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Everyday Environmentalists: Farmers & Ranchers Celebrate 40th Anniversary of Earth Day

Contact: Melissa Jackson, 308-697-3486;

April 22 will mark the 40th anniversary of Earth Day and once again, the beef checkoff’s issues management and producer communications teams are helping cattle farmers and ranchers across the country share their environmental sustainability message with consumers. This year’s Earth Day campaign highlights the tradition and longevity of cattlemen’s environmental stewardship practices and reinforces cattlemen’s geographic diversity yet unity around being “green” with the resources in their area.

“Each and every one of us is unique – whether it be that we’ve been in the business for 40 years, that we’re 12th generation farmers, or that we have special environmental stewardship practices in place – everyone who plays a role in the beef industry has a story worth sharing,” says Mike Stahly, backgrounder and cow/calf producer from Cavour, S.D., and chair of the industry’s Issues Management Subcommittee. “So as the nation celebrates with us on April 22, farmers and ranchers can be proud to know we celebrate EVERY day as good stewards of our environment – we just need to share that message with consumers.”

Throughout the coming weeks, the checkoff will be providing tools for producers to use in order to promote Earth Day activities, including:  advertisements that can be tailored to their state or their own operation, customizable letters-to-the-editor, e-mail signature graphics, school outreach ideas, social media tips, fact sheets and environmental stock photos. Producers interested in getting involved on a local level in Earth Day activities should contact their state beef council.

“As cattle farmers and ranchers, we should embrace our diversity,” Stahly says. “Cattle are raised in every state in our nation, in nearly every type of climate and geography. What I do to be ‘green’ here in South Dakota is different from my fellow beef producers in, say, Kentucky. But we all are working toward the same common goal, and we need to tell that story to non-farm folks.”

To read more about today’s farm families and modern beef production, visit the checkoff-funded For more information about checkoff-funded initiatives, visit

Media can download Earth Day campaign items here.

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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 may 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.


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