Robison is a fourth generation dairy farmer. Leanne graduated Oklahoma State with a degree in Animal Science and Agribusiness in 2018. Upon graduation from Oklahoma State University in Animal Science she started her own dairy where she milked 150 head.   Currently, she serves as the herd manager for the Ferguson Family Dairy Center at Oklahoma State Univeristy and the advisor for the OSU Dairy Club. 

Leanne is heavily involved with her roots in the dairy industry, having served on the youth committee and is serving currently on the Classification Committee for the US Ayrshire Association. She is a voting delegate for COBA Select sires. Leanne is also a member of Dairy Farmers of America, Holstein USA, US Ayrshire Association, and American Farmers and Ranchers. While attending Oklahoma State University she was a member of the Dairy Judging Team and has had the honor of judging professionally in Oklahoma as well as Kansas. 

Leanne believes one of the most important aspects of the beef checkoff is helping dietitians understand the benefits of beef and communicating those benefits to families. 

Chuck Coffey, Secretary-Treasurer

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. He has served as the Chairman of the Cattlemen's Beef Board, President Oklahoma Society for Range Management and a Director for the Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association.  Chuck and his family are also NCBA Region IV Environmental Stewardship Award winners.      

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.”

Russell Boles, Director

Russell Boles comes from a long line of agriculturists. The Boles family farmed in Missouri for years, and Russell is the second generation to ranch here in Oklahoma. Russell and his wife Tonya run stockers in southeast Oklahoma. Russell and Tonya are raising their five kids on the ranch near Watson, Oklahoma.

Russell has an associate degree from Crowder College and works for Consumers Supply distributing feed additives. He holds an Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association seat on the Oklahoma Beef Council board of directors. He has also served as a director and vice president for OCA representing southeast Oklahoma. He is a trustee on the board for his church, Octavia Baptist Church and serves on his local school board. He was also a member of the Cattlemen’s Leadership Academy and Young Cattlemen’s College.   

Russell believes in the Beef Checkoff because the promotion efforts have brought so much value to beef products. He also appreciates checkoff efforts to monitor the press and provide corrections to misinformation about beef products and how beef is raised.    

His favorite cut of beef is the ribeye.

Nikki Callison, Director

Nikki Callison is a fourth-generation rancher who operates near Ada, Oklahoma, with her husband Roger, a third-generation rancher. They’ve run a cow-calf and stocker operation since 1999. The Callisons also sell beef direct to consumers across the US through their website, callisonranchbeef.com and a retail point on their ranch south of Ada. Nikki and Roger have three grown children and two young granddaughters.   

Before returning to ranch life, Nikki taught school in Plano, Texas. She has a Bachelor of Arts in History and minor in English Education. She is also a professional photographer and entrepreneur. Nikki has received the honors of Plano TX ISD Beginning Teacher of the Year and Cowboys and Indians Magazine Award-winning Photographer. She also completed the Spartan Race Trifecta.   

In addition to holding one of the Oklahoma Cattlewomen’s seats on the Oklahoma Beef Council board, Nikki has served on the Oklahoma Beef Task Force, Oklahoma Cattlewomen's Association officer, and as a NCBA Convention 2021 Social Media Influencer. She is active as a member of Team Beef Oklahoma and the Masters of Beef Advocacy program.   

Nikki has served on the board of TLC – a therapeutic horseback riding program for individuals with disabilities – as a 4-H leader and volunteer, as a motivational speaker and serves her local church.   

Nikki is passionate about the beef checkoff because of programs that bridge the informational and educational gap between beef producers and individuals removed from agriculture. She also believes in teaching the facts about beef nutrition, land sustainability and the benefits of eating beef.

Nikki’s favorite cut of steak to eat is the ribeye with its marbling and flavor. Her favorite cut of beef to prepare is a chuck roast because it is super versatile and feeds the whole family.

Jordan Davis-Cook, Director

Jordan Davis-Cook is a third-generation cattle rancher living in Cordell, Oklahoma where she and her husband, Nocona, and their two boys raise registered Angus cattle and stocker cattle. She was raised in the seedstock industry where she and her family, Davis Angus, raise high-quality animals that her family sells at their annual production sale.    

 She has a Business Administration degree from Southwestern Oklahoma State University.  Jordan has been very active in agriculture leadership positions serving as co-chair of the Oklahoma Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers, Washita County Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers, co-chair of the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association Leadership Academy (2016), Washita County Fair Board (Secretary), Oklahoma Angus Association Southwest District Director, Oklahoma Angus Association Queen Committee Chairman and the American Angus Association Beef Leaders Institute Class.  She is also an Oklahoma Farm Bureau Achievement Award recipient.    

