The national beef checkoff is entering its second quarter century with a new CEO.
The Cattlemen’s Beef Board has announced the hiring of Polly Ruhland as Chief Executive Officer for the organization that administers the national checkoff program established as part of the 1985 Farm Bill.
Ruhland has been serving as the interim CEO since the resignation of Tom Ramey on June 28.
“Polly was the right choice for this checkoff, and for this industry,” said Weldon Wynn, Executive Committee chairman and Beef Board vice chairman. “She has a powerful passion for the checkoff and for the beef industry, and she has absolutely proven in the last three months that she can run this operation astutely. She has an excellent rapport with staff and our contractors, and I don’t think we could have found anyone at this time who could have done the job as well as she is doing it.
Polly joined the Beef Board team as director of evaluation in early 2010. Her previous 20-plus years in the beef industry most recently included six years with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), working in the areas of issues management, membership and communications. Prior to NCBA, she served as communication director for the North American Limousin Foundation (NALF), was compliance coordinator for the institutional animal care and use committee at Colorado State University, and was director of communications for the American Gelbvieh Association.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from University of Colorado and a master’s degree in agriculture, with an emphasis in beef industry leadership, from Colorado State University. Polly has one son, Ryan, and lives in Denver with her husband, Randy.
“The opportunity to serve farmers and ranchers in this way is an unparalleled honor,” Ruhland said. “I am committed to working every hour of every day to promote beef through the unique cooperation and coordination offered by the Beef Checkoff Program.”