Photo Credit: Cattlemen’s Beef Board, https://www.beefboard.org/
Q: How is the beef checkoff increasing domestic and international beef demand?
There are a wide variety of global activities working to promote beef. A few of those activities include:
- Developing curriculums and educational modules that teachers can use in the classroom.
- Developing new recipes and methods for cooking.
- Working with consumers to better understand their purchasing habits; since Covid-19 has hit we’ve seen consumer buying habits shift. The checkoff is currently striving to help folks better understand how to cook and handle different cuts of beef.
- Continuous international marketing. There are activities going on in 80 different countries around the world. The checkoff works to find cuts that best fit into these markets, as often times different countries prefer cuts that aren’t popular in the U.S.
Q: What are your thoughts on the petition circulating to bring about a beef checkoff referendum? Furthermore, what are your thoughts on producer’s dissatisfaction with the checkoff?
It is very disappointing that a petition is circulating to bring about a referendum. Many of the concerns regarding the checkoff aren’t truly checkoff concerns; they’re more policy issues that the checkoff has nothing to do with. The beef checkoff is a neutral program that is designed to build demand for beef; the program doesn’t have any influence over policy.
Q: There has been significant discussion around the USDA’s ability to import beef and label it as product of the USA. What are your thoughts on this situation?
The U.S. imports beef, but something a lot of folks don’t understand is that imported beef pays the checkoff also. Imported beef is needed to supplement our beef with lean trimmings; a lot of this beef goes to the fast food sector to make hamburgers.
Importers of foreign beef are the ones that pay the checkoff on imported beef. It is collected by U.S. Customs.
Q: Beef continues to be attacked by claims stating that it is bad for health and bad for the environment. How is the checkoff fighting such outlandish claims?
There is a lot of research that the checkoff is supporting and funding that demonstrates how healthy and nutritious beef is in the diet.
This research then goes towards other checkoff programs that are designed to work with doctors, nutritionists, chefs, and/or other professionals that have a platform to promote beef.
The challenge that goes along with this is that the checkoff has limited resources, but the groups working against beef have endless funds. This is why the checkoff is so important; it is the main counter attack we have to fight back against some of these claims that aren’t accurate about our product.
Q: Do you have any closing statements?
If cattle producers are frustrated with the checkoff, they should call the beef checkoff office with their questions at (303) 220-9890 or visit our website at http://www.beefboard.org.
The cattle industry continues to deal with rough market conditions and the checkoff is doing what it can to keep beef competitive. Producers need to remember that the program is not in place to sway cattle prices.