Reprinted with permission from the Oklahoma Farm Report.
Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays recently caught up with longtime lobbyist of the National Cattlemen's beef association, now turned Chief Executive Officer Colin Woodall to talk about his new role as the top hired hand of the cattle producers organization.
In September, it was announced that Colin Woodall would be the new Chief Executive officer of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, leaving his position with NCBA in Washington and moving to Denver. Since taking over, he's taken on the role of being an advocate for the organization and the beef business. Woodall says, "You know we just aren't going to tolerate the ridiculousness of the detractors out there, whether those detractors are cattle producers, whether those detractors are uninformed consumers, or whether those detractors are activist groups. So we have taken a more pointed approach. We're going to call that out, we're going to call it out publicly, and we're going to set the record straight." Woodall says they've received a lot of positive responses from their membership, encouraging them to do the right thing. He goes on to say that they are going to continue to be more pointed than they have been in the past.
Several populist groups have criticized NCBA- claiming they use checkoff funds for policy work. Woodall calls this is a point of attack, "Just because they don't know how it works. The firewall is a robust system that is in place to make sure that checkoff dollars are never ever used for NCBA's policy activities. We audit that internally. We have external auditors that look at that, and USDA audits that, and every time it comes back that they say we are always using the dollars appropriately." Woodall adds that he will put up their track record against anybody's claims any day of the week because it’s something they are proud of and something they take very seriously. It's important to him as the new CEO to make sure they are always in compliance.
Producers are currently waiting on the USDA report of the Tyson fire at the Holcomb plant in Kansas. This has created some mistrust, finger pointing, and reports of collusion. Woodall says right now they don't have a definite answer, "And that's what cattle producers are looking for; what exactly happened, and they are currently in the process of looking at all the data and doing their investigation, but I can guarantee you Under Secretary Greg Ibach has this as a top priority, and they expect to have a report for us probably late this year or early 2020, and they want to make sure it’s the definitive word. If it’s all about market forces, then we need to know that. If it's about collusion, then we need to look at how we move forward with prosecution. Right now, we just have to be patient as USDA continues this effort."
Hear more from Colin Woodall as he talks with Ron Hays in today's Beef Buzz.