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FEDERATION AWARDS BEEF PROMOTION GRANTS

Centennial, Colo., Sept. 4, 2008 – The Federation of State Beef Councils (FSBC) has awarded 12 new grants through its Federation Initiative Fund to help underwrite beef promotions in states with high human populations but low cattle numbers and, therefore, limited beef checkoff collections.

Grants totaling just over $172,000 were awarded to state beef councils who will execute one or more targeted beef promotions in Michigan, New York, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania and Vermont. The projects range from foodservice training, retail promotions and product sampling to a K-12 health education program designed to reach at least 350,000 teachers, students and parents.

The Initiative Fund is supported by the Federation and various state beef councils, who voluntarily contribute part of their 50-cent share of the $1 beef checkoff. Participating states include Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Texas. To date, states have given $620,000 to the grant fund.

“We're working to fill a need of beef councils in high population states that don't have the money to do effective programs where the need is greatest,” said Alan Albright, an Iowa producer and chairman of the Federation of State Beef Councils. “This program continues to be popular, both with states receiving the money and with states who are giving it.”

The grant fund was established in 2006 with $200,000 in seed money from the Federation. States submit grant applications three times a year, with funding decisions made by the Federation chairman, vice chairman and seven regional vice presidents, representing the 45 councils that collect the checkoff dollar.

In addition to the Initiative grants, the Federation funds a portion of the national checkoff budget. In 2007, for example, Federation dollars accounted for $10 million, or about 19 percent, of that budget. Supporting national programs is one way the Federation works to ensure an effective state-national checkoff partnership.

The Federation is the checkoff division of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association and has operated in various forms since 1963, when it was part of the National Meat and Live Stock Board in Chicago.

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