The Pennsylvania Beef Council Board welcomed five new directors during their annual meeting on December 16, in Everett. Steve Paxton, Mercer County, will head the board of directors as chairperson. He succeeds outgoing chairwoman Diane Hoover, Lebanon County, who led the Board from 2014-2015.

Lancaster county beef producer Darwin Nissley is the organization’s new Vice Chairperson. Westmoreland County beef producer Dustin Heeter and Crawford County beef producer Bobbi Dunn complete the slate of officers, serving as Secretary and Treasurer, respectively.

Newly elected to the board are Chuck Conzatti, retail industry representative from Somerset County; George Hurst, dairy farmer from Lancaster County; Chris Jeffcoat, beef producer from Adams County; Daniel Maines, dairy producer from Cumberland County; and Frank “Butch” Otto, Pennsylvania Cattlemen’s Association’s appointment from Bedford County.

Chris Jeffcoat is especially excited to join the ranks.

“The Pennsylvania Beef Council does such a great job with consumer promotion and producer education,” said Jeffcoat. “I feel honored to be involved in this capacity, to give a little back to the industry by supporting the Beef Checkoff Program through our state beef council’s efforts.

The annual meeting was highlighted by a presentation from Dr. Elizabeth Santini, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Veterinary Medical Field Officer, Region 5, and Dr. Tom Bass, Technical Services and Nutritional Support for Renaissance Nutrition Inc., who spoke to the nearly 40 producers and industry leaders about the Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD).

“It’s important that producers and veterinarians understand FDA’s new VFD rule that will increase in scope by January 2017,” said Dr. Santini. “The use of many feed grade antibiotics on farms will require additional veterinary oversight, record keeping and strict attention to label directions.”