Helping Consumers Understand Beef
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Anne Burkholder’s list of accomplishments is an impressive one: competitive swimmer, Ivy League graduate in psychology, mother of three, and astute writer. Did we mention feedyard owner, checkoff-funded Beef Quality Assurance award winner and, most recently, up-and-coming name in the blogosphere?
Burkholder’s blog site, Feed Yard Foodie, launched just 11 short months ago and since, she’s had 45,800 hits/reads with 12,000 of those coming just in the last month because of her “Hard work, trust and faith” entry that addresses the media frenzy and misinformation about Lean, Finely Textured Beef.
Burkholder also is active on the highly respecvted BlogHer site and, with 18 blog entries, has more than 7,000 reads. “To me, the BlogHer site is very exciting because it is a group of millions of women that blog or want to follow blogs, and that’s a great consumer base for me to communicate with,” says Burkholder.
Burkholder says she has blog readers who ask where they can buy “her” beef and believes that’s a testament to what consumers are looking for. They know she uses antibiotics when her animals get sick; they know she uses growth promotants to reduce her environmental footprint and have efficiently producing animals; and yet people want to buy her beef because it’s HER beef.
With a goal of two posts per week, Burkholder says she takes both a proactive and reactive approach to her blogging, but no matter what, writes in a positive way.
“I don’t believe blogging is a way to defend. Instead, there is an ever-growing desire from our consumer base to know and understand where their food comes from and not only that, but to trust those who grow it,” says Burkholder. “To me, the best way to create trust is to build a relationship. I’ve seen that my readers are interested in knowing about me as a person, and that relationship is invaluable for the sustainability of our business going into the future.
“Can you imagine what would happen to demand for beef if every farmer would reach out and start to tell their personal story?”
Burkholder’s blog site is sponsored in part by the beef checkoff. For more information about your checkoff investment, visit 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.