National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) President Lynn Cornwell met with producers and media during a three-day tour of Missouri to talk about his priorities for the organization and to stress the importance of the beef checkoff program to the economic health of the beef industry.

“Our long-range goal is to increase beef demand by another 6 percent by 2004,” said Cornwell. “We want to put more dollars back into the producer’s pocket.”

Cornwell credited the $1 per head beef checkoff for impacting demand.

“We’ve seen beef demand trending upward for the past three years. Part of that is due to the economy and other factors, but it’s also due to the 300 new, convenient beef products that have been launched since our checkoff dollars began focusing on new product development.”

Making stops in Montrose, Joplin, St. Joseph, Odessa, Columbia, Palmyra, and Jackson, Cornwell answered questions about NCBA policy and beef checkoff litigation for hundreds of producers. He also met with staff members of the American Angus Association.

Missouri Cattlemen’s Association president, Gary Mahnken, Higginsville, accompanied Cornwell on the tour. Mahnken told producers in southeast Missouri that they could be proud of the work NCBA is doing on their behalf.

“I’ve spent time with Lynn during this tour and I can tell you that supporting your state and national organizations is important to improving the business climate of the beef industry.”