Todd Inglee, a beef producer from Arvada, is currently serving as interim executive director for the Colorado Beef Council, while the board prepares to conduct a search for its next chief executive.
Inglee is the immediate past president of the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association and owner of Ralston Valley Beef, a branded beef company. He also just completed a two-year term as chairman of the beef council’s board of directors. (Sallie Miller, of Briggsdale, recently took over the chairmanship’s role.)
Reached by phone from the road while hauling cattle, Inglee said there was no specific timeline set for when a new director would be named.
In announcing the developments, the board said it planned to undertake “an exhaustive search” to replace Greg Bloom, who was hired in 2016 following the retirement of long-time head Fred Lombardi. Bloom resigned from the position in early July.
Over the years, Bloom has worked in the meat business in a variety of capacities, including merchandising, marketing, writing commentary and conducting fabrication and cooking classes. Throughout his tenure at the beef council, he maintained his own independent beef marketing and promotion business. He and his family live on the edge of Denver in the suburb of Lone Tree.
In a statement, the board expressed appreciation for Bloom’s service and wished him well in his future endeavors.
Inglee credited Bloom with bringing several new education and outreach initiatives to the council, which the board hopes to continue.
“He made a big outreach to the retail segment of the industry, by offering culinary classes for retail meat cutters, and we plan to continue those,” Inglee said. “We already have more classes scheduled this fall. It’s been great outreach for us and very well received.”
The training consists of a crash course in beef production basics, followed by time in the kitchen cooking underutilized cuts using recipes from the Beef-It’s-What’s-For-Dinner website.
“It’s amazing how little background or preparation these retail meat managers have, so we thought we would reach out to address that,” Inglee said. “We’ve already started developing the 2.0 version of these classes, to take those who have already been through the course to the next level.”
In recent months, the beef council also hired a part-time registered dietitian to help promote the nutritional attributes of beef within the dietetic community.
With an annual budget of $1.4 million and four full-time staff positions, the council describes its mission as “increasing demand for beef, enhancing the role of beef in a healthy lifestyle and connecting Coloradons to the beef community.”
Inglee said the council’s work wouldn’t miss a beat while the executive search is underway.
In fact, Inglee said he had three goals he hoped to achieve while serving in an interim capacity.
“I want to make sure people know there’s a face behind the beef council and someone they can reach out to if they have questions,” he said. “I want to expand the knowledge base among producers of what the beef council does and educate producers on what’s happening with their dollars. And I want to build trust. I think it’s really important that we strengthen our position with those who pay the check-off.”
In the past couple of weeks, Inglee has spoken to livestock and farm bureau groups from Weld County to La Junta in an effort to open up more communication with producers.
“It’s always hard knowing how to preach to the choir,” he said. “I think that’s been a struggle for a lot of commodity check-off programs, to communicate back to the producers who fund those programs. But we really need to get out and talk to people and shine a light on the positive things that are happening.”
Consumer interest in food production — a source of consternation to many ag producers — is actually a golden opportunity for the industry, he added.
“That’s an opportunity for us, and we need to jump out and capitalize on it,” he said.