2013 The Year of the Farmer

Did you know the National Beef Ambassador Program is funded in part by the Beef Checkoff? For every cow sold in the United States one dollar per head is donated to the Beef Checkoff Program, fifty cents going to the state program and fifty cents going to the national program. The Beef Checkoff is essential to our industry because it funds programs to promote our product. They produce all sorts of beef promotional supplies from “Still Safe, Still Nutritious, Still a Family Favorite” billboards down I-5 in California to “I Heart Beef” stickers given out to elementary students in New York State  If you pick up a pamphlet in the grocery store informing you on the benefits of lean beef, chances are there is a red check logo on the back. The Beef Checkoff not only proves on a daily basis why beef is needed in your diet, but works hard to tell the beef production story. That’s where my team and I step in.

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I have only been serving as a National Beef Ambassador for a few shorts months, but I am constantly reminded why my teams’ job is so important. When people ask me what I do, I tell them that I make that direct connection between the producer and consumers through every day conversations. While my father is busy back home on the ranch working 12 hour plus days, I am working hard to tell his story and make sure that farmers and ranchers like him are appreciated.

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This past weekend I was asked to give a presentation at the Klamath Bull and Gelding Sale in Klamath Falls, Oregon. I was speaking to local producers on how consumers concerns have changed throughout the years. Our biggest weakness as a beef community has been not educating our consumers on our product. Whether you have been in the cattle business for awhile or just an active consumer, I am sure we all remember the “War on Fat.” Well I can confidently say that war has been won. We are producing a leaner product than ever with 29 cuts that meet USDA guidelines for lean. What consumers want to know is where their product came from and if it was treated humanely. This is where speaking with producers differs from speaking with consumers. When I tell this to a room full of ranchers I usually hear a few laughs, some scoffs, and occasionally an eye roll. This is because raising cattle isn’t just a business to us, it truly is a lifestyle, and I can say this as a producer myself. We all know that livestock come before ourselves and to a producer that is common sense, but to a consumer who has been removed from the farm through several generations; it is an honest question and concern. It is questions like this that tend to open our eyes to the fact that we need to be advocating for, informing, and educating others about our lifestyle.

 

l (1)Thanks to the Beef Checkoff Program, my team and I are constantly on the road telling our beef production story. Whether we are informing 500,000 people at the Pennsylvania Farm Show about the benefits of eating beef or having a several hour long conversation on an airplane about how my family ranch is ran, each person we inform is just as important as the next. Even though you may not have the opportunity to travel and tell your story, we all can be advocates in our own community. I don’t care if you are a cow/calf rancher, backgrounder, feedlot operator, or just love to eat beef; we all need to unite as a beef community and tell our story. I encourage each and every one of you to check out the Masters of Beef Advocacy Program (MBA) and complete the course. This program is through the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) and teaches you how to effectively converse with consumers. Consumers want us to speak up, they want to hear what we have to say. Why? Because we have a safe, wholesome, and nutritious product as well as a lifestyle worthy of praise.

 

My team and I would like to say thank you to all of the producers who work very hard to support the Beef Checkoff Program and give us the opportunity to represent you to consumers around the nation.

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Dodge has declared that 2013 is the year of the farmer and I have no doubt in my mind that it will be.

~Katie

 

Check out the Masters of Beef Advocacy Program here:

http://www.beef.org/mastersofbeefadvocacy.aspx

2 responses to “2013 The Year of the Farmer”

  1. Helen Albaugh says:

    Very nice! Well said! Thank you to the National Beef Ambassador Team for telling our story!

  2. […] Click here to read more of this story by Katie at the National Beef Ambassador blog. […]

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