Beef Industry Is Charged With Innovation
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Suggested Lead: Dr. Gary Smith, distinguished agricultural professor at Colorado State University, recently spoke with industry representatives during the beef checkoff’s 2010 Innovative Beef Symposium in Denver. Dr. Smith says, “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.” He also says what we have to do in the beef industry is innovate.
Smith 1: “One of the most important things that we can do as we seek to find better ways to use the beef carcass and new customers for it, is to persuade them that somehow or another, the way that we have historically cut up a beef carcass and sold its parts is really a dinosaur. We’ve got to change the way we’re doing it in order to really give consumers what they want.” (26 seconds)
Smith went on to explain how the new cuts will impact the different audiences in attendance at the symposium, including processors, manufacturers and retailers.
Smith 2: “Well, there are a number of people in the retail industry that developed early interest in this and it’s probably because most of them can actually have a staff that’s doing the cutting of the carcass. And so it’s a relatively simple matter just to get them to change the way they cut the carcass. It’s a little more difficult if you’re in foodservice because usually those people receive the final product, and so you have to work it through the system backwards and make sure that you have a processor who will prepare those cuts and send them to you so that your chefs can cook them and sell them in your restaurant.” (37 seconds)
Next steps include finding new ways to cook, new recipes to go with each of these muscles, working with packers and processers to make sure they pull these muscles out and make them available to everyone who wants to use them, and follow-up on research that’s already been done and capitalize by getting them through the market. But what does all this research really mean to producers?
Smith 3: “They invented a break-through called flat iron steaks, branded it, and it’s been a huge success. The amount of additional revenue that that has returned to the stakeholders through the beef checkoff has just been unbelievable. And so now, starting with that success, they’ve identified another 15 muscles. Probably won’t be as successful as flat iron, but say they’re half as successful individually, and it just becomes a really good investment on the part of the people who pay the beef checkoff dollars.” (33 seconds)
For information on other efforts being funded with your beef checkoff investment, visit www.MyBeefCheckoff.com.
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.