"An 18 mile run in the Big Bend Ranch State Park? Yes, I like to run half marathons, they're a good distance for me."
That was the first thing Janna Stubbs said to me when I phoned her one morning a few days ago. She followed it up with "I try to run every other day if I can. I run at the ranch. I'll run this morning in about an hour and a half from now."
"I'm on the Texas Beef running team" she said. I asked her about that other famous 'Team Beef' runner, Daren Williams. "I'll run with him when we have beef meetings, she replied. "Most states have their own team, I’ve been on the Texas team since 2009. It’s a great tool, a great conversation starter, when you're out and about running. We get to talk about heart healthy tips and the power of lean protein. We proudly wear our Texas beef Council running team gear. It’s how we represent the industry. At some of the larger races, a dinner with all the team members and their spouses is the pre-race event, fueling up on beef of course! It’s a lot of fun, a great camaraderie thing."
Like all Cattlemen's Beef Board (CBB) members, she runs hard all day long. While transitioning careers from owning her own spa and operating it as a licensed massage therapist to working towards her certified general license as an appraisal trainee, she loves the challenge of time management. There is much to accomplish on the home ranch as well as in their more public lives as very active volunteers on the local, state and national levels. Her home ranch is near Alpine, Texas, about 200 miles Southeast of El Paso.
Janna got involved with Texas CattleWomen soon after she married her husband in 2002. She eventually served as its president and was named 2012 Texas CattleWoman of the Year at the Texas CattleWomen’s Annual Convention in College Station as she was finishing her second term.
She served as Chair of American National CattleWomen’s Consumer Promotion and Education Committee, helping organize 5K running programs and other fitness events to promote beef as part of a healthy lifestyle. She's a trained Conversation Leader for the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance, and served as a member of the Board of Directors – Policy Division of National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. She was also chosen to represent cattlewomen on the prestigious Young Cattlemen’s Conference with 42 other cattlemen and cattlewomen from across the nation who participated in a 10-day tour of the beef industry, including a brief stopover in Washington, D.C.
"The Alpine ranch is a family operation, about 16,000 acres, which is actually on the smaller scale for far West Texas" she told me. Acknowledging that cattle can be raised where row crops cannot survive, she said, "Out here, it's not only about the quantity of land, it's also about the quality. We live in the Chihuahuan desert, so the water is minimal and the beauty is endless."
The Alpine ranch is owned by her husband Andy's parents who bought it in 1993. Janna and her husband lease a larger spread near the Mexican border. "Andy works the Alpine ranch for his mom and dad. We wanted to succeed in agriculture as his family has for generations in farming and ranching. This is a place where we can raise cattle.”
Talking about that second ranch, she said, “We lease a larger ranch in south Brewster county, owned by the Lykes Brothers in Florida. We've thankfully been there the past 6 or 7 years. It’s what he likes to do so I help him, which makes me happy."
"We live in an agricultural community and I wanted to be involved and to have my own purpose, I found my purpose through cattlewomen, from both the social aspects of being my husband's voice and the education and promotion efforts toward consumers. My first steps were local and my involvement grew to ANCW and NCBA.
I like being involved in the beef industry, it’s vitally important for not only our livelihood but thousands of others. Through my involvement, I have a better understanding of just how important the beef checkoff program is. I decided if I was going to be on CBB, I wanted to offer the best representation I could."
"I was chosen to represent Texas Cattlewomen on the Young Cattlemen’s Conference tour in 2011, which completely opened my eyes even further to each level of the industry and increased my interest in our international trade. The experience was a turning point for me and I became interested in CBB; it became my goal to serve. I was nominated by Texas Cattlewomen last year and found that I was accepted just before New Year's Day.” Her appointment was announced by USDA Secretary Thomas Vilsack on December 30, 2013.
“I was so tickled and proud to be asked to represent all producers and importers of the beef industry, what an honor!"
Janna serves on CBB's Freedom to Operate Committee. “One of the programs our committee handles is the beef and veal quality assurance programs," she said. "The summer meeting was my first committee meeting and I enjoyed getting a more in depth look at he plans for those programs. I'm excited about the February meeting in San Antonio, after learning the ropes in Denver last summer, I'll be able to contribute much more to our committee work."