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Reminder to all cattle farmers, ranchers and importers: All beef checkoff meetings are open to every person who pays the checkoff. During the upcoming 2013 Cattle Industry Conference, Feb. 6-9 in Tampa, Fla., these meetings include meetings of the Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB); Federation of State Beef Councils (Federation) and joint committee meetings that include checkoff representation. We've made it easy for those interested to participate. 

Please email Charlotte Coates for more registration details.

Can't attend the meeting? Be sure to get the latest updates on the MyBeefCheckoff Meeting blog.

Ringing in the New Year with Beef

Through its Northeast Beef Promotion Initiative (NEBPI), the checkoff just launched its fifth annual New Year’s beef promotion, running Jan. 9 - March 29, 2013 in 111 retail supermarkets in the heavily populated Northeast corridor.  “Livin’ Lean. Lovin’ Beef” will remind supermarket shoppers to include lean beef in their healthy active lifestyles as they implement their New Year resolutions. In-store promotional materials will include beef recipe booklets, shelf wobblers and, for the first time ever, on-pack labels. Retailers are asked to feature the promotion on their websites and in their ad circulars. The promotion also encourages shoppers to visit www.LeanBeefSweepstakes.com for more nutritional information, recipes and entry into the associates sweepstakes.

Extending Shelf Life and Generating Beef Sales

Results of a recent pilot test to stimulate beef sales through provision of more convenient package sizes results exceeded expectations, with retail sales increases ranging from 26.54 percent on the slowest moving item (flat iron) to 83.39 percent on the bestselling item (the tenderloin steak). The pilot introduced a merchandising solution that addressed retailer and shopper needs for convenient packages to stimulate beef sales. In a 12-store pilot test with Associated Food Stores, one of Utah’s largest retail grocery chains, the checkoff worked with Willamette Valley Meat to introduce convenient package sizes of high-quality beef items that are not always ready available at retail -- among them skirt steak, flank steak, flat iron steak, tenderloin steaks and roasts. To help add value to the carcass and increase retailer demand of these fresh cuts, Willamette purchased large sizes of the cuts and re-packaged in a case-ready size that extended the item’s shelf life and met shoppers’ needs for more convenient package sizes. For 12 weeks, Associated Grocers prominently displayed the items in the meat case, along with checkoff-funded point-of-sale materials. In-store tasting demos and weekly featuring activity further supported the pilot. The checkoff will leverage the pilot test results with other retailers, packers and state beef councils to motivate similar activity throughout their regional stores and distribution channels. For more information about checkoff-funded retail merchandising programs, visit BeefRetail.org.

Teaching Beef Cutting and Cooking

Beef will have a presence at the American Culinary Federation's (ACF) 2013 Northeast Regional Conference in Verona, NY, on March 17-20. Through a national checkoff partnership with the New York Beef Industry Council, the checkoff will sponsor a trade-show booth to make new contacts and distribute informational materials to the 500+ conference participants. The beef checkoff also will sponsor two culinary seminars during the conference. The first seminar will feature Kari Underly, author of The Art of Beef Cutting and Chef Mary Ann Kiernan from Syracuse University performing a tandem beef cutting and cooking demonstration. The second seminar will be a beef, veal and wine-pairing session.

January Producer Profile: Darrel Sweet, California

Ranching is almost always a family business, sometimes stretching across several generations. The Sweet Ranches, operated by Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB) member Darrel Sweet and his wife, Karen, go back five generations, with a sixth and seventh waiting in the wings. The sixth generation includes son Eric and his wife, Michelle. They live on the ranch and work in nearby Livermore, California, just east of the San Francisco bay area. Generation No. seven includes Eric and Michelle's children, Blake and Audrey. Read the full story from Cattlenetwork’s Chuck Jolley here.

The Consumer Perspective — High Prices and High Expectations

The latest Consumer Beef Index concludes that high prices and tight supplies of beef are having an impact on consumer perceptions. Frugality behaviors are driving not only beef value perceptions, but also seem to be impacting broader perceptions. New information on consumer comfort levels with beef prices was obtained, and showed that the price of steak is impacting almost a quarter of consumers’ willingness to buy a steak in a restaurant or grocery store. Finally, we take a quick look at millennial comfort levels with preparing and using beef. Read the full story here in the Beef Issues Quarterly e-newsletter, funded in part by the beef checkoff.