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Category Archives: Beef Advocacy

CMT Encourages Followers to Go Meat-Free For a Day

By: Sarah Ryan, YPC Leadership Board

I was perusing my news feed on Facebook this morning (Oct.1) and came across this message from Advocates for Agriculture: “CMT started off today with an insulting tweet, asking people if they can go meat-free today for World Vegetarian Day. They may play country music but they obviously don’t understand much of anything about what happens out in the country.”

Time for an admission, I haven’t joined Twitter.  But, I did follow the link provided by Advocates for Agriculture to CMT’s tweet  and was impressed by how quickly the meat raising agriculture community started to tweet back.  Among the tweets was a call to boycott CMT.  Can’t say I disagree… but I’d have to start watching so I could quit.

I am most impressed by the constant message that 1. CMT should be supportive of ranching families and eating meat and 2. constant positive messaging that eating meat is an important part of a healthy lifestyle.  Obviously this exemplifies again that programs like MBA are working!  I’m really proud that agriculture has come so far (joining social media, etc.) and is ready with positive messages to promote our way of life.

Finally, I’m disappointed that companies, like CMT, have decided to promote one lifestyle choice over another.  As one person tweeted, (in my words) wouldn’t CMT’s tweet have been better spent talking about today as the start of pink month and awareness than promoting a meat-free diet…

How do you react to these types of messages?  Do you boycott any company that promotes meat-free days, especially meatless Mondays?

 

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BEEF, Great for the Heart… and the Soul

BY ELIZABETH BURNS-THOMPSON, YPC Member

We know that lean beef is part of a heart-healthy diet, but the benefits of this “power protein” go far beyond the dinner plate.

This year the Iowa Beef Industry Council and the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association celebrated the 31st annual Governor’s Charity Steer Show at the Iowa State Fair. The show has become a long-standing tradition at the fair, and is the result of months of hard-work and collaboration between  industry sponsors that purchase the steers, the youth that raise them, and the local celebrities that volunteer their time to participate in the event.

Ronald McDonald and Craig Hill, the president of the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, with the Grand Champion Steer.

Ronald McDonald, IFBF president, Craig Hill, and Shanee Tate with her Grand Champion steer.

Governor Terry Branstad, Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds, Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey, and many other celebrities from across the state lead the 25 steers around the ring, vying for the championship ribbon and showmanship award. Following the show, the steers were auctioned off with the proceeds from each sale going to charity. Since its inception back in 1983, the show has raised more than $2 million for the Ronald McDonald Houses of Iowa, which provides a “home away from home” for families of seriously ill children being treated in near-by hospitals.

This year’s Grand Champion steer, “Farm Bureau Pride,” was raised by Shanee Tate from Renwick, Iowa. The steer was sponsored by the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, and shown by IFBF President, Craig Hill. Following the close of the auction, a record-breaking $185,339 had been raised, which will be divided amongst the three Ronald McDonald Houses in the state. The Governor’s Charity Steer Show is just another great demonstration of agriculture’s continued support for Iowa families.

About the author: Elizabeth is a third-year student at Drake Law School, working on her Juris Doctorate specializing in Agricultural Law, and is a member of the Iowa Beef Advocate Network . She was born and raised on a small family farm in eastern Iowa, and holds a B.S. in Agricultural Business and International Agriculture from Iowa State University.

 

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Marbling matters to me, to you and all of us

By MIRANDA REIMAN, assistant director of industry information for Certified Angus Beef LLC

During my first pregnancy as my doctor set out to prescribe prenatal vitamins, he tried to survey the amount of iron I get naturally in my diet.

PRIME“How often do you eat red meat?”

“Hmm..at least two times a day,” I replied.

“You mean twice a week, right?’

“No. Usually two times a day.”

The facial expression that followed leads me to believe that he was either jealous or he’d never heard that response before. (Truth told, it was probably both!

Growing up in the ag community and now working for the Certified Angus Beef ® brand, I know I’m not “the average consumer.” So when I want to know what the average consumer wants, I look to some good, unbiased research.

Me & my beef eatersSo here are some things I’ve picked up from the experts:

  • Meat scientist Mark Miller and his team at Texas Tech recently did a study with beef strips: “We’ve found that marbling level has a really big impact on the consumer’s desire for beef. Tenderness is by far the most important factor, but once a steak meets a consumer’s threshold for tenderness, then flavor becomes the sole driver.” Surveys reveal more than 91% of the beef in today’s retail case meets tenderness expectations.
  • The National Beef Quality Audit, conducted every five years, sent a clear signal again in its most recent results: Target-consumer consensus suggested an ideal mix of 5% Prime and 31% Premium Choice. Actual production levels for all beef in those categories during 2011 was 2% and 20%, 14 points short of expectations. “If producers get the right signal, and they are pretty good managers, they can hit the target,” said Keith Belk, Colorado State University meat scientist. “But they have to have the right signal.”
  • To that point, we often say that consumers vote with their wallet. Economist Ted Schroeder is a beef demand guru and he agrees. “Beef demand woes historically have surrounded quality issues with beef products. We needed to start offering customers a more predictable eating experience or we were going to see continually declining demand. Higher quality and branded products do that or they don’t last. If they don’t deliver consistently they’re out of the game.” Schroeder and his team came up with a CAB demand index and subsequent update to help quantify that.
  • Beef is expensive, especially compared to pork and poultry. That underscores the need for marbling. “As prices rise, consumers become more discriminating with regard to meat spending. Marbling and its beneficial impact on taste becomes increasingly important. Higher levels of marbling help to buoy beef’s value proposition as consumers are asked to spend more for it,” says our very own John Stika, CAB president.

2013_06_04_mr_Vermilion Ranch-61The bottom line? Marbling matters, certainly to us at CAB, but also to you. It matters to your neighbors and to that consumer in New York City. It matters to anyone who wants to continue to grow the U.S. beef industry and believes in its future. Give it the credit it deserves.

May your bottom line be filled with black ink,

Miranda

PS-To keep up on this kind of information and to see what we’re up to on the cattle production side of the business, check out the CAB Supply Development team’s blog at www.blackinkwithcab.com.

Miranda Reiman, assistant director of industry information for Certified Angus Beef LLC (CAB), says agriculture communications is not only her career, but a passion. That was cultivated growing up on a grain and livestock farm in southern Minnesota, where she was active in 4-H and industry organizations.

She received an agriculture journalism degree, with an animal science minor, from South Dakota State University where she freelanced her way through college.

Reiman currently works out of a home office at Cozad, Neb. She writes articles for print, radio and web outlets to help commercial Angus producers and feedlot partners make connections and add value to their cattle. She also directs their producer efforts in social media and coordinates the industry information internship program.

Reiman, and her husband, Mark, have three little beefeaters of their own, with one more on the way. 

 

 

 

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