What Can We Do to Help the Beef Community?

 

Last week, your beef ambassadors attended the NCBA conference in (Not So) Sizzlin’ San Antonio! A popular question we were asked while talking to attendees was, “What are problems facing the beef industry?” and “How can we help to fix them?” These problems aren’t going to go away, and it is imperative that we be proactive in facing them. Most important, we need to tell our stories and be transparent about what we do with our animals.

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Antibiotic Usage

This is a hot topic among consumers. Myths are circulating about why we use antibiotics and that through our usage, we will be contributing to antibiotic-resistant bacteria and viruses, which will then affect consumers. As producers, we know this to be untrue. Explain to consumers about why we use antibiotics to help our animals and that we adhere to strict withdrawal times!

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Using antibiotics helps to keep our cattle healthy and happy!

 

There’s Hormones in my Beef?!

Another major concern, and one that is being propagated by anti-beef organizations, is use of hormones or beta-agonists in raising cattle for beef. It is believed that these will cause early puberty, particularly in young girls. Again, we know different, and can explain to the public the various studies proving that consumption of these meat products is safe, as these hormones and other exogenous factors are completely metabolized by the animal’s body.

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Beef treated with hormones is perfectly safe to eat, and has no adverse side effects!

 

Animal Welfare

We have all seen the horrific videos of animals being mistreated. And though we want to fight this with all our might, these things do happen. We need to communicate to consumers these are extremely rare events, and most importantly we are working to better our industry to where they don’t happen at all! I have found that talking to them about your own herd and the various practices we use certainly helps, not only to underscore your credibility, but makes it relatable.

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Sometimes the practices we utilize is confusing, so make sure to explain why we do what we do!

 

Beef Nutrition

With weight loss program ads appearing everywhere, it’s no wonder people are concerned about what is in their food! Everyone wants to be healthy, and most do not realize how nutritious beef is! It is the number one food source for Iron, and is also high in zinc, protein and B vitamins. Unfortunately, beef has gotten a bad rap for being high in calories and saturated fat. It important to utilize information and pamphlets from the Beef Checkoff to show consumers that beef packs a powerful punch and is part of a healthy diet! We all eat beef several times a week, so show them how healthy you are!

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Packed full of nutrients, beef is delicious and wholesome!

 

Across all these topics, it is most important that we start communicating and sharing our story. Anti-beef organizations have beat us to the punch, and we need to start playing catch-up! We do have it in our favor that most people already love beef, but we need to make sure it stays that way!

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Open the communication lines and start telling your story!

 

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