Federation of State Beef Councils Audio with Cevin Jones, New Federation Chairman
Cevin (pronounced Kevin) Jones, a cattle feeder from Eden, Idaho, took the helm of the Federation of State Beef Councils as chairman during the 2014 Cattle Industry Convention last week in Nashville. Though the Federation is a division of NCBA, Jones says producers sometimes only see the other side of the organization.
“Everybody thinks about the policy side, but we have the Federation of State Beef Councils, which is under the umbrella of NCBA, and we of course focus on promotion and research and those kinds of activities to promote our product. So there’s a whole other segment of NCBA that people probably don’t realize is there. But we have a lot of people involved with it, and a lot of people from the state level that come up and are helping to further our goals.”
Jones says that he has personal experience with efforts to make sure the policy dollars and checkoff dollars at work in NCBA are kept totally separate.
“I got to do that this year as part of the finance and audit committee at NCBA, and I’ll tell you, I can assure anybody that there is a very robust firewall between the Federation and policy dollars, membership dollars, which drives the policy side. And of course the checkoff dollars, which fuel the Federation side. So you’ve got a very robust system and lots of improvements have been made over the years, and of course that gets audited by the Cattlemen’s Beef Board, and verified everything is functioning properly. So there is a very distinct firewall and those dollars just do not cross over.”
Jones got his first involvement in checkoff work at the national level as a member of the Beef Promotion Operating Committee, which approves nationally-funded checkoff plans that must be reviewed by the Cattlemen’s Beef Board and USDA. He says it was a great experience.
“That was a real eye-opener for me, and I’d really encourage anyone that’s got any interest to take a look at that, because we need people to come up on that. But that gives you a really good exposure to all the programs that we’re doing with the Federation, and doing with checkoff dollars. We get to see everything from nutrition research to what we’re doing with the millenials now, and switch in our advertising to social media, those kinds of things. So you get to see the whole gamut.”
According to Jones, the beef checkoff program is strengthened by the cooperation of the volunteer leaders of the Cattlemen’s Beef Board and the Federation of State Beef Councils.
“The Cattlemen’s Beef Board; we enjoy a great relationship. We have Kim Brackett from Idaho also, stepping up into leadership of the Cattlemen’s Beef Board. And I look forward to a great year. I think we’re going to have a very good year of working together to promote our product.”
Jones was elected Federation Chairman at the NCBA Board of Directors meeting February 7.
The Federation is a division of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, which is a contractor to the Beef Checkoff Program. Projects conducted by the beef checkoff must be approved by the Cattlemen’s Beef Board and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.