A Beef Board Update on COVID-19 Response by Contractors to Beef CheckoffMon, 30 Mar 2020 11:25:38 CDT
Jared Brackett is the 2020 Chairman of the Cattlemen's Beef Board- and a producer from Idaho. He offers the following special update from the CBB about the latest COVID-19 Response being taken by contractors undertaking work in the National and International Beef Checkoff Programs
"As I watch television news reports from my ranch and listen to radio broadcasts in my truck while checking on cattle, I see the impact that COVID-19 is having on our economy, including the stock market and cattle markets. And, as a beef producer, I know firsthand how frustrating this situation is for cattlemen and women across the country. Certainly, none of us could’ve anticipated the circumstances we’re currently facing on top of other issues that have impacted the entire beef industry over the past few years.
"While I’m a beef producer first and foremost, I’m also the 2020 chair of the Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB). Our 99-member board – consisting primarily of domestic beef, veal and dairy producers – oversees the collection and spending of Beef Checkoff dollars. Our goal is to promote beef and increase demand, and in these uncertain times, I want to assure you that the Beef Checkoff and its contractors continue to work toward that very important goal.
"We know that we must quickly reassess our 2020 plans in all checkoff program areas – promotion, research, foreign marketing, industry information, consumer information and producer communications. And, that’s exactly what we’re doing. Our contractors are pivoting as we speak, changing their strategies and tactics to better address the current and future effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Over the past few days, we contacted each Beef Checkoff contractor to ask for updates in light of the rapidly evolving world situation. Here, we’ve summarized some ways our contractors and subcontractors are responding to ensure beef demand remains stronger than ever. (Article has been edited for length. For a complete summary, click here.)
"American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture (AFBFA): The AFBFA builds consumer trust in the beef industry by engaging with education leaders. While their messages to educators have not changed, the way they are delivering those messages will. The team is replacing cancelled in-person events by providing information and educational resources to the National Science Teaching Association (NSTA) and switching a Summer Professional Development series with virtual workshops. They’ll also share information via emails, social media and through the On The Farm STEM website.
"Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB): The CBB’s producer communications office is utilizing all available channels to provide checkoff stakeholders with up-to-date information regarding changes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Checkoff updates may be found on DrivingDemandForBeef.com. In addition, producers who have signed up for The Drive, the Checkoff’s newsletter, will receive ongoing email updates as needed. State Beef Councils and trade media will receive updates as well, in an effort to reach as many producers as possible.
"National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA): NCBA and State Beef Councils throughout the country will leverage their extensive content library, including ads, recipes, cooking videos and educational materials about beef nutrition and proper handling practices to help consumers safely prepare beef at home. NCBA staff will also provide this information to influencers, supply chain partners and the media to support their consumer education efforts. Other plans include the release of three new videos using beef in place of other proteins in popular dishes and a summer grilling promotion set to begin Memorial Day weekend.
"United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA): The Meat Demand Monitor, a research tool developed by the USCA and its subcontractor, Kansas State University (KSU), continues forward, comparing beef’s retail and foodservice trends over time. March data collection is nearing completion, and April data collection will likely begin on April 2 or 3. Dr. Glynn Tonser, professor of agricultural economics at KSU, is collecting data and developing reports from his home office, and he expects to see some eye-opening trends emerge due to COVID-19’s impact on consumer demand.
"United States Meat Export Federation (USMEF): USMEF works with countries worldwide to increase U.S. beef exports, and they are accustomed to constant change in the international marketplace. The team is adjusting its messaging accordingly as the situation differs from country to country. The team has seen shifts in demand from foodservice to retail and delivery in Asia, but also sees foodservice demand slowly rebounding. They continue to emphasize the integrity of U.S. beef and the reliability of the U.S. as a trading partner. USMEF’s 19 worldwide offices are conducting events as allowed in their respective countries, and if that changes, they will switch to phone, Skype and webinar-based conversations.
"The COVID-19 situation is extremely fluid, and none of us knows what next month, next week or even tomorrow may bring. That’s why Beef Checkoff contractors will continue adjusting their plans accordingly over time. As CBB chairman, I will work with our team to provide ongoing updates at DrivingDemandForBeef.com. Knowledge is power, and it’s our job to ensure you are aware of how your checkoff dollars are being spent to help the beef industry adapt to this changing world.
"We are all in this together, and we will rise to meet this new challenge. Please know that the Beef Checkoff and its contractors will be working diligently on your behalf to keep driving beef demand so that you can focus on what you do best: producing high-quality beef for consumers worldwide. My thoughts are with each of you, and my hope is that someday soon, we’ll be able to look back and see how our combined efforts made a positive difference during this difficult time."
Source- Cattlemen's Beef Board.
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