Family: Husband: Alan
Children: Tracy, Tessa and Terra
Sallie James was born on November 9th, 1951 in Alliance, Nebraska to Harold and Dolores James. Sallie's early years were spent on the Gudmundsen Ranch northeast of Whitman which was managed by her father. Later this ranch would be donated to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln as a research ranch and would become the University of Nebraska Gudmundsen Sandhills Laboratory. In 1956, Sallie's parents moved back to the James home ranch north of Mullen where Harold ranched until his untimely death in 1969. Sallie attended school in Mullen and graduated from Mullen High School in 1969. Sallie and Alan were high school sweethearts and were married on August 30, 1969. They moved to Lincoln to purse their education; Alan in Animal Science and Sallie at the Lincoln School of Commerce where she completed an Associates Degree and worked for Farmland while Alan attended UNL. Alan and Sallie came home to ranch near Halsey with Alan's parents Roy and Mary Alice in 1971. Sallie began working in the Purdum State Bank, just up the road north of the ranch and worked there until 1983.
While working off the ranch at the Purdum Bank, Sallie still helped out on the ranch with major work days and gradually became more and more active in volunteering her time with organizations such as the Nebraska Cattle Women, Nebraska Cattlemen, Sandhills Cattle Association and the Nebraska Beef Council. Her tireless and enthusiastic efforts to promote beef and beef products locally across Nebraska soon grew to the point she was being asked to help out on the national stage. She was soon involved in numerous national boards and organizations. She has served on the Board of Directors of the National Livestock and Meat Board as the Vice-Chair of the Education Committee, on the National Cattlemen's Beef Association Executive Committee, the Beef Industry Food Safety Council as Co-Chair, on the Board of Directors of the International Stockmen's Educational Foundation, as Beef Vice-Chair of the International Livestock Congress and has Chaired the Ag in the Classroom project of the American National Cattle Women.
Likewise, Sallie's efforts in Nebraska also grew as she served the University of Nebraska on the Food Safety Executive Committee, the Board of Directors of the UNL Center for Grassland Studies, Advisory Board for the University of Nebraska Gudmundsen Sandhills Laboratory, is the current President of the Nebraska Ag Leadership Council and is a member of the Ag Builders of Nebraska.
Since Sallie Atkins became Executive Director of the Nebraska Beef Council she has worked tirelessly to build an excellent staff and to encourage programs that use checkoff dollars wisely. As Executive Director, Sallie, with her Board of Directors, guides the implementation of nearly $8 million Nebraska producer check-off dollars. Through these efforts Sallie is building the future of increased consumer demand for beef. Sallie has forged the foundation for renewed producer information messages to help producers better understand the uses of their checkoff dollars. She has pioneered Project Ag-Venture in Nebraska classrooms to help school children understand agriculture and through the ANCW this program is now a national program. Sallie has helped implement the Beef Ambassador Program for high school students. Sallie has helped transform the Beef Team at UNL from a concept to a reality of providing frontline beef information to shoppers at the retail meat case. Sallie has served as a guest lecturer at UNL on many occasions for many different classes.
Sallie Atkins is recognized by her peers as an enthusiastic, effective leader on behalf of the beef industry, as a friend and mentor of youth and an ally of all beef producers.