Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Checkoff helps beef industry meet challenges

The Cattlemen's Beef Board posts this about the Beef Checkoff, the per-head fee paid when cattle are sold to support research and promotion of the industry:

America’s beef farmers and ranchers today are facing unprecedented challenges which curtail their ability to provide a safe, nutritious and delicious protein food to a global population. In recent years, marketplace competition among animal protein sources has intensified. Consumer attitudes and needs have evolved, impacted by both the changing nutrition environment and the recession. In addition, activists opposing animal agriculture have increased their coffers, stepped up their media campaigns, and expanded their activities into the legislative and regulatory arenas at both the state and national level.

The beef checkoff is both proactive and reactive in response to these challenges. Through integrated programming, the checkoff launches marketing and communication programs that highlight those demand drivers that impact consumer attitudes and behaviors about beef.

The checkoff’s Research, Education, and Innovation (REI) department provides the scientific evidence used to develop the essential messages supporting these marketing, communication, and issues-response efforts, but also makes available tools and technologies to help increase industry effectiveness in producing a great tasting, nutritious and safe beef product for consumers who continue to love beef.

The checkoff program areas -- Beef Quality Assurance, Beef Safety Research, Product Enhancement Research, Human Nutrition Research, New Products and Culinary Initiatives, as well as the Producer Education program -- collaborate to ensure the best beef product possible reaches the marketplace.

This year’s REI annual update highlights how the checkoff is providing all segments of the industry with the knowledge to support new technologies, such as pre- and post-harvest safety interventions, and new communication messages that inform consumers about beef’s taste and nutrition advantages.

“Ultimately, America’s beef-producing farmers and ranchers reap the benefit through increased profitability,” says Craig Uden, chair of the REI group and producer from Cozad, Neb. “We will continue to develop the knowledge that protects and expands our industry as it feeds a global population.”

The full annual update can be downloaded here.

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