Close
Home » Articles »   By WLJ
 
 
Monday, February 21,2005

Ranchers using DNA testing

by WLJ
A recent survey of ranchers revealed that 75 percent of cattle producers are using the latest in DNA technology to improve the cattle characteristics most associated with bettering the quality of beef. According to DNA testing company Bovigen, 75 percent of cattle producers are using the latest DNA testing technology to improve the quality of their beef cattle, and more than two-thirds of surveyed ranchers said they are realizing economic benefits from the technology. Forty-four percent of those who use the technology said they've seen increased efficiencies in management, offering such anecdotal comments as "it makes life simpler." Others gave long- term carcass improvement and a better tasting product for end consumers as reasons for using DNA testing on their herd. Like any emerging technology, not everyone is on board with DNA testing yet. Of the cattlemen surveyed, 25 percent said they are not using DNA testing due to cost. Of this group, 75 percent said, however, they will use DNA testing "in time." More education, lower cost, increased gene markers and customer demand were all cited as influencing factors in that decision. "That the overwhelming majority of ranchers we talked to are using or plan to use DNA testing confirms what we believe to be true—that genetic testing in the cattle industry is here to stay," said Victor Castellon, CEO of Bovigen. "Our responsibility is then to help educate the industry and continue to improve the technology so that the end result is better management techniques for ranchers and better tasting beef for consumers." The survey also found that 100 percent of the cattlemen who are using DNA testing plan to continue using it and would recommend the technology to others. Other findings from the survey included: • 56 percent of those surveyed indicated that they had a high awareness level of DNA genetic testing in beef cattle; • on average, ranchers have been using this new technology for less than two-and-a-half years; • 12 percent of ranchers surveyed, when asked in an open-ended question of what the future holds for DNA genetic testing, said the field was "unlimited" ; • 67 percent of ranchers not using DNA genetic testing said the cost was keeping them from trying it; • 28 percent of those surveyed said that DNA genetic testing could be improved by finding more gene markers. The survey was conducted during the National Western Stock Show, held Jan. 8-23 in Denver, CO. While the survey was limited to responses from only 25 ranchers across the country, Bovigen officials said it still showed that DNA technology is being utilized in the industry and that it is beneficial to those who utilize it. "All cattlemen surveyed have active ranch operations," a company statement said. — WLJ

