Board Member Spotlight: Brad Hastings
Represents: Texas Cattle Feeders Association
Hometown: Amarillo, Texas
Tell me about your operation.
I am the co-chief executive officer and member of the Board of Directors of Cactus Feeders, Inc., one of the largest cattle companies in the world. Cactus operates 10 feedyards in Texas and southwest Kansas, with a one-time capacity of more than 600,000 head, finishing over one million cattle per year. We also run tens of thousands of stockers on wheat and grass and own approximately 9,000 beef cows in cooperation with ranchers from Nebraska to Texas. Cactus is a diverse agricultural company owned exclusively by the employees through an Employee Stock Option Plan, with both cattle and hog operations in eight states. “Feeding a Hungry World” is our mission – making high quality protein that is safe, affordable and accessible to all.
What has been your involvement with the Texas Beef Council?
I have served on the Texas Beef Council (TBC)since 2016 representing the Texas Cattle Feeders Association. I have served on the Audit and Budget Committee, the Domestic Marketing Committee and have also served on the Executive Committee for the last two years. I am honored to be the Chairman of TBC in the upcoming year.
What initiatives have you seen or been involved in that you have been most proud of?
TBC has always been a leader amongst all of the Qualified State Beef Councils in the way we develop and implement many programs within our state. I am extremely proud of all the programs, but if I were to single out one, it would be our Medical Office Outreach, which uses a pharmaceutical sales model to educate and build relationships with primary care medical professionals. We developed a strategy to get factual information into highly respected physicians’ hands about the nutritional benefits of beef in a well-balanced diet.
What other organizations have you been a part of, and do you represent while on the board?
I represent the Texas Cattle Feeder’s Association on TBC’s board and also serve on the Board of the Federation of State Beef Councils.
Additionally, I have served the last three years on the Beef Promotion Operating Committee. The Operating Committee includes 10 producers elected by the Cattlemen’s Beef Board and 10 producers elected by the Federation of State Beef Councils. The Beef Act and Order requires that the Operating Committee contract with national, non-profit, industry-governed organizations to implement Beef Checkoff programs.
What would you say to someone who is looking to get involved in the Texas Beef Council?
What are you waiting for? Getting involved in TBC has opened my eyes to the value of the Beef Checkoff. If you want to serve your industry and help guide the future direction of our industry, you need a seat at the table, and TBC has that seat available.
How would you describe the Beef Checkoff program to someone not in the beef industry?
The Beef Checkoff is a national program designed to stimulate beef sales both domestically and internationally. The Checkoff is funded and led by producers that generate a significant return on every dollar invested. The latest study showed that from 2014 through 2018 every dollar invested returned $11.91 to the beef industry producer profit.
How do you personally share the work the Checkoff is doing with other producers?
Every time I am in conversations with my fellow producers, I share the many successes and challenges of the Checkoff. I encourage others to be involved and have a voice in the future of the industry that they love. When you promote something with passion, others will see that passion, take interest and become passionate as well.