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Three seeking District 6 seat on Nebraska Beef Council PDF Print E-mail

By Russ Pankonin

The Imperial Republican


The Nebraska Beef Council (NBC) will hold election in four districts during the month of November.

Elections will be held in Districts 2, 4, 6 and 8. District 6 includes much of southwest Nebraska.

Counties in the NBC’s District 6 include Chase, Perkins, Dundy, Hayes, Hitchcock, Keith, Lincoln, Arthur McPherson and Logan Counties.

Three candidates are seeking the District 6 seat. They include Jerry Kuenning of Imperial, Steve Hanson of Elsie and Pam Potthoff of Trenton.

Ballots were mailed by NBC to beef producers on Nov. 1, 2010. If producers have not received ballots by Nov. 5, they should contact the NBC office at 800-421-5326.

Nebraska beef producers get the opportunity to vote for regional directors who help guide the NBC on how to spend beef checkoff funds.

The NBC is responsible to collect the $1 per head beef checkoff. Of that, 50 cents is sent to the national Cattlemen’s Beef Board. The other 50 cents is retained by the NBC.

The election process enables producers who pay the checkoff fee to have a local say, through their director, on how to spend the state funds.

Producers who are at least 18 years old, are registered voters and have sold cattle and paid checkoff fees in 2009 or 2010, and reside in a district up for election are eligible to vote.

The voting period runs from Nov. 1-15, 2010.

Meet the Candidates

(The following information was submitted to the Nebraska Beef Council by the candidates.)

• Steve Hanson, Elsie

Hanson returned to the family farm and ranch in Elsie after attending the University of Nebraska- Lincoln.

He and his wife Susan have been married for 37 years andhave two children.

Son Nick and wife Rachel have returned to be a part of the family operation. Daughter Laura and husband Bryan Barrett live in Gering.

In the summer, Hanson calves out his cows and weans them on their Arthur County ranch. Then they bring the calves home to the feedlot in the fall.

Last year, Hanson donated a heifer which was auctioned at North Platte Livestock. The proceeds, along with other funds, were used to purchase Christmas beef certificates for the families of the North Platte Army Reserves who were to serve in Iraq.

He is also involved in the Wheatland School Board, Midwest Electric Membership Coop, Tri-State Generation and Transmission, Upper Republican Natural Resources District, and has held various committee positions within his church.

Why do you want to serve on the Beef Council?

“I believe strongly in the wise use of our checkoff dollars and the value of investing them where they will get the most return possible for the good of our producers. I would also work to maintain our administrative costs at reasonable levels.”

• Jerry Kuenning, Imperial

Kuenning resides on his family farm and ranch operation north of Imperial.

His father, wife Kathy, son Brandon and daughter-in-law Kelly are all involved with the operation that his grandfather began.

His family also includes daughter Kory Fowler and her husband Nick, and daughter Kelly.

Kuenning received his Bachelor of Science degree in Ag Economics/ Animal Science from the University of Nebraska- Lincoln.

They have an Angus-based cow/calf operation and finish those calves in their feedlot. They also custom feed cattle for retained ownership and investment customers.

The cattle in his feedlots are 95 percent source and age verified. Kuenning uses value-added programs to best fit the cattle and maximize their value through grid premiums.

They also raise soybeans, corn, wheat, and alfalfa.

Kuenning currently serves on the board of CattleFax. In addition, he was a member of the Upper Republican Natural Resources District Board for 25 years, a Midwest Electric Board Member for four years, and served on the Nebraska Corn Board Task Force.

Why do you want to serve on the Beef Council?

“I believe in the future of the cattle industry and am proud of the product that we produce. It is absolutely necessary as an industry to become more efficient and more profitable in all segments of the industry. We must continue to increase the demand for beef. I would like to help direct checkoff dollars to these areas.”

• Pam Potthoff, Trenton

Potthoff and her husband Harold own a diversified farm in southwest Nebraska and northwest Kansas where they raise corn, wheat and cattle.

The Potthoffs have four children and 17 grandchildren.

Potthoff received her Bachelor of Science from the University of Nebraska- Kearney and a Masters of Science from Southern Illinois University -Carbondale.

They have a 275 head cow/calf operation which is run in two herds–a Charolais herd and an Angus herd. Last year, they backgrounded the calves in a local feedyard prior to market.

Potthoff’s community involvement includes being a 4-H leader for the past 24 years, a former Sunday School teacher, the coordinator for a local group working on recreational opportunities at Swanson Recreational Area, and serving on the Hitchcock County Planning Commission.

Why do you want to serve on the Beef Council?

“I am concerned with the inadequate oversight of Nebraska funds sent on to the national level. I think payers should get more bang for their bucks.”