Read more
Monday, February 21,2005

South Dakota proposes state-of-origin labeling

by WLJ
South Dakota is moving forward with a beef certification program that should boost profits for participating producers as well as meet requirements for a proposed animal identification program. South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds is pushing for a South Dakota beef certification program because he says he is committed to raising the standards for beef production in the state and making sure that consumers all around the world know exactly what the state is doing. “It’s a vision of South Dakota being known by consumers worldwide as the home of the ‘World’s Best Beef,’” said Rounds. Gov. Rounds introduced the program as part of South Dakota’s 2010 Initiative. The goal of that initiative is to improve the economic future of South Dakota. “The South Dakota Certified Beef program was created to make sure agriculture can continue to be our number one industry and provide new opportunities for our children and for future generations of South Dakotans,” said Rounds. He added that the plan is complete with a protocol, accountability, verification and a strong commitment to research and marketing. The exact producer and processor protocols for this program have not been established. However, a bill, SB 220, is being considered in the current state legislative session that gives South Dakota’s Secretary of Agriculture the authority to promulgate rules to establish the program and protect the certification trademark. The general premise of the certification program is to verify the source, age and process that they travel through. To qualify for the program, cattle must be born and raised in South Dakota. The cattle will be source verified at the farm or ranch of origin with a electronic animal identification (EID) tag. The South Dakota Department of Ag said the EID tags will need to be “scanned in” and “scanned out” of the premises they are moved to and the EID will help continually track these animals. The brand of EID tag will not be dictated by the state, they only require that tags be ISO approved RFID tags. The producer will also need to choose the data management company and that company needs to be able to electronically interface with the state database. A list of compatible companies is available on the program’s website at www.sdcertifiedbeef.com/pp.htm. The biggest question on producers’ minds seems to be how this program will add value to their cattle. Eric Iverson with the South Dakota Department of Agriculture answered that question by saying, “The South Dakota Certified Seal of Confidence will emphasize and validate that South Dakota producers are delivering the highest quality, most wholesome and safest-source/process verified livestock to their customers. This marketing tool will standardize a set of protocols creating universal recognition to the brand allowing producers to remove themselves from the commodity livestock business and more effectively market the information that makes their cattle more valuable.” The South Dakota Department of Agriculture also wants producers to be aware of the benefit this program offers through its ability to dovetail with other branded beef or animal identification programs that process verify cattle. “The agriculture industry is changing in many ways. Striving efforts to restore export markets and the vast potential that exists for expansion into ‘claim specific’ markets lends way for the development of new source and process verified programs,” said Iverson. “Identity preserve programs will also assist in localizing a disease outbreak if one exists. Consumers are more informed and concerned about the beef products they purchase and that they are safe. A Customer Confidence Assurance Program, like South Dakota Certified, will assist in making customers aware of the sound production and management practices that go into South Dakota beef cattle production.” SB 220 recently passed the state’s Senate Agriculture Committee on a vote of six to two. As of presstime Thursday, the bill remained on the Senate floor, but it had to be out of Senate by last Friday. The bill must pass the House ag committee and the House Floor before the governor signs it into law. “This bill should pass with huge support,” said Jason Glodt, senior advisor to Gov. Rounds. Once the bill passes, South Dakota will initiate the administrative rules process. That will take 40-days and involves publishing a notice, waiting 20 days, having a public hearing, then allowing for a 20-day comment period. Once these procedures are complete, South Dakota can begin implementing the beef certification program. Producers can participate in the program on a couple of different levels. Producers who just want to continue marketing live cattle at the various stages can participate in the South Dakota “Approved” Live Cattle Program, which will assist them in providing reliability to customers by verifying source, age and traceability claims. Other producers may see the benefit in forming arrangements with specific niche beef processors in South Dakota and the program will assist them in supplying and delivering South Dakota Certified Beef to customers around the world. Producers can contact the Department of Agriculture at 605/773-5436 or 800/228-5254 for more information about the certification program.

Read more
Monday, February 21,2005

State beef checkoff killed

by WLJ
A South Dakota House committee last week rejected a plan to set up a state beef checkoff system as a backup in case the U.S. Supreme Court rules the national program unconstitutional. The state’s agriculture committee voted 8-5 to kill the bill after officials of South Dakota agricultural organizations acknowledged they are split on the proposal. HB1182 would have created a state checkoff system for beef if the national system is declared unconstitutional. Supporters argued that the state should impose its own fee of $1 a head when cattle are sold so money would continue to be available to pay for promotion and research programs. Opponents said South Dakota shouldn't set up a new system until the U.S. Supreme Court decides what is permitted in checkoff programs. "It's very important we wait for the Supreme Court to rule so we know what the ground rules are," said Jerry Vogeler, spokesman for the South Dakota Association of Livestock Auction Markets. However, Scott Jones of Midland, SD, and president-elect of the South Dakota Cattlemen's Association, said a backup program is needed not only to promote beef, but also to allay consumers' fears if another case of BSE is discovered. In a previous case of mad-cow disease, the program worked for about 10 days to explain that beef presented no health risk, Jones said. "They answered specific questions about safety, about what the beef industry was doing.” However, officials of the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association said they oppose a mandatory checkoff with a later refund. Sellers should have the option of not paying into the system in the first place, they said. The bill would have created a state checkoff of $1 a head collected when cattle are sold. Those who do not want to contribute to the promotion and research programs could fill out a one-page form and get a refund of the fee within 30 days. — WLJ

