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Frequently Asked Questions

Positioning Beef as the Preferred Protein for College and High School Sports Teams

Did you know that 81 percent of consumers trust branded sponsorships at sporting events1? The Beef Checkoff aligns beef and athletics — especially in the highly populated Northeast region near New York City — through partnerships with college and high school sports teams. The Northeast Beef Promotion Initiative (NEBPI), a subcontractor to the Beef Checkoff, spearheads this effort to reach athletes and fans alike with positive beef messaging.

Value of Athletic Partnerships

Integrating beef messaging into athletics is a “surround-sound approach,” meaning the partnership’s components — like on-site and in-game fan interaction, digital ads, social media content and student-athlete engagement — run consistently throughout the athletic season.
This approach provides a greater return on Beef Checkoff investments than a one-time event sponsorship. Reaching consumers multiple times throughout the athletic season keeps beef top of mind and extends trust and confidence in beef safety, nutrition and eating experience.
“The goal of these partnerships is to drive a greater understanding of beef by aligning with and capitalizing on the loyalty fans have for their sports teams,” said Kaitlyn Swope, NEBPI’s director of consumer affairs. “This is an opportunity for ‘always-on’ programming efforts, driving a greater return on producers’ investment.”

Penn State Athletics

Checkoff-funded sports sponsorships began in 2019 when NEBPI partnered with Penn State’s sports properties, supported by the Iowa Beef Industry Council (IBIC) and Colorado Beef Council (CBC.) This collaboration came to life during football season in various ways:

  • An in-person experience with a “beef booth” took place at Penn State’s Fan Fest before the university’s home football game versus Michigan. Beef was promoted to an in-stadium crowd of 110,669, not accounting for the avid fans who simply came to tailgate and enjoy the pre-game festivities. Thousands of tailgaters visited the beef booth to visit with Northeast beef producers, try a strip steak sample and get beef recipes, information and nutritional facts.
  • An enter-to-win social media campaign hosted on the Penn State Athletics official Facebook page encouraged Penn State fans to share beef content for the opportunity to win a beef tailgate prize pack. Social media posts promoting the campaign reached fans nearly 360,000 times and helped generate almost 800 entries.
  • Digital banner advertisements for Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. on reached fans nearly 290,000 times.
  • Weekly live readings during Penn State Football Coaches’ radio show promoted beef as part of a healthy diet.

The Penn State partnership continued into 2021 and 2022.

Seton Hall Athletics

In an ongoing effort to evolve and diversify the program by reaching new audiences, NEBPI began a partnership with Seton Hall athletics during the 2021-2022 season, with support from the IBIC. This sponsorship resulted in naming beef the “Preferred Protein of the Seton Hall Pirates,” and continued into the 2023 season as well.
Located in South Orange, New Jersey, Seton Hall University is less than 20 miles from the heart of New York City. This partnership allowed the Beef Checkoff to reach more than 800,000 Seton Hall Pirates fans throughout the New York market area.
Fans saw beef messaging in many ways throughout the Pirates’ athletic season. More than 145,000 fans attended Seton Hall’s home basketball games at the Prudential Center where they saw in-arena beef signage and had the chance to win a beef prize pack during the Pirates’ shuffle video board game. Additionally, this partnership included:

  • Radio callouts: beef received one 15-second in-game live mention during all Men’s Basketball
    Game day program messaging: The 40,000 programs distributed throughout the Men’s Basketball season contained beef messaging.
  • On-site interactive table display: NEBPI staff were on site and engaged with fans, students and alumni using an interactive table display during the Seton Hall versus Rutgers Men’s Basketball game.
  • Fan365 digital ads: These ads connected the NEBPI brand with Seton Hall Pirates fans and drove traffic to the website. Fans saw these ads more than 255,000 times.
  • Beef Up Your Homegate sweepstakes: The Seton Hall Athletics Facebook page encouraged fans to enter for a chance to win a beef prize kit. More than 18,500 fans entered to win.
  • Video series with Registered Dietitians: NEBPI aligned with the Pirates by creating a live, weekly custom video series that featured dietitians Beth Stark with NEBPI and Matt Abel with Seton Hall.
  • Athletic Director Newsletter ads: Beef messaging was included in the monthly Athletic Director Newsletter that was sent to more than 40,000 Pirate fans.
  • Seton Hall University Weekend: NEBPI staff engaged with fans, students and alumni during Seton Hall University Weekend.
  • Student athlete refueling station: NEBPI educated Seton Hall Pirate athletes about beef all season long through beef recipes and nutrition information.
    This year, NEBPI entered its first-year partnership with the University of Connecticut (UConn) Athletics for the 2023-2024 season. There are nearly 340,000 known UConn fans in the Northeast area. NEBPI will continue to evaluate potential opportunities with college athletics in the Northeast region to drive demand for beef.

High School Athletics

Beef promotion efforts also make an impact in high school athletics. During the 2022-2023 athletic season, NEBPI entered the high school athletics realm for the first time by partnering with the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA), funded by the Montana Beef Council. This partnership continued into the 2023-2024 season.
PIAA reaches more than 350,000 students, coaches, athletic directors, trainers and fans in more than 1,400 schools in Pennsylvania. Elements of this partnership could be seen in print ads, educational flyers, monthly e-blasts, locker room posters, event signage, event commercials and on-site activations.
NEBPI saw positive results with the PIAA partnership and decided to expand the geographic reach of high school athletic partnerships. With funding from the South Dakota Beef Industry Council, NEBPI partnered with the District of Columbia State Athletic Association (DCSAA), which has 51 member high schools and 85,000 students. Additionally, with a Farm Credit Northeast AgEnhancement program grant, NEBPI worked with the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA), which has 435 member high schools and 283,650 student-athletes.

Growing Consumer Trust

By aligning with athletics to share beef’s multiple advantages, the Beef Checkoff is encouraging student-athletes, coaches, fans, nutritionists and more to learn about beef’s role in a healthy, active lifestyle.
“I think beef producers should be excited about these program efforts because they provide a unique opportunity to reach consumers within the Northeast region’s targeted, highly populated metropolitan areas,” Swope said.

To learn more about NEBPI’s efforts to drive demand for beef in the Northeast visit here.

Frequently Asked Questions

My husband Pat and I own and operate a cow-calf operation and produce diversified row crops near LaMonte, Missouri. However, as much as I enjoy farming, my true passion is education. I was a teacher for 32 years, working in pre-K and elementary classrooms and assisting students as a library media specialist and technology coordinator.

Now, as a member of the Cattlemen’s Beef Board and the Consumer Trust Committee, I’m finding new ways to enjoy “teachable moments” – spontaneous opportunities to answer questions and engage producers and consumers in conversations about the Beef Checkoff –and the programs it funds to drive beef demand. One program that particularly resonates with me as a former educator is managed by the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture (AFBFA), a contractor to the Beef Checkoff.

AFBFA brings agriculture back into the classroom with its “On The Farm” STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) program. This program shares the realities of farm life and food production through a variety of resources along with in-person teacher farm and ranch tours. STEM educators get an annual