Kim and Ira Brackett work to cultivate a passion for ranching and the cattle business among their four young children. Whether she is on the family ranch in Idaho, attending the USDA Outlook Forum in Washington D.C. or in the Cattlemen’s Beef Board’s offices in Denver, Kim Brackett works toward the advancement of beef and beef producers.
Brackett, whose family runs Brackett Ranches based in Castleford, Idaho, also is a mother of four, a blogger and this year, chair of the Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB). Prior to taking over as chair in January, Brackett served on the CBB for five years, including time as secretary, treasurer and vice chairman.
Last December, Vance Publishing, the parent company of Drovers/CattleNetwork, named Brackett as an honoree in the inaugural year of the “40 under Forty” program. The program recognizes and promotes young leaders from across the U.S. agricultural community, who will help agriculture meet the challenge of feeding 9 billion people by 2050. Over 250 young innovators were nominated by their peers, and seven independent judges selected the final 40.
Brackett grew up on her family’s ranch in Wyoming and now resides on her husband Ira’s family’s operation in Idaho. Kim and Ira help manage the family’s fifth-generation Angus-based cow-calf operation with Ira’s father and brothers, and they run their own ranching operation with Red Angus cow-calf herds in Idaho, Nevada and California. Bracket says she and Ira have in recent years also run a stocker enterprise but currently have put that business on hold due to the severe extended drought in the region.
As parents, Brackett says she and her husband work hard to instill a love of ranching among their three sons and one daughter, who range in age from 5 to 12. “We want them to have a passion for the industry and that starts on our ranch,” she says. They all love to ride horses, and the family typically saddles up about three or four days each week to check cattle. The oldest boy, she says, is studying bull catalogs and is interested in genetic-selection decisions.
Kim with Jimmy Maxey at a meeting Serving as CBB chair, Brackett helps guide checkoff-funded research and promotional efforts to build demand for U.S. beef. Promoting beef is nothing new for her though, as she regularly reaches out to the public through her blog at BeefMatters.com, which for five years has provided “a glimpse of life on a working ranch.”