Beef Briefs: January 2012

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Date: Sunday, January 1, 2012

Look for Beef Briefs to be delivered the first of each month – your snapshot of beef checkoff news affecting the dairy and beef industries. Editor’s note: please feel free to use these news items as space allows in your publication or online content. If you would like to expand on a certain topic, please e-mail Melissa Slagle at

In case you missed it…

… Secretary announces Beef Board appointments

… Get the latest updates by “friending” MyBeefCheckoff on Facebook.

… New study in Journal of Animal Science documents shrinking environmental footprint of beef over past 30 years.

… Favorable nutrition research was published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Subjects in the study consumed recipes from the checkoff’s The Healthy Beef Cookbook.

10th Anniversary of Beef Safety Summit

The 10th annual Beef Industry Safety Summit March 7-9, funded in part by the beef checkoff, will bring food safety experts from all over the country to Tampa., Fla. The event will celebrate the great strides the industry has made in reducing the incidence of E. coli O157:H7 and creating standards that assure higher levels of beef safety.

In 2011, the Beef Industry Safety Summit attracted a record crowd of more than 240 beef safety professionals to Dallas, Texas. Participants learned more about beef safety and shared their own thoughts about how best to enhance safety processes and maximize opportunities for assuring a safe beef supply.

The 2012 event will include an update on current safety research from leading universities, case studies in food safety from around the country, in-depth reviews of what the industry has learned in food safety over the past 10 years, forecasts for non-O157 regulations and impacts on the industry, reports on consumer attitudes toward beef safety and the industry’s understanding of those attitudes and a look forward toward emerging issues that might be of concern to the industry. In addition, as we are approaching the 20th anniversary of the Jack-In-The-Box E. coli O157:H7 outbreak, a session will provide an opportunity to reflect on this incident that led to much of the industry’s focus on beef safety.

Visit for more information.

Arizona Youth Tell the Beef Story

High School Senior Megan Skiles from Bowie, Ariz., won top honors at the inaugural Beef Promotion Prepared Speech Contest sponsored in part by the beef checkoff. 

High School students from across the state composed and delivered five to seven minute speeches centered on current beef industry issues. Topics ranged from marketing beef in a technical world to implementing science-based research to build a strong and profitable beef cattle herd to feed a growing world. Contestants were scored on the content and composition of their speech manuscripts, voice, stage presence and power of expression. They were also judged on their ability to accurately answer questions related to their content and the overall effect of their beef messages.   

Skiles, the daughter of Michael and Kristin Skiles receives a $1,000 cash prize and a trip to the annual cattle industry convention. At this event the San Simon high school student will deliver her speech to convention attendees.  

Applications for participants in the 2012 National Beef Speakers Bureau now are being accepted; contact Sarah Bohnenkamp for information. 

Study Highlights Changes in the Meat Case

Every three years, the beef and pork checkoffs along with other funding sources conduct a National Meat Case Study to evaluate meat case product trends.

Beef continues to be the biggest player in the meat case; a typical store features about 60 unique beef products. In 2010, 61 percent of all packages audited – which includes all major proteins – included nutritional information. However, 29 percent of beef whole muscle cuts, and 81 percent of ground beef packages included nutritional information.

There has been a significant increase in the percentage of beef that is now store branded, and increased differentiation in retailer programs is expected over time.

Click here to read the full story in the checkoff’s Beef Issues Quarterly e-newsletter.

The Latest “To Trust” Campaign: World Class Beef

The newest installment in checkoff-funded beef imaging campaign in South Korea was recently released to help sustain the very positive growth trend for U.S. beef since it was reintroduced in Korea in 2008.  

“World Class Beef” continues the “To Trust” theme, but is designed to help address those consumers, as well as end-users, such as restaurant owners, who have remained on the sidelines in the wake of extensive Korean media coverage that inaccurately reported concerns about American beef.

The “World Class Beef” story line depicts consumers in the United States, France, Mexico and Korea waking up to the delicious smell of beef with the message that world-class U.S. beef is enjoyed by families in 110 countries around the world.

The campaign will include television commercials on Korean networks as well as targeted cable channels in addition to print and subway advertisements.

Click here for more.

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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.
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