#RethinkTheRanch: Beef Producers Protect the Environment
Over the past few months, the Beef Checkoff has been using the “Rethink the Ranch” media campaign to help consumers gain a better understanding of how cattle producers care for their livestock and introduce them to the environmental practices farmers and ranchers are using to produce the world’s best-tasting beef.
It is important that consumers understand how committed producers are to serving as faithful stewards of the environment and the valuable natural resources that have been entrusted to them.
Elaine Utesch is part of the Triple U Ranch, a family-run cattle operation near Washta, Iowa, that has made environmental stewardship a top priority. In fact, in 2000, their efforts were recognized when they received the Environmental Stewardship award from the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, a contractor to the Beef Checkoff.
“Stewardship is something that we feel strongly about,” says Utesch. “We are here for the long haul and this land is our legacy that we will be able to pass on to our children and their families.”
When her father-in-law, William Utesch started working this land, he made environmental stewardship his mission by implementing sustainable practices such as developing watersheds and building buffer strips, terraces and ponds to protect water and prevent erosion.
“He had a strong feeling of stewardship of the land,” explains Elaine. “He made it a real mission to leave the land better than when he started, and that’s something he’s passed on to his sons and their families.”
Out west, water management is critical. Kevin Kester uses the latest technology to conserve water and manage grazing systems on the Bear Valley Ranch, located near Parkville, California.
“We’ve invested a lot in solar technology for our water systems that allows us to pump water up in the higher elevations,” says Kester. “Because we can distribute water resources more effectively and efficiently, we are better able to manage grazing and protect grasslands.”
These are the kinds of stories the Beef Checkoff is sharing with consumers on the new “Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner.” website. The site provides consumer-friendly, easy-to-understand information to show how beef producers are being effective stewards of the land and resources.
Check out the redesigned BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com website. Follow #RethinkTheRanch on social media.
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 may 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.