Board Member Spotlight: Pat McDowell

Pat McDowell

Pat McDowell

Represents: Texas Farm Bureau

Hometown: Shamrock, Texas

Tell us about your operation.

My two brothers and I manage a cow-calf and stocker operation around Shamrock, Texas, which is in the eastern Texas Panhandle. Most of our country is rolling plains with lots of canyons and rough country. My brothers and I are fifth generation ranchers making our niece and her husband the sixth generation. They have been back at the ranch for two years now, and it is great to have their involvement. They bring new ideas and a new perspective. We run black and black baldy cows usually with Angus or Hereford bulls. We background all of our calves and run them on winter wheat pasture through the spring and early summer. We also farm cotton and corn.

What has been your involvement with the Texas Beef Council?

I have been on the Texas Beef Council (TBC) for two years now and am serving my first year on the Audit and Budget Committee.

What initiatives have you seen or been involved in that you have been most proud of?

We have been working on the fiscal year 2021 budget, and this has really opened my eyes to how many things TBC is involved in. I have an appreciation for the checkoff dollars. I know they could be used on folks’ operations, but I am convinced we get an excellent return on the investment.

What other organizations have you been a part of and do you represent while on the board? 

I represent Texas Farm Bureau on the TBC and was asked to serve on the Federation of State Beef Council Board. My first meeting was this February at the Cattle Convention in San Antonio. It is neat to work with cattle folks from all over the nation. About 20 years ago, I served on the Cattlemen’s Beef Board representing the Texas Farm Bureau, and it is interesting how our checkoff dollars have been redirected from television ads to the entire social media and technology initiatives we use today.

What would you say to someone who is looking to get involved in the Texas Beef Council?

TBC is comprised of representatives from all of the state cattle organizations. I encourage anyone wanting to serve on the TBC to get active in one or more of these organizations. It helps every cattleman in the state by local participation and neighbors telling neighbors about the success of the checkoff.

How would you describe the Beef Checkoff program to someone not in the beef industry?

The Beef Checkoff is a program designed to help ourselves. Ranchers sell cattle. Cattle make beef. A rancher’s ultimate product is beef. If more beef is sold, that should help our bottom line. We have a fantastic product in both our cattle – and the beef they eventually become.

How do you personally share the work the checkoff is doing with other producers?

It is easy to be proud of our cattle and easy to promote beef from our cattle because we know it is a quality and safe product that is very enjoyable. It is easy to tell neighbors that the checkoff is good for the industry. It has proven that the value of the $2 we invest is returned to us many times over. One of the huge values in the Beef Checkoff is that we support efforts of the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). I was privileged to serve on the USMEF Board for the past eight years, and it was amazing to see the quality of programs we use in so many established and new markets across the world to market and promote US and Texas Beef.