Read more
Monday, February 21,2005

‘Stayability’ EPD developed

by WLJ
A new EPD—Stayability—has been published in the American Simmental Association (ASA) Spring ’05 Sire Summary and will soon be available online. Calculated by Colorado State University’s Center for the Genetic Evaluation of Livestock, Stayability is defined as the probability that daughters entering the herd will stay in production through 6 years of age. “Stayability is a compound trait in that several factors may influence it,” said Dr. Wade Shafer, Director of Performance Programs at ASA. “From a Simmental Seedstock Producer’s prospective, traits such as fertility, soundness, productivity and temperament are candidates for influencing Stayability. To the degree that these traits influence commercial producers’ culling decisions, Stayability provides them with an estimate of how long a sire’s daughters will stay in the herd—in accountant terms, ‘the asset’s depreciable life’. Certainly, cows that stay in the herd longer tend to be more profitable; there is simply more time to spread out the substantial cost of getting her into production.” The age of a bull is one of the major issues with predicting Stayability, as most often bulls will be 10 years or older before having a daughter reach 6 years of age. Consequently, breeds using the trait (Red Angus, Gelbvieh and Limousin) have been relegated to pedigree estimates on bulls younger than 10. To enhance prediction on younger animals, the ASA incorporates information on 3-year-old daughters into its 6-year-old Stayability EPD. For more information about Stayability or ASA’s Spring 2005 Sire Summary, see www.simmental.org, or call Dr. Wade Shafer at 406/587-4531. — WLJ

Read more
Monday, February 21,2005

Study looks at risk of global animal infections

by WLJ
A new study by an international task force, "Global Risks of Infectious Animal Diseases," discusses the severe economic, social and political impacts of disease outbreaks and outlines national and international monitoring, surveillance and response practices. The comprehensive study, issued by the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology, was written and evaluated by the task force of 13 authors and four reviewers from France, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Canada and the United States. The paper brings together the expertise and experience of scientists and researchers on the front lines of this growing worldwide concern. It includes a historical review of the most prevalent of these diseases, an outline of the diverse ways they enter a country, an evaluation of contemporary practices that exacerbate disease spread and an overview of the significant impacts-now and in the future-that such diseases have on communities throughout the world. "Animal diseases will continue to affect food supplies, trade and commerce, and human health and well-being in every part of the world," said Colorado State University professor Mo Salman, co-chairman of the task force that released the study and director of Colorado State's Animal Population Health Institute. "Recent outbreaks of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, West Nile virus, foot-and-mouth disease in swine and avian influenza have made headlines and are of concern not only for significant economic costs but for the potential to 'cross-over' to humans." Specific topics addressed in the paper include: • Background of the global threat of infectious diseases. • Patterns for animal diseases and their control programs. • Factors affecting the emergence or spread of livestock diseases. • Impact of animal diseases on human health. • National and international economic impacts of animal diseases. • National and international impacts of animal diseases at the industry level. • National and international impacts of animal diseases on social and political issues. • National and international monitoring, surveillance and response. • Conclusions and recommendations. "The recent devastating outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease, Newcastle disease and highly pathogenic avian influenza demonstrate the global risks of foreign animal and emerging diseases," said Jim Pearson, task force co-chair and international consultant. "These outbreaks have had severe economic, social and political impacts." Upon discovery of a disease outbreak, the social and political impacts can outgrow the technical and scientific considerations. Consequently, the need for effective risk communication to minimize unwarranted anxiety concerning animal disease crises becomes an important consideration. The threats of foreign animal disease, emerging diseases, new diseases transmitted naturally from animals to humans (zoonoses) and bioterrorism or agroterrorism have connected an uninformed public with the impact of animal diseases. The ability of animal agriculture to counter contemporary threats of animal diseases is more complex and challenging now than in the past, creating an even greater vulnerability for animal agriculture and requiring awareness of and fluency in current agricultural issues, including: • the shift from independence to interdependence; • the need for global awareness and actions; • the confluence of the worlds of animal and public health; • the demand for greater public participation in decision making; • the formation of new strategic partners and alliances; • interrelated impacts on the environment and ecosystems; • a need for a new sensitivity to respond to animal diseases and especially to the people involved and impacted in their control; and • the mandate to develop skills and competencies in politics, media interactions and community engagement. The full text of the paper, "Global Risks of Infectious Animal Diseases" (Issue Paper No. 28) may be accessed on the CAST Web site at www.cast-science.org, along with many of CAST's other scientific publications, and is available in hardcopy for $5, which includes shipping, by contacting the CAST office at 515-292-2125. CAST is an international consortium of 36 scientific and professional societies. It assembles, interprets and communicates credible science-based information regionally, nationally and internationally on food, fiber, agricultural, natural resource and related societal and environmental issues to its stakeholders-legislators, regulators, policymakers, the media, the private sector and the public. — WLJ

