Members of the Federation of State Beef Councils addressed changing industry and consumer landscapes during meetings at the 2012 Cattle Industry Summer Conference in Denver, July 25-28. As part of its efforts, the Federation approved changes to Joint Beef Checkoff Committees and awarded promotional grants to beef councils in states with a high consumer-to-cattle ratio.
Federation Chairman Craig Uden, a beef producer from Elwood, Neb., said the issue of declining checkoff resources and rising consumer expectations were particularly top of mind during the conference.
“As cattle numbers and checkoff collections are reduced, we’re going to need to find ways of increasing efficiencies,” Uden said. “At the same time, we can’t lose sight of the fact that consumers are expecting more information and transparency from food producers. Our work is certainly cut out for us as we seek ways of doing more with less.”
As part of its deliberations, the Federation executive committee awarded $46,500 in grants to five state beef councils for six promotional projects in the coming year. The awards were announced during the Federation Forum, July 26.
“Our Federation Initiative Fund awards the grants, which provide needed financial support to small beef councils who are trying to localize national programs and reach large numbers of consumers in their states,” Uden said.
Grant awardees are:
- Arizona: for starting a Team BEEF running group to demonstrate beef’s healthy benefits
- Indiana: for a holiday beef roast retail promotion
- Minnesota: for a nutrition influencer farm-to-fork tour
- New York: for extending its foodservice influencer program
- Pennsylvania: for plans to organize a Team BEEF group to demonstrate beef’s healthy benefits
The Federation Initiative Fund is supported by voluntary contributions from state beef councils, particularly those states with large cattle numbers and high checkoff collections. Applications are judged on several criteria, including how well a proposal fits the industry's Long Range Plan and its potential to help move the needle forward on beef demand.