About Leadership

The USRSB is comprised of the following five constituencies: producers, allied industry, packers/processing, retail/foodservice and civil society.

The board of directors, made up of an equal number of board seats from each constituency, directs the activities of the USRSB. The board of directors guides the work of the USRSB through working groups, committees and task forces. It is through these working groups that the USRSB’s work is accomplished.

These working groups examine issues and seek solutions to advance, support and communicate continuous improvement in beef sustainability.

To learn more about the efforts of the working groups or if you are interested in signing up as a volunteer, please contact the USRSB administrator for additional details on how to become more engaged.

Board of Directors

Debbie Lyons-Blythe

Kansas Livestock Association

2022-2023 Chair

Chad Ellis

Partnership of Rangeland Trusts


Steve Wooten

Colorado Cattlemen's Association

Immediate past chair

Producer sector:

Mike Williams

California Cattlemen's Association

Tom McDonald

Texas Cattle Feeders Association

Gene Lollis

Florida Cattlemen's Association


Allied industry sector:

Bill Thoni

Food Safety Net Services

Jessica Fink, PhD

Merck Animal Health

Sara Place, PhD

Elanco Animal Health

Matthew Cleveland, PhD

ABS Global

Packer & processor sector:

Wayne Morgan

Golden State Foods

Nikki Richardson


Paula Alexander

Tyson Foods

Cameron Bruett


Retail & food service sector:

Kenda Levine

McDonald's Corporation

Caitlin Colegrove

Target Corporation 

Kevin Sims

McDonald's Corporation

Bruce Daley


Civil society sector:

Nancy Labbe

The Nature Conservancy

Kristie Maczko, PhD

Sustainable Rangelands Roundtable

Rob Manes

The Nature Conservancy


Scott Anderson

CRI Feeders of Guymon

Secretary & treasurer


Samantha Werth, PhD

Executive Director

[email protected]

Rebecca Bolton

Associate Director

[email protected]

Megan Farley

Communications Director

[email protected]

Grace Vehige

Associate Director of Communications

[email protected]


Outreach Working Group

Co-Chairs: Chad Ellis (Texas Agricultural Land Trust), Josh White (National Cattlemen's Beef Association) and Paula Alexander (Tyson Foods)

Scope of Work: Increase awareness, uptake and implementation of the U.S. Beef Industry Sustainability Framework across all sectors of the beef value chain by encouraging the incorporation of USRSB indicators, metrics and sustainability assessment guide material into existing programs. Develop, maintain and promote self-assessment tools, education and outreach programs, resources and initiatives, where needed, to support and encourage progress towards achieving the USRSB High-Priority Indicator Goals & Sector Targets.

Communications Working Group

Co-Chairs: Jennie Hodgen (Merck Animal Health), Nicole Erceg (Certified Angus Beef) and Jaclyn Roberts (Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association)

Scope of Work: Assist with the execution and implementation of the communications plan to advance the mission and vision of USRSB, including oversight of the annual report and strategically identifying and utilizing events to deliver key messages and promote progress towards achieving the USRSB High-Priority Indicator Goals & Sector Targets.

Goals and Targets Tracking Working Group

Co-Chairs: Steve Wooten (Colorado Cattlemen's Association), Sara Place (Colorado State University AgNext) and Myriah Johnson (Farm Credit Services America)

Scope of Work: Engage with life cycle assessment scientists, industry experts, academia, allied industry, civil society and external advisors to establish the methodology for tracking progress towards achieving the USRSB High-Priority Indicator Goals & Sector Targets.

Recognition Program Working Group

Co-Chairs: Rob Manes (The Nature Conservancy), Michelle Calvo-Lorenzo (Elanco Animal Health) and Mary Soukup (Beef Marketing Group)

Scope of Work: While it is not within the scope of USRSB to provide certification or verification for adoption of the U.S. Beef Industry Sustainability Framework, the Recognition Program Working Group will establish and oversee a process to evaluate and reevaluate existing and/or new supply-chain programs that include or intend to include parameters that align with the Framework and promote progress towards achieving the USRSB High-Priority Indicator Goals & Sector Targets.

Project and Resource Review Working Group

Co-Chairs: William Burnidge (The Nature Conservancy), Clayton Huseman (Kansas Livestock Association) and Tom McDonald (Five Rivers Cattle Feeders)

Scope of Work: Review and support external projects, field trials, pilot projects, research projects and resources that align with the USRSB vision and mission, including oversight of approved projects, progress reports and results. Identify gaps in research knowledge and actively look for new research opportunities to support that will promote progress towards achieving the USRSB High-Priority Indicator Goals & Sector Targets.

General Assembly Planning Working Group

Co-Chairs: Shannon Wharton (Wharton 3C Cattle), Jessica Finck (Merck Animal Health) and Craig Mello (AgriBeef)

Scope of Work: Assist in guiding the planning and execution of the annual General Assembly meeting, including site selection for the meeting, theme, sponsorship opportunities, promotional material, tour stops, keynote addresses, speakers and panels, as well as other meeting logistics.

Feed Sustainability Task Force

Co-Chairs: Damon Palmer (Corteva Agrisciences), Lara Moody (IFEEDER) and Dwane Roth (Syngenta)

Scope of Work: Increase collaboration, including networking with other protein groups, as appropriate, to identify areas of engagement around sustainable feed production and manufacturing and promote transparency by encouraging the flow of feed relevant information along the value chain.