Producers Talk About the Checkoff

Amelia Kent, Louisiana

Amelia Kent and her husband Russell own and operate their farm which includes a cow-calf operation as well as replacement heifers and stockers. They are diversifying their beef operation by marketing their own grass-fed beef and rose veal, but the bread-and-butter of the farm is the cow-calf operation.

"We need to think not only about our marketing environment today, but also think about the beef industry in the future,” says Kent. "There is huge market potential for U.S. beef internationally, and we need to be ready to engage and promote our beef in those markets.

"In fiscal year 2016, the Beef Board invested $7.2 million in our export growth programs, which is primarily managed by the U.S. Meat Export Federation. These efforts alone add more than $250 per head to our animals."

Watch AmeliaClick here for the full video from Amelia's farm in Louisiana.

Kristina McKee, Tennessee

Kristina McKee is a partner in Mid-South Livestock Center in Unionville, Tenn., and has been serving the area’s beef producers since 1996. Her late father-in-law had been in the auction market business for 65 years. Because of this, Kristina has a passion for agriculture.

“I’ve had many roles over my short lifetime, but the one I’m most proud of is the 30-plus years that I’ve spent in the livestock-auction business. I’ve had the opportunity to see first-hand the responsibility that market owners take in providing a place where cattle producers can sell their products and receive a fair and competitive price for those animals. It’s a challenging business because of course, markets are cyclical, so we have good years, then we’ve had downturns. But, those checkoff dollars that we’ve collected on hundreds of thousands of animals have opened up program opportunities to increase demand for the product.

“I’m extremely proud of the checkoff. I’ve seen firsthand the work that is done from those dollars collected.

“We are dealing with the salt-of-the-Earth with farmers and people involved in agriculture; people that love the land, respect and take care of the commodity that they produce, and do it with such passion. All these people that come to the market every week become part of our family. Their business is appreciated, but their friendships are cherished.”

Watch KristinaClick here for the full video from Kristina’s auction market in Tennessee.

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