Minnesota State Cattlemen’s Association has a new leader
The new executive director of the Minnesota State Cattlemen's Association says her group hopes to make greater use of social media and to increase participation in the Beef Quality Assurance program.
The new executive director of the Minnesota State Cattlemen’s Association says her group hopes to make greater use of social media and to increase participation in the Beef Quality Assurance program.
“Social media is definitely an ally, but you need to be careful. It can turn around on you really fast,” Ashley Kohls said.
Beef Quality Assurance is a national program that provides guidelines for beef cattle production.
BQA training “is a very good step. It’s something that’s getting pushed more and more. Not all our members are BQA certified, but that’s a goal for us. It helps you identify at-risk points in your operation,” she says.
Kohls assumed her part-time position Sept. 1. She succeeds Joe Martin, who resigned last fall to become communications director for DuPont Pioneer’s northern business unit.
She describes her position as taking care of the association’s daily operations and providing information on local and national issues to members of its executive committee.
Kohls has experience in various sectors of the beef industry, including nutrition, reproduction and animal health. Most recently, she specialized in HAACP, regulatory compliance and environmental monitoring. HAACP, or hazard analysis and critical control points, addresses food safety through analyzing and controlling biological, chemical and physical hazards from production of the raw material to consumption of the finished product.
She served previously as a quality assurance manager at First District Association, an independent dairy cooperative based in Litchfield.
An Iowa native, she graduated with a bachelor of science degree in animal science from South Dakota State University. While in college, she says, she met and “fell in love with a Minnesota farm boy.”
Today, she lives in rural Hutchinson, with her husband, Craig, and two children. She and her husband own and operate Kohls Land and Cattle, which includes cow-calf and feedlot operations.
Minnesota’s cattle industry is diverse, and her family operation reflects that, she says.
Cash beef prices are strong, which is good for cow-calf operators, but limits profit margins for feedlots, she says.
Her group will hold its annual convention Dec. 4 to 6 in Hinckley.
• The Minnesota State Cattlemen’s Association convention: www.mnsca.org/convention.php
• The Beef Quality Assurance program: www.bqa.org