David E. Wood
David E. Wood serves as chairman of Harris Ranch Beef Co., a Coalinga, CA, firm that pioneered work in value-added branded beef, vertical integration and all-natural processing.
Today a sizeable producer in his
own right with cow-calf, feeding and farming enterprises in multiple states, Wood
start in the cattle business at 14 years old, when he
borrowed money to buy his
first 20 cows.
He earned a degree in animal science from Cal Poly in 1970, and joined Harris Feeding Co. as a pen rider, moving up to manager in 1978, and head of beef operations in 1989.
With Wood's vision, Harris Feeding Co.
launched a value-based beef production and marketing program called Partnership for Quality.
It was aimed at cow-calf producers desiring to improve genetic standards in their herds.
The program also offers producers vaccination, weaning, seasonality and quality-based carcass premiums.
was also the first meat packer to initiate mandatory feeding of vitamin E, and negotiated with retailers to pay for the value-added practice.
As chairman of the Cattlemen's Beef Board, Wood preserved the integrity of the beef checkoff while helping build an organization that could speak with one voice and designated increasing beef demand as its goal.
In addition, he's served as president and chairman of the Western States Meat Packers Association, president of CattleFax, and on several executive committee assignments with the U.S. Meat Export Federation and other organizations.