Beef Checkoff Celebrates Earth Day
Contact: Melissa Jackson, 308-697-3486; firstname.lastname@example.org
Suggested Lead: 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.
Robert Fountain, Jr., cattle producer from Adrian, Ga., and secretary/treasurer for the Cattlemen’s Beef Board, knows first-hand the importance of being a good steward of the land. Fountain explains some of his on-farm practices that help preserve the land.
Fountain 1: “Well, we planted a lot of the trees in not only reforested land where timber had been cut, but also some of the marginal land that was more susceptible to erosion. Then most of the open fields that were the best soils and the most conducive to growing good grass, good forages, was left in open land. And, incorporated terracing and there’s a couple of lakes on the farm that conserve water for usage with the cattle. And, have the cattle fenced out of the streams so they don’t go into the streams that criss-cross the farm or the borders so that improves the water quality by keeping the livestock out of the streams themselves .” (45 seconds)
Everyone who plays a role in the beef industry has a story worth sharing. Fountain says he hopes his “everyday environmentalist” approach helps enable future generations to enjoy the land, just as he and his family have done for more than 100 years.
Fountain 2: “And we’re doing something that we love to do, we enjoy doing it, it’s our way of life. And from an environmental standpoint, I love to tell people – I want to take care of the soil and the water and everything that’s on my farm because that’s where my family, that’s where I grew up, that’s where my family lives, and it belongs to us in one sense, but in the other sense, we’re just stewards of it. We’ve got to take care of what we’ve been given and see that it’s treated well and lasts far beyond us and it serves future generations as well as it has served us and that they have the opportunity to enjoy it the same way we have.” (38 seconds)
Throughout the coming weeks, the checkoff will be providing tools for producers to use in order to promote Earth Day activities. Producers interested in getting involved on a local level in Earth Day activities should contact their state beef council.
For more information about the checkoff’s Earth Day activities or other efforts being funded with your beef checkoff investment, visit www.MyBeefCheckoff.com.
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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.