Unless you've been living under a rock, you've most likely experienced someone suggesting that raising cattle and/or eating beef is unhealthy for you, environmentally unsound, unethical . . . you name it . . . the list goes on from there. Unfortunately when we hear someone suggesting these things we often times are caught off guard, not knowing how to respond.

Fact is, anti-animal agriculture activists are at it daily raising concerns about the impact of beef production on the environment, the treatment of animals in food production, the role of beef in a healthy diet and the safety of the products we raise. Some of the restaurant chains that market our products are even involved! These people are passionate, persistent, loud, and often times very well funded.

If properly prepared, there's no one who can respond with more passion or accuracy than those of us who live and breath beef cattle production every day. Cattlemen are hard at work daily not only being environmental stewards and caring for their animals, but also providing safe and nutritious beef for dinner tables throughout the World, including their own.

For those of us who wish we were better prepared to respond when our industry is attacked, that's what the Masters of Beef Advocacy (MBA) program is about. It's a self study program funded by the Beef Checkoff that's design to prepare cattlemen to tell their story not only to individuals they may encounter on a daily basis but also in presentations to schools or church and civic groups, through local media and in the social media.

The MBA program is a self-directed online training program that focuses on five courses in beef advocacy, including:

  • The Beef Community
  • Raising Cattle on Grass
  • Life in the Feedyard
  • From Cattle to Beef
  • Beef. It's What's For Dinner

Once you have completed all five courses - at your own pace - you will continue to have access to the five courses on the checkoff-funded MBA Classroom site, as well as the latest talking points, fact sheets and presentations you need to be successful beef advocates.

For more details and an application to get started with this new checkoff-funded MBA 2.0 program, visit the Masters of Beef Advocacy website: http://www.beef.org/mastersofbeefadvocacy.aspx. Regardless your age or place within the industry, you're welcome to enroll and participate as part of a group that you might assemble, or as an individual on your own schedule.