DENVER, Colo. - More than 9,500 dietitians and other health professionals had their confidence in beef's nutrition reinforced at The American Dietetic Association (ADA) Food & Nutrition Conference & Exhibition in Denver Oct. 16-19.

Beef checkoff-funded programs at the event helped generate tremendous visibility for beef nutrition and the industry's efforts to join with dietitians in promoting healthy lifestyles for Americans.

"This event demonstrated to me that we're getting our message out to dietitians," according to Jay O'Brien, a rancher from Amarillo, Texas, and chairman of the beef industry's Nutrition & Health Committee.

O'Brien helped staff the beef industry booth at the event and actively communicated with dietitians there, as well as at a special checkoff-sponsored workshop and the ADA Foundation dinner. Other beef producers assisting at the event were Wade Zimmerman, a beef producer from Sugar City, Colo., and chairman of the beef industry's Health Professional Influencers Subcommittee, and Nelson Curry, a beef producer from Paris, Ky., and vice chairman of the Nutrition & Health Committee.

"At the booth we continually heard positive statements about beef," said O'Brien. "These comments demonstrate that our work is helping turn around dietary perceptions about beef."

The industry's checkoff-funded "Everyday Heroes" campaign was one of the efforts making a significant impression on dietitians at the events. One of programs was a workshop attended by approximately 1,000 professionals called "Women as Everyday Heroes: Understanding and Shaping Their Nutritional, Physical and Emotional Needs Across the Lifecycle." The workshop showed beef as an important solution for women to overcome key nutrition and physical activity challenges. The workshop featured three members of the beef industry's Council for Women's Nutrition Solutions (CWNS).

A booth at which samples of convenient, microwaveable pot roast were distributed was another checkoff-supported program at the event. Sponsorship of a beef meal at The ADA Foundation banquet Oct. 17 was also included. At that banquet, the National Cattlemen's Beef Association received the prestigious Corporate Award for Excellence 2000 from the Foundation for the organization's many years of checkoff-funded support of, and work with, registered dietitians, the ADA and the ADA Foundation.

"It was exciting to see the level of enthusiasm that the dietitians had for our products," according to Curry, who says the industry needs to continue to target this audience. "It's through these professionals that we can communicate our message most effectively. We're proving to them that beef is a product that can fit into a healthful diet."

The beef industry's booth at the exhibition featured four stations at which attendees were able to both sample beef and learn about beef industry nutrition efforts. Information about the various nutrition materials available through the beef checkoff was also provided.

Beef industry nutrition efforts are funded by beef producers through their $1-per-head checkoff program and are managed for the Cattlemen's Beef Board and state beef councils by the National Cattlemen's Beef Association. The national beef checkoff is administered by the Cattlemen's Beef Promotion and Research Board. This 110-member board is appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture to oversee the collection of the $1-per-head checkoff, certify state beef councils, implement the provisions of the Federal Order establishing the checkoff and evaluate the effectiveness of checkoff programs.