Read more
Monday, February 21,2005

Tyson restarts shifts

by WLJ
Tyson will restart suspended operations at beef plants in the Upper Midwest and pacific Northwest, company officials announced Feb. 10. The affected plants will resume production on a staggered basis over the next two weeks. Market conditions prompted Tyson to suspend operations Jan. 10 in Denison, IA; Norfolk and West Point, NE; and Boise, ID. Second shift processing at Pasco, WA, was also temporarily discontinued. The company now plans to resume production based on the following schedule: Denison Wednesday, Feb. 16 Norfolk A-shift processing Monday, Feb. 21 West Point Tuesday, Feb. 22 Boise Tuesday, Feb. 22 Norfolk B-shift processing Wednesday, Feb. 23 Pasco B-shift processing Thursday, Feb. 24 Designated employees at the affected plants have been receiving the equivalent of 32 hours of pay each week since the second week of the suspension, Tyson said, and these workers will continue be paid the 32 hour guarantee while the plants remain idle. Once the plants resume operations, they will likely still operate at reduced levels of production until market conditions improve. “While cattle numbers remain tight, we believe supplies will improve in the months ahead, especially as the anticipated flow of Canadian cattle resumes,” said John Tyson, chairman and chief executive officer of Tyson Foods. “Beef demand has been weak, largely because of high beef prices and the attractive value of competing meats. We typically experience seasonal improvements in beef sales as we move into the spring and summer months. We’re hopeful cattle prices will moderate, so beef can be priced more competitively with other proteins.” Tyson also addressed recent progress in U.S. efforts to restart beef exports to Japan. “While the technical agreement reached between the two countries is a positive step, we believe the U.S. beef industry remains months away from any meaningful exports to the Far East,” he said. — WLJ

