Fri, 21 Oct 2022 09:23:42 CDT
Leading the scientific research on behalf of the dollar at beef checkoff at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association is the NCBA’s Senior Executive Director for Scientific Affairs, Dr. Mandy Carr Johnson. In this episode of Beef Buzz, Senior Farm and Ranch Broadcaster Ron Hays, is back visiting with Dr. Carr-Johnson about beef sustainability research.
Carr-Johnson said it is important to ensure the beef industry has the ability to tell its story and conduct research.
“If there are areas where improvements can be made, we identify those and we work towards that improvement,” Carr-Johnson said. “It may not be top of mind to some people, but it is top of mind for many who are investors in the industry, or part of the decision making on where investments are made in the industry.”
The media is interested in sustainability research, Carr-Johnson said, as well as other entities outside of the beef industry.
“We want to make sure that beef has the sound science to be involved in the discussions as we talk about knowing that producers are focused on sustainability,” Carr-Johnson said. “For many years, we may have just called it land management and water management and resource management and things like that, but we want to make sure we are staying current in today’s conversation.”
The role of the checkoff research, Carr-Johnson said, is to pinpoint what improvements have been made so far and what needs to happen next. The goal of the research, Carr-Johnson said is to ensure producers have access to data that will aid them in managing their operations the best way they see fit to improve areas that need to be addressed.
“We really are focused on understanding the consumer, so we conduct surveys every day that really track consumer’s purchase intent, where they are buying beef, how much they are buying, what makes them want to eat more or less,” Carr-Johnson said.
Nutrition is a critical component of the Beef Checkoff research. Over time, Carr-Johnson said they have seen consumers identify that beef is a healthy choice of protein and it is nutritious.
“That shift has allowed us some opportunities to share more about beef’s nutritional value to consumers of all ages,” Carr-Johnson said. “Another area we have looked into is how animals are raised and grown. We know many consumers don’t know how beef is raised and grown, but it is important to them that it is done in a way that they are confident in.”
Educating consumers about the use of programs such as Beef Quality Assurance, Carr-Johnson said, which trains producers to manage cattle in a humane way, is an example of the transparency the consumer values.
“They may not want to know all the details but knowing that cattle producers are very intent on the practices they use to raise cattle humanely is incredibly important,” Carr-Johnson said.
Click the LISTEN BAR below to listen to Ron Hays and Dr. Mandy Carr Johnson talking beef sustainability research.
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