meet our team


Staff 

We take pride in working on behalf of our Minnesota beef farmers and ranchers. 

Our focus is to plan and execute beef education, research and promotion in order to help guide you towards the best beef eating experience. 

Kelly SCHmidt  

If you have beef checkoff questions, Kelly can answer all of them plus more. Kelly is responsible for budget, staff, research and checkoff program oversight. He serves as a liaison between Minnesota Beef Council and Minnesota State Cattlemen's Association, while also directing all research projects.

Besides being a boss behind his desk, he's also a boss behind the grill. Kelly and his wife proudly raise three daughters, plus Simmental cattle and show pigs. They enjoy family time together spent at school sport outings, 4-H events and livestock shows.

 Chief Executive Officer

Royalee rhoads

If your talk is retail and merchandising, Royalee speaks your language. Royalee is responsible for communications with beef retail and foodservice partners, as well as providing leadership and coordination of our local producer promotion program. Royalee serves as a key representative at trade shows and retail events.

Royalee is a cast iron aficionado who enjoys trying new things and exploring new places. As a K-State alum, she still passionately bleeds purple.

 director of industry relations

alLISON VANDERWAL 

If you're talking policy, BQA and beef production, Allison is the one you want to talk to. Allison is responsible for coordination of our Beef Quality Assurance Program and oversees the Minnesota State Cattlemen's Association. She provides leadership to Minnesota State Cattlemen's Association members and manages trainings on best beef production practices.

Allison has a Master's Degree in Ruminant Nutrition, enjoys golfing, loves to dance and always looks forward to homemade pizza nights.

 minnesota state cattlemen's executive director and bqa coordinator

HEATHER DELONG 

If you're wondering who holds the glue together, Heather would be it. She's responsible for administrative duties and managing finances. If you call the office, she's likely the one you'll talk to first. 

Heather lives in Maple Plain with her family of four plus two dogs. She loves any kind of outdoor recreation from hunting and fishing to boating. 

 BUSINESS MANAGEr

Ashley Kraemer 

If you're wondering who manages the website and social media accounts, Ashley is your girl. She is responsible for the implementation of consumer education programs and is often the one found behind the camera at events making sure every important moment is captured.

Ashley has a bachelor's degree in Nutrition, plays tennis, and loves every cut of steak. If you can't find her, she's probably behind a computer in her free time editing videos as an event videographer on the side.

 communications director