 With the average American at least three generations removed from farming and ranching, Jordan believes the support the Oklahoma Beef Council provides to the Oklahoma Ag in the Classroom program because it is a great way to connect with kids and help teach them about beef production and the nutritional benefits of beef.   

 Her favorite cut of beef is the rib-eye.   

JESS KANE, Director

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.” 

Paul Jackson, Director

A fourth-generation farmer/rancher, Paul Jackson has a diverse agricultural background, including cow-calf, stocker cattle, wheat, rye, peanuts, alfalfa and hogs.  

He was elected AFR Secretary/Treasurer in February 2013 to fill an unexpired vacancy and since has been elected unopposed to three full three-year terms. As Farm and Cooperative Programs Director, he led cooperative activities, policy development, adult and youth leadership and legislative fly-ins to Washington, D.C. A 29-year AFR/OFU employee, he holds Property, Casualty, Health and Life insurance licenses.   

 Jackson served on the boards of Love County Farmers Union and Local 741, Oklahoma Agricultural Leadership Program Advisory Council, Midwest Shows Scholarships Program and Oklahoma 4-H Foundation where he is currently the president. He is a former volunteer fireman, current church assistant pastor/song leader/secretary to the Farmers Union Foundation, AFRPAC, OCBA and appointed corporate secretary of AFRMIC and AFRLIC.   

He earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural communications from OSU and has completed Leadership Love County and the Oklahoma Agricultural Leadership Program. He and his wife, Kim, have two daughters, Courtney and Sarah.

alan Jett, Director

Alan Jett and his family run a fourth-generation, cow-calf operation on land that has been in his family since 1907 in Slapout, OK.  

Alan served as the District One Director on the Oklahoma Farm Bureau board of directors.  He has been a Farm Bureau member for more than three decades. Prior to his tenure on the state board, he served on the Beaver County Farm Bureau board in numerous capacities including several terms as president. 

 In 2023, he was named the Oklahoma Angus Association Commercial Breeder of the Year.  With a strong focus on genetics and producing high quality beef, in 2022, beef produced from his herd averaged 66.4% prime.  According to Alan, “I was skeptical to think we could hit 100 percent choice and still have functional cattle, but I was wrong.” 

 Alan and his wife, Alyson, have two children, Brianna and Travis.

Dr. Cheryl Devuyst
Cattlemen’s Beef Board, Ex-officio

Dr. DeVuyst and her husband, Eric, own DeVuyst Ranch, a cow-calf and stocker operation. Dr. DeVuyst is also a professor of agricultural economics at Oklahoma State University and the current department head for Agricultural Economics. Dr. DeVuyst is involved with numerous agricultural organizations, including Oklahoma CattleWomen, Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), Oklahoma Farm Bureau, Pawnee County CattleWomen, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association and American National CattleWomen. She’s also a faculty advisor for the Oklahoma Collegiate CattleWomen and is a past board member of the Western Agricultural Economics Association.

Jason Hitch
Cattlemen’s Beef Board, Ex-officio

Jason grew up on a ranch south of Guymon that his family has owned for more than 135 years. He attended Oklahoma State University where he earned a degree in agricultural economics. From there, he studied law at the University of Oklahoma, received a juris doctorate and earned his law license. Jason and his wife, Sara, returned to the family ranch in 1998, where he began serving as corporate counsel. Today, he is the co-CEO and chairman of the board of Hitch Enterprises, Inc. Over the years, he has worked to keep Hitch Enterprises current in the beef industry by achieving Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) certification and digitizing much of the ranch’s records. Jason is a past president of the Texas Cattle Feeders Association, a member of the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association and a past committee chair for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA). He’s involved in many other pursuits, including hunting, fishing and seven years as a member of the Oklahoma Water Resources Board.

Rodney Cowan
Cattlemen’s Beef Board, Ex-officio

Rodney is a graduate of Oklahoma State University, where he earned a degree in Agricultural Economics. He and wife Carol have been married for more than 40 years and have a son and three daughters. They operate a backgrounder/stocker operation and also grow wheat, alfalfa, and cotton. 

Rodney is a member of the Oklahoma Ag Leadership Program and his local- and state-level cattlemen’s associations, has served on the board of the Plains Partners Cooperative, and was a member of the American Farmers and Ranchers Cooperative.  For CBB, he currently serves on the Joint Domestic Marketing Committee for the Beef Checkoff.

Cattlemen's Beef Board, Ex-officio

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.”

Jimmy Taylor

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.


Heather buckmaster

Executive director

Sammy Head

Office Manager

Jeff Hammonds

Field Representative

Lyndsay Henricks

Communications Consultant