MBA Catapults Past 2,000
Contact: Melissa Sandfort, 308-697-3486; firstname.lastname@example.org
Since the Cattle Industry Convention the last week in January more than 300 new students have enrolled in the beef checkoff Masters of Beef Advocacy (MBA) program, pushing current students to more than 1,300. More than 100 students graduated in the first three weeks of February (788 total since March 2009) and it is anticipated that more than 150 will complete the courses by the end of the month.
With MBA commencements planned in Texas, Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania and Kentucky in the next six weeks, the number of graduates should exceed 1,000 by the end of March, the one-year anniversary of program’s launch. The single largest commencement to date will be held at Western Kentucky University on February 26, where more than 100 MBA grads are expected to attend.
“We are very encouraged by the response to the program,” says Daren Williams, MBA “Dean of Students” and executive director of communications at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, contractor to the Beef Checkoff Program. “What this tells me that more and more people are preparing themselves to be informed advocates for farmers and ranchers and many of them are already engaged in grassroots efforts to sustain the future of our industry.”
The MBA program is a free, self-directed online training program designed to equip producers and industry allies with information they need to be everyday advocates for the beef industry. After completing six courses, graduates will be invited to attend a commencement advocacy training and graduation ceremony focusing on sharing the positive story of beef one-on-one with friends and neighbors and interacting with consumers across the country using social media tools like Facebook and Twitter.
After completing the program, participants will be ready to become everyday beef advocates and to get out and meet consumers where they live. This may be as simple as talking to friends, family and neighbors, or going out to broader audiences, such as schools, businesses and civic groups to tell the beef story.
The MBA program will ensure that producers and industry allies are delivering a consistent message and are prepared to talk beef with whomever they feel most comfortable with, whether it’s a neighbor at the feed store, a newspaper reporter or an Internet blogger.
For more information about the checkoff-funded MBA program, visit www.MyBeefCheckoff.com. To enroll, send an e-mail to MBA@beef.org.
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The Beef Checkoff Program was established as part of the 1985 Farm Bill. The checkoff assesses $1 per head on the sale of live domestic and imported cattle, in addition to a comparable assessment on imported beef and beef products. States retain up to 50 cents on the dollar and forward the other 50 cents per head to the Cattlemen's Beef Promotion and Research Board, which administers the national checkoff program, subject to USDA approval.