Beef Board CEO resigns

By Agri-Pulse staff

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.

CENTENNIAL, CO. June 29 - After more than 17 years of committed service to the beef checkoff, the Cattlemen's Beef Board (CBB) Executive Committee yesterday reluctantly accepted Chief Executive Officer Tom Ramey's resignation, according to a statement issued by Wesley Grau, Chairman of the CBB Executive Committee.

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As Agri-Pulse reported June 15 in our subscriber only e-newsletter, the Cattlemen's Beef Board (CBB) Executive Committee took disciplinary action against Ramey for eavesdropping on conference calls organized by the National Cattlemen's Beef Association. Agri-Pulse obtained a document emailed to CBB members on June 8 that summarizes the results of an internal investigation into allegations of personnel misconduct brought by NCBA President Bill Donald.

 “The emails that were provided do indicate a number of occasions when Mr. Ramey listened unannounced to such conference calls. Mr. Ramey admitted that he did so on several occasions and apologized to the Beef Board and to the CBB Executive Committee,” CBB attorney Richard Rossier said in the document, which was addressed to Donald.

 “Based on the forgoing,” continued Rossier, “the CBB Executive Committee determined that this allegation has been substantiated and as a result has sanctioned Mr. Ramey for his improper conduct.” The sanctions include the requirement of a public written apology, a private letter of reprimand, and a 6-month employment probation period, according to the letter.

 CBB Chairman Tom Jones and immediate past chair Dan Dierschke issued written apologies for knowing of Ramey's plans in advance and not stopping him.

 Raney served as both the Cattlemen's Beef Board chief financial officer and, most recently, as chief executive officer. In his role as CEO, Tom was responsible for developing and leading a team of experienced and dedicated individuals who work every day for the checkoff.

 “Tom also worked tirelessly to provide detailed oversight of checkoff expenditures, and recently spearheaded the effort to rewrite Cattlemen's Beef Board's operating guidelines to clarify contractor responsibilities,” wrote Grau.

 The Executive Committee has asked Polly Ruhland to act as interim CEO for the present time.

 “After more than 20 years in the beef industry, Polly was most recently CBB's vice president of planning and evaluation, and before that served in several senior staff positions at the National Cattlemen's Beef Association,” Grau said in his statement. “Through this experience, she understands both the beef checkoff oversight and contractor roles, and is highly qualified to help us move the checkoff forward in its goal to build demand for beef. 

“We appreciate that Tom's decision to resign was a personal one for him and his family, and we thank him for his dedication to the nation's farmers and ranchers through his service to the beef checkoff, noted Grau.

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