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February 3, 2023
Edmund R. Hildenbrand, Huntingburg, Ind., will soon have a new role to fulfill. The Dubois County cattleman is one of 40 appointees nationwide recently announced by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. He will serve on the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board.
The board, more commonly referred to as the Cattlemen’s Beef Board or CBB, is one of 22 industry-funded research and promotion boards authorized by Congress since 1966. The goal is empowering farmers to leverage their own resources to develop new markets, strengthen existing markets, and conduct important research and promotion activities. USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service provides oversight for the program.
Hildenbrand is taking the seat held by Norman Voyles Jr., Martinsville, Ind., for the past six years. Voyles served the maximum time allowed — two three-year terms. In fact, he served as chairman of the CBB for the past year.
Hildenbrand’s first official meeting as a member of the board will occur this summer. The CBB consists of 100 members and was established in 1985 by Congress. Appointees are nominated by beef, veal, dairy and importer-certified organizations, and selected and named by the sitting U.S. ag secretary.
Editor, Indiana Prairie Farmer, Farm Progress
Tom J. Bechman is editor of Indiana Prairie Farmer. He joined Farm Progress in 1981 as a field editor, first writing stories to help farmers adjust to a difficult harvest after a tough weather year. His goal today is the same — writing stories that help farmers adjust to a changing environment in a profitable manner.
Bechman knows about Indiana agriculture because he grew up on a small dairy farm and worked with young farmers as a vocational agriculture teacher and FFA advisor before joining Farm Progress. He works closely with Purdue University specialists, Indiana Farm Bureau and commodity groups to cover cutting-edge issues affecting farmers. He specializes in writing crop stories with a focus on obtaining the highest and most economical yields possible.
Tom and his wife, Carla, have four children: Allison, Ashley, Daniel and Kayla, plus eight grandchildren. They raise produce for the food pantry and house 4-H animals for the grandkids on their small acreage near Franklin, Ind.
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