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This week: What Has The Beef Checkoff Program's CONSUMER INFORMATION Program Area Done For Me Lately?

CONSUMER INFORMATION, as defined in the Beef Promotion & Research Act, means “nutritional data and other information that will assist consumers and other persons in making evaluations and decisions regarding the purchasing, preparing and use of beef and beef products.” This includes programs such as youth education and information, communications with nutrition influencers, and public relations.

Responding to “Pink Slime” – The checkoff’s Masters of Beef Advocacy (MBA) nationwide network of nearly 3,000 graduates have been on high alert, responding to the “pink slime” story by sharing factual information about the product (100% beef, 90% lean, affordable source of protein) and the safety of the process. A number of MBA bloggers posted about the issue, including Anne Burkholder, who wrote “Looking for Good Answers to Hard Questions,” and a Q&A with Dr. Russell Cross, PhD, professor and head of animal science at Texas A&M University, who was administrator of the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) when use of Lean Finely Textured Beef  was approved. Other MBA blogs on the subject include “Pink Shirts, Pink Ties and Pink Slime,” by California rancher Jeff Fowle, and “Is Pink Slime Dangerous to consumers?” by Hyatt Frobose, Kansas State University.

Overreaching the Science – The checkoff has been busy this week responding to a recent Harvard study regarding red meat and "premature death,” including distribution of a media statement and participation in various media interviews. Shalene McNeill, R.D., Ph.D., who directs the checkoff’s human-nutrition research program, has been quoted by media including USA Today, U.S. News, WebMD and Bloomberg, as well as National Public Radio affiliate 89.3 KPCC in Los Angeles and Air Talk, hosted by Larry Mantle.

Getting Social – The checkoff’s National Beef Ambassador Program (NBAP) recently hosted two social media training webinars to teach state program chairs how to harness the power of social media. Since the training, two states have created new ambassador Facebook pages, and others are planning social media ventures. Meanwhile, the national program posted six new videos to the Official NBAP YouTube channel in February, and a youth “Telling the Beef Story” video blog contest launched to encourage youth 16-20 to create short YouTube videos focused on beef. An “I Heart Beef” Twitter party also is on the agenda for March 20, hosted by the popular “Mom Hates Cooking” mom-blogger. For details, visit

Speaking of Beef – In February 2012, the checkoff-funded National Beef Speakers Bureau added 10 new members. Training for the new members included a tour of the JBS Beef Packing facility and JBS-Five Rivers Feedyard in the Greeley, Colorado area. On March 3, two speakers jumped in to tell the beef story by traveling to Colorado Springs for a “Kids in the Kitchen” event hosted by the Junior League. The new spokespeople taught more than 1,100 students and their parents about how beef fits into the new MyPlate recommendations.

Celebrating Seasonal Variety – Thanks to checkoff efforts, a variety of beef recipes have been featured in recent top-tier media lately, including the Huffington Post’s “Dinner to Breakfast” blog, as well as Rachael Ray’s featured Tex Mex cheeseburgers and pulled BBQ beef sandwich recipes. Better Homes & Gardens kept beef top of mind with a southwestern meatball chili and Sunday dinner stew, while Woman’s World featured spaghetti and meatballs, braised short ribs and baked ziti with sausage. Meanwhile, the checkoff’s Lemony Beef & Barley with Sugar Snap Peas was shared in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Caprese Polenta Burgers in Tailgater Monthly and a beef pot roast with onions on

BOLD in the News – The checkoff-funded “Beef in an Optimal Lean Diet” (BOLD) study continued to draw media attention throughout February’s American Heart Month, achieving more than 125 million consumer media impressions, including coverage in ,, on two TV spots with registered dietitian Tara Gidus during a nationally syndicated segment about heart-healthy eating on the Daily Buzz, and on Fox Orlando. The checkoff is also continuing to share the good beef news with professionals, most recently through a placement in Today’s Dietitian magazine and in the inaugural edition of Food & Nutrition, a publication distributed to all 70,000 members of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association). In related efforts, the checkoff moderated two Twitter parties and conducted a webinar for health professionals on BOLD study results. Access a recording of the webinar at BeefNutrition.orgMen’s Fitness

Beefing Up the Plate – Alongside vegetables, fruits and whole grains, lean beef stars in the Produce for Better Health (PBH) Half Your Plate campaign. Two beautiful checkoff-sponsored plates featuring lean beef in photos illustrates a healthy version of MyPlate. The photos, recipes and nutrition information now are available for checkoff use, and will be used on PBH consumer outreach efforts, educational materials, consumer website, Facebook, Twitter and in PBH public relations and media efforts.

Talking About Cattlemen’s Stewardship – TheLife section of a recent Topeka (KS) Capital-Journal included  an article featuring Kansas rancher and blogger Debbie Lyons-Blythe that delivered positive messages about the work of farmers and ranchers in raising safe, nutritious beef. “Beef is this huge awesome package of nutrient dense deliciousness,” Lyons-Blythe wrote in the article, in an effort to share positive stories based on the Cattlemen’s Stewardship Review.


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