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Heather Buckmaster, a third-generation OSU graduate, grew up on a wheat and cattle farm in Hydro, Oklahoma. After receiving her bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics with an emphasis on international business at OSU in 1991, she spent two years as a Peace Corps volunteer and agriculture Extension agent in Gambia, West Africa.


She returned to OSU and graduated with her master’s degree in agricultural economics in 1996. Buckmaster then spent seven years as the director of marketing for the Colorado Beef Council, where she was responsible for advertising, food service and retail promotions, producer communications and sports marketing programs. Her efforts helped introduce new beef cuts and heat-and-serve beef products to Colorado consumers through retailers, broad-line distributors, steak purveyors and regional food service chains.


When the first case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, a progressive neurological disorder of cattle, was announced in the U.S., Buckmaster played a key role in managing BSE crisis management activities in Colorado. 


In 2005, Buckmaster moved back to Oklahoma to become the executive director of the Oklahoma Beef Council. She is well-known across the state by beef cattle producers as a champion for the industry. She oversees Oklahoma beef checkoff investments in the international marketplace through the U.S. Meat Export Federation and has coordinated international trade team tours as well as traveled to Ghana and Angola for market development programs.   


Buckmaster led the successful launch of the Oklahoma Beef Quality Assurance certification program in partnership with OSU and the Noble Research Institute. She also helped create an initiative to integrate the Masters of Beef Advocacy program with Oklahoma FFA to create the next generation of beef advocates. As a result, Oklahoma leads the nation in beef advocacy graduates.

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