Read more
Monday, February 14,2005

Beef Bits

by WLJ
Wendy's results turn favorable After a difficult autumn and early winter, Wendy's International saw its same-store sales edge up 0.5 percent in January at corporate locations, and 1.4 percent to 1.6 percent at franchised locations. Chairman Jack Schuessler said the turnaround, after months of declining same-store comparisons, was due to the performance of the Tim Hortons chain and the introduction in December of an option allowing customers to substitute a salad or baked potato, for the normal side order of fries. Aussie exports to Japan firm January saw Australian beef exports to Japan hold firm, with 21,053 metric tons shipped during the month, according to Meat and Livestock Australia. Although export volumes fell by 11 percent compared with January 2004 levels, beef exports in January 2005 were the second highest on record. Exports of grain-fed beef to Japan continue to be strong, as the Australian beef industry gears up to provide Japan with greater quantities of marbled beef. Grain-fed beef accounted for half of Australia’s beef exports to Japan in January, or 10,472 metric tons. In 2004, Australian exports of beef to Japan totaled 393,471 metric tons, with an additional 19,947 tons of processed beef exported to Japan. Exports of Australian unprocessed beef to Japan totaled $2.235 billion last year, a record for exports to this market. Bone darkening prevention unveiled Researchers at Kansas State University have found a way to keep the bones of packaged beef from darkening and becoming less appealing to grocery shoppers. The research, initiated by Kansas State University meat science specialist Michael Dikeman, tested three antioxidant treatments for their effectiveness at decreasing the discoloration of bones packaged in modified atmosphere packages. According to Dikeman, less discoloration of the bone occurred in packages manufactured with low oxygen and when a 2.5 percent ascorbic acid treatment was put on the bones. The study was funded by U.S. beef checkoff funds and Tyson Foods. Packaged meats firm expands Because of significantly increased customer demand for pre-sliced packaged foods, particularly roast beef and other meats, West Liberty Foods completed the expansion of its Mt. Pleasant, IA, slicing facility. The expansion doubled the capacity of the facility. The Mt. Pleasant facility is one of the most modern meat slicing facilities in the U.S. The facility was designed and is operated with total focus on food safety. West Liberty Foods is a producer-owned cooperative dedicated to co-manufacturing and private label production. Miami test market for McDonald’s Miami is getting a taste of what’s to come. The Oak Brook, IL-based company is using the Miami as a test market for its line of premium chicken sandwiches expected to be launched nationwide this fall, according to Boston-based restaurant analyst John Glass of CIBC World Markets. The sandwiches are available in several varieties: a classic with lettuce and tomato, club, spicy buffalo and bacon ranch. Served on toasted wheat buns, they are available with the choice of either fried or grilled chicken. Prices range from $2.99 to $3.79. Argentina’s 2004 exports up 26% Argentina exported 478,124 metric tons of beef in 2004, the animal- and food-inspection agency, Senasa, reported Feb. 7. That puts exports up 26 percent from 379,366 tons in 2003. Beef exports totaled $1.053 billion last year, up 51 percent from $694 million the previous year. Argentina exported these goods to more than 60 countries last year. The South American nation shipped 29.619 tons of beef—worth almost $210 million—to the European Union under the Hilton Import quota program. Non-Hilton-related chilled and frozen fresh beef shipments totaled 291,675 tons, or $602 million. Farmers Union opposes timing of Canadian Rule The reopening of the border to Canadian cattle could be devastating to Oklahoma producers. “March 7 paints a bulls-eye on Oklahoma stocker producers,” said Ray L. Wulf, Oklahoma Farmers Union (OFU) President/CEO, “because most cattle pasturing on wheat intended for harvest are moved off during the first two weeks of March. The bulk of our stocker producers’ income is realized at that time period,” he added. Texas chef instructors study beef Keeping up-to-date with the rapidly evolving beef product scene became a priority for 22 Texas Culinary Academy chef-instructors who attended a beef checkoff seminar in January at College Station. The seminar, co-hosted by the Texas Beef Council and Texas A&M University, taught the instructors about beef production from the pasture to product. The Texas Culinary Academy is headquartered in Austin.

Read more
Monday, February 14,2005

Bison approved for brucellosis vaccination

by WLJ
Vaccination of Yellowstone bison calves and yearlings that enter Montana could begin this season, according to a recent decision by the Montana Department of Livestock. Brucella abortus strain RB51 vaccine will be used by hand injection. Calves (4-12 months of age) and yearlings (12-24 months of age) captured as a result of other management actions in the western boundary area that test negative for brucellosis are eligible for the vaccine, according to Montana State Veterinarian Dr. Tom Linfield. The Department of Livestock received 66 individual comments and 10 comments on behalf of organizations regarding the Environmental Assessment on vaccination of Bison in the Western Boundary Area. Public meetings were also held in December in Helena and Bozeman. The decision is consistent with the adaptive management steps as described in the Interagency Bison Management Plan that was approved through a mediated settlement agreement by state and federal agencies in 2000. Agencies implementing the IBMP include the National Park Service, Forest Service and USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Montana Department of Livestock and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks. The IBMP was developed to preserve a wild, viable population of Yellowstone bison, reduce the risk of transmission of brucellosis from bison to cattle, maintain Montana’s brucellosis-free status and protect private property. The IBMP anticipated that vaccination of bison would be incorporated as a strategy to reduce the prevalence of brucellosis within the bison herd and to reduce the risk of transmission from bison to cattle. Within the adaptive management framework, the plan specified that vaccination would be implemented incrementally. Last season, the National Park Service vaccinated bison at Yellowstone National Park’s Stephens Creek facility on the northern boundary of the park. Capture operations will continue as defined by the IBMP. The Department of Livestock does not propose additional capture operations specifically to increase the number of bison vaccinations. During each of the last two seasons about 1,500 bison were moved back into Yellowstone National Park from the western boundary area. A total of 40 bison were captured from the western boundary area in the last two seasons with 24 testing positive and transported to slaughter facilities and 16 testing negative and released. So far this season, three bull bison have been captured on the western boundary and transported to slaughter facilities and 132 bison have been moved back into YNP. The Environmental Assessment, the Decision Notice and response to public comment are available on the department website at www.liv.state.mt.us. — WLJ

Read more
Monday, February 14,2005

Beef Board elects new leadership

by WLJ
The Cattlemen’s Beef Board seated new board members and elected officers and representatives for its 2005 executive committee and beef promotion operating committee during its annual meeting in San Antonio, TX, Feb. 1-5, 2005. After being appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture in December, a total of 39 board members were seated for service on the CBB in 2005, including 14 reappointments of existing members to a second term and appointment of 25 new members. New members seated and the states they represent are Austin Brown, Texas; Virginia Coelho, California; Bob Combs, Virginia; O.D. Cope, Missouri; Jeff Dahl, North Dakota; Virginia Davis, Indiana; Terry Detrick, Oklahoma; Glenn Eberly, Pennsylvania; Robert Fountain, representing the Southeast unit; Dave Fugate, Tennessee; Glenda Fuller, Kansas; Ross Garwood, Nebraska; Donald Gray, New York; Dana Hauck, Kansas; Richard Hodge, Texas; Merrill Karlen, South Dakota; Neil Kayser, representing the Northwest unit; Louis Larson, Florida; Al Pedigo, Kentucky; Daniel Petersen, Iowa; Frank Phelps, Ohio; Doris Rush, Nebraska; Sharon Spenrath, Texas; Donald Stewart, an importer; and Al Wright, Arkansas. Reappointments and the states they represent are Dave Albers, California; Dave Bateman, Illinois; Peggy Biaggi, Oregon; Loretta Broderick, Missouri; Mike Brooks, Oklahoma; Bill Carroll, Iowa; Carl Crabtree, Idaho; Doug Dickmann, Minnesota; Bill Erhke, Wisconsin; Carol Mosher, Montana; Jay O’Brien, Texas; Dick Sherron, Texas; Wayne Thames, Alabama; and Mike Thoren, Colorado. New officer team At its annual meeting, the board also elected Al Svajgr, Cozad, NE, to serve as its chairman in 2005. In addition, board members elected Jay O’Brien, Amarillo, TX, to serve as its vice chairman for the coming year and Ken Stielow of Paradise, KS to serve as secretary/treasurer of the Beef Board for the year. Executive committee The 12-member CBB Executive Committee includes the board’s three officers and another eight members elected at large. In addition, the immediate past chair of the Beef Board, which is Nelson Curry of Kentucky, serves on the committee in an advisory-only capacity. Based on recommendations from the Joint Beef Industry Nominating Committee, CBB elected the following members to its 2005 Executive committee Carl Crabtree of Idaho; Richard Nielson of Utah; Dick Nock of California; Susie Sartwelle of Texas; Donald Stewart, an importer; Dave True of Wyoming; Lucinda Williams of Massachusetts; and Stan Zylstra of Iowa. The Executive Committee operates under the direction of, and within the policies established by the full board and is responsible for carrying out Beef Board policies and conducting business and making decisions necessary to administer the terms and provisions of the Act and Order between meetings of the full board. Operating committee The Beef Promotion Operating Committee was created by the Beef Promotion Research Act to help coordinate state and national Beef Checkoff Programs. The 20-person committee includes 10 members of CBB, among them the board’s three officers and seven others elected directly by Beef Board members. CBB members elected to the 2005 Beef Promotion Operating Committee during the annual meeting in San Antonio include Al Svajgr; Jay O’Brien; Ken Stielow; Dave Bateman, Illinois; Mike Brooks, Oklahoma; Michael Cline, Iowa; Jack Cowley, California; Jim Little, Idaho; Charles Miller, Kentucky; and Gary Sharp, South Dakota. The other 10 members of the committee are representatives of state beef councils, including the chair and vice chair of the Federation of State Beef Councils and eight other members elected by state beef councils. Those representatives include Federation Chairman Myron Williams, South Dakota; Federation Vice Chairman Mike Vache, Oklahoma; Larry Jones, Kansas; Ann Bruntz, Nebraska; Clifford Dance, Mississippi; David Dick, Missouri; Scott George, Wyoming; Sid Sumner, Florida; Leo Vermedahl, Texas; and Jim Wilson, Oregon.

Read more
Monday, February 14,2005

Beef Board releases fiscal 2004 report

by WLJ
Beef producers invested checkoff dollars into promotion, education, research and information programs aimed at extending the upward trend in consumer demand for beef during the last year. These programs are outlined in the 2004 annual report of the Cattlemen’s Beef Board, released this week at the Cattle Industry Annual Convention in San Antonio. The annual report highlights some of the leading checkoff programs accomplished during the year and provides detailed, audited financial information for the 2004 fiscal year, which ran Oct. 1, 2003 through Sept. 30, 2004. The report includes state-by-state checkoff revenue listings and compares 2004 expenditures to those in 2003. “Amid some big challenges for the beef industry in 2004, we kept our focus on building consumer demand for beef through a variety of programs centered on beef safety, nutrition and promotion,” said Beef Board Chairman Nelson Curry, a cattleman from Kentucky. “The results of these programs were extremely positive and, as a producer, I’m pleased with the accomplishments of my checkoff dollars toward enhancing cattlemen’’s opportunities for profit,” Curry said. “When you stop and realize that demand for beef has increased more than 25 percent since it turned the corner in 1998, it’s hard to be anything but proud.” During the latest fiscal year, checkoff programs spanned the spectrum, from “Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner” television, radio and print advertising promoting beef and veal, to research efforts focused on maintaining the safety of the U.S. beef supply. In addition, checkoff dollars funded consumer information programs aimed at delivering accurate, science-based messages about beef to media, consumers, health professionals and educators, as well as foreign-marketing efforts to rebuild demand for U.S. beef abroad in the wake of a single case of BSE in the U.S. “One of the end results was increased consumer confidence in the safety of U.S. beef,” Curry said. “In fact, surveys indicated that 91 percent of U.S. consumers remained confident that their beef was safe from BSE in January 2004, just a month after the BSE case. And at the close of the fiscal year in September 2004, that confidence level was still above 90 percent and has been even higher since then.” — WLJ

Read more
 
 
User Box (click to open)
 
SEARCH IN WLJ
Get WLJ In Your Inbox!
   
 
S M T W T F S
1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9* 10 11 12
13 14* 15 16 17 18* 19
20 21* 22 23 24 25 26
27 28* 29 30 31
 
 

© Crow Publications - Any reprint of WLJ stories, except for personal use, without permission, written consent and appropriate attribution is prohibited. 2008 Crow Publications. All rights reserved.