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CATTLE TODAY

NEW CONSUMER WEB SITE SHARES REALITIES OF BEEF

Centennial, Colo., Feb. 5, 2007 – A new beef checkoff-funded Web site tells the beef production story — often in the words of beef producers themselves. The site, www.Beef FromPastureToPlate.org, covers the entire production chain, from gestation to dinner presentation, and features producer profiles, a live “Ask a Producer” page, fact sheets, recipes, safety tips and even beef trivia.

A unique aspect of the site is the virtual view — through short audio clips and photographs — it gives visitors into the everyday lives of the nearly 1 million men and women who make up the U.S. beef industry. Cow-calf producers, a dairy producer, feedlot operator and a livestock marketer share personal stories about how and why they do what they do for a living.

The site meets a long-time checkoff goal to provide easy and useful public access to facts, statistics and the personal experiences that take place from pasture to plate. Emma Brown, a fifth-generation Colorado cattle producer who is profiled on the site, said www.BeefFromPastureTo Plate.org is a public outreach to help the beef industry talk to and with its customers.

“I want consumers to know our story. I want them to know producers care about them as much as they care about themselves and we don't want anything to jeopardize the relationship between us,” she said.

The Web site gives beef producers, along with other segments of the beef production chain, an opportunity to share their heart-felt passion for their livelihoods and the beef they produce for families around the world.

“Being a beef producer is a very satisfying and prideful state of mind for me. It's that legendary idea that we, the American ranchers, are feeding the homeland. I couldn't be happier doing any other kind of work,” Brown added.

The Bottom Line: How can this site help beef producers? By offering straightforward information about the entire beef chain to the public, who often hear misinformation and myths about beef production. An informed consumer is a valuable customer. For example, due in part to continuing checkoff-funded public outreach efforts such as this Web site, consumer confidence in beef has risen as high as 94 percent — even after the first U.S. case of BSE in 2003.

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