CHECKOFF HELPS PRODUCERS SHARE THEIR STORIES

Beef and dairy producers are increasingly finding their industries under attack from all angles, including misinformed national media articles, and environmental and nutrition activism.

Because of their role in the beef industry, cattlemen often are asked to respond to these issues – by local media, neighbors and friends, and consumers in the grocery store – all-the-while working their farms and ranches in the safest, most environmentally sound way they know how. And that's why they are investing their checkoff dollars into research, science and information that can help them share their stories – and the facts about the beef industry nationwide.

“It's amazing how you can put out misinformation for about zero dollars, but it takes dollars to tell the truth,” says Tom Jones, cow/calf producer from Pottsville, Ark., and secretary/treasurer of the Cattlemen's Beef Board, which administers the national checkoff program. “The checkoff invests hundreds of thousands of dollars every year toward crisis preparedness, reputation management and issues management, but that pales in comparison to some of the budgets of the industry activists.”

The checkoff is urging producers to draw upon their own experiences and share their stories in response to local media inquiries about anti-beef charges. The checkoff's issues management team also works with industry partners on a coordinated response strategy when these topics arise, and mobilizes the Masters of Beef Advocacy team to help share accurate beef messages.

“There are a lot of scientific intricacies when it comes to food safety and pathogens, for example, but as producers, we all have to take the responsibility to do the best job we can to produce safe, wholesome beef for consumers,” concludes Jones. “Participating in the checkoff's Beef Quality Assurance program is one example of how we can do that, and keeping abreast of issues and employing our checkoff resources to respond is another.”

Recent checkoff-funded fact sheets and information on food safety, environment and beef nutrition issues are available online at www.ExploreBeef.org.







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