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Salem Rancher Appointed To Cattlemen’s Beef Board

Leon Kreisler of Salem, Mo., is one of 29 new appointees to the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board. Agriculture Secretary Thomas J. Vilsack made state and import-representative appointments on Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2011.

Kreisler will represent Missouri’s cattle farmers and ranchers. He and his wife Helen began Oak Knoll Ranch in Salem in 1985. The Kreislers now run a 100-cow commercial Angus herd, background their calves, and sell replacement heifers.

Leon and Helen were given the Governor’s Award in Oct. 2011 for their contributions to agriculture in Missouri. They also received the National Environmental Stewardship award in 2007 for their herd management and grazing accomplishments. Kreisler served on the Missouri Beef Industry Council board of directors for six years during the 1990s and served as chairman for two of those years.

In 1991 the couple began management-intensive grazing and since that time has increased cattle numbers without increasing needed acres, and still reducing feed and input costs. They turned poorly cared-for land into 480 acres of timber and grasslands, and have built fences and cattle waterers to conserve timber and ponds for wildlife. At this time they host farm tours at Oak Knoll Ranch to teach visitors about new, innovative conservation practices.

“A good operation works hand in hand with stewardship and good conservation,” Kreisler said. “You really can’t have one without the other.”

Kreisler joins three current Cattlemen’s Beef Board members: Brenda Black, Deepwater, Mo.; Howard Hardecke, Bolivar, Mo.; and Kevin Frankenbach, Hannibal, Mo.

“As always, we want to contribute to our industry,” Kreisler said. “Agriculture is Missouri’s number one industry, and cattle are a major part. Anything we can do to increase sales and especially exports, that’s what we’ll try to work toward.”

Newly appointed members representing cattle producers are: Leo C. Sutterfield, Jr., Ark.; Phyllis K. Snyder, Colo.; Sarah K. Childs, Fla.; Kimberly Brackett, Idaho; Stacy M. McClintock and Perry L. Owens, Kan.; Daniel C. Smith, Ky.; Leon Kreisler, Mo.; Lyle V. Peterson and Linda M. Nielsen, Mont.; Douglas A. Temme and Sherry A. Vinton, Neb.; Wesley L. Grau, N.M.; Patrick L. Becker, N.D.; Terry L. Wyatt and Barbara A. Jacques, Okla.; Joyce A. Bupp, Pa.; Gerald R. Sharp, S.D.; Ted A. Greidanus, Southwest Unit; Richard A. Winter, Paul H. Looney, Jr., G. Hughes Abell, Lavina G. Sartwell, and Thomas R. Alger, Texas; and Frank H. Maxey, Jr., Va.

Newly appointed members representing importers are: Andrew N. Burtt, Va.; Stephen K. Edwards, Va.; Cristobal J. Hutton, Ill.; and Joakim A. Holzner, Colo.

The Cattlemen’s Beef Board oversees the collection of $1-per-head on all cattle sold in the United States, and $1-per-head equivalent on imported cattle, beef and beef products. In addition, the board contracts with established national, non-profit, industry-governed organizations to implement programs of promotion, research, consumer information, industry information, foreign marketing and producer communications.

The 103-member board is authorized by the Beef Promotion and Research Act of 1985. The Secretary selects the appointees nominated by beef, veal, dairy and importers certified organizations. All appointees will serve 3-year terms.

USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service monitors operation of the board. For information, contact Sam Jones-Ellard at (202)617-7212 or