Beefmaster Association Moves to College Station, Texas
Starting January 2023, the Beefmaster Breeders United (BBU) office will have a new home in College Station, Texas. Here’s the scoop on why the office is making to 188 mile move northeast to Brazos County.
BBU, along with other American breeds, was approached by Texas A&M University (TAMU) in the spring of 2021 and also during the Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) meetings in early summer 2021. TAMU had a vision to move all of the American beef cattle breed association offices to College Station, Texas to help promote Bos indicus influenced breeds, knowing that their maternal traits are important to the beef industry. BBU President Larry Meacham presented the idea to the BBU Board of Directors not long after that BIF discussion. With TAMU being one of Beefmaster’s biggest allies and having one of the most prestigious agricultural programs in the United States, the BBU Board of Directors decided in February 2022 that BBU should make this happen. Clearly, there are many steps that must be taken to turn this opportunity into a reality.
With Board approval, BBU put the current office in Boerne, Texas up for sale in June 2022 and since then the office has sold with a lease-back contract agreement through the end of 2022. This gives BBU ample time to plan for the move. The plan is to lease space in College Station, Texas for the short term, and to build on the TAMU campus in the long term.
TAMU’s vision is to be an American breeds campus. TAMU is a leading agricultural university and having this relationship with academia will give the Beefmaster breed another opportunity to market Beefmaster cattle to a vast variety of people.
TAMU has offered BBU a long-term lease (35 to 40 years) on property they own that is adjacent to the Beef Center. The vision is to build an office with a conference and educational facility, along with a cattle barn to showcase our cattle during structured events, such as Beef Cattle Short Course and beef industry conferences that take place throughout the year. The conference facility could be used for BBU and Junior Beefmaster Breeders Association meetings.
TAMU wants to make this transition and move as seamless as possible. They have offered to help assist in acquiring office space or conference space during this transition. They think the move will also help them in growing their agriculture department in the future.
Realizing that change is always hard, but looking at the upside, it brings more potential to Beefmaster Breeders United than most of us can see.
“I truly feel that Beefmaster cows have the best maternal traits of any cow that’s out there. But if you don’t make yourself relevant, you end up losing all of that,” says Meacham.
With TAMU support, it is the long-term vision of the Beefmaster breed to become the premiere American breed and the number one source for proven high-quality beef cattle genetics.
“How do you keep from becoming complacent? You’ve got to always keep your finger at the forefront. We have to remember that we are seedstock producers breeding cattle for commercial cattlemen. Acceptance of our genetics by the commercial cattlemen is essential and I believe Texas A&M is one of our biggest allies in catapulting us forward,” expressed Meacham.
With our magnificent maternal traits, Meacham believes that the Beefmaster breed will have a strong foothold in the market into the future and having this connection with academia will help our breed become and stay a vital portion of the beef cattle industry.
Obviously, there are other components that also come into play when you make such a move. The biggest component of which is staff. As you all know, we have a great set of individuals who have done an incredible job managing our association.
“The biggest concern for our board has been regarding staff because they’ve been so loyal to us. We made sure they know they have a job with us through the end of 2022,” said Meacham.
Beefmaster Breeders United’s new Executive Vice President Dr. Joe Mask officially started his role on September 6, 2022. He has a tremendous skill set and should make the new path forward seamless for the Beefmaster family. He recently transitioned from his Executive Vice President position for the American Brahman Breeders Association. Dr. Mask lives in the College Station area and has been involved with Bos indicus influenced cattle for most of his life. He has worked in the world of academia and Texas AgriLife for many years and will bring a lot of valuable insight to our association.
We sincerely thank Collin Osbourn for his many years of dedicated service to BBU. Collin will transition out of his role as EVP throughout the remainder of 2022. Collin will work closely with Dr. Mask during this time to ensure a successful changeover of leadership.
“We’re visiting with other staff members about continuing with BBU, whether in the College Station office or remotely,” says Meacham.
During the transition time, Meacham envisions having two offices, one in Boerne and one in College Station until we complete the move at the end of 2022. Dr. Mask will spend several days a week in Boerne to help make the transition as seamless as possible.
We hope to minimize disruption with the rest of the staff by either facilitating their move to College Station, Texas if they so choose, or implementing work-from-home policies where appropriate. We are truly thankful for their dedicated service to BBU and hope to make this as seamless as possible for all.
There are a lot of moving parts and potential issues, but we’ll work through them and do what’s best for the association. None of us like a lot of change, but our breed is in a position to grow at a greater stride than how we’ve been because of how well our cattle are received in the industry. Meacham believes this move to College Station will help us continue to be relevant as a breed and ultimately prosper.
Change is always difficult, but to continue to be relevant as a breed, the BBU Board of Directors felt that our outstanding breed of cattle must look to the future and welcome changes that will ultimately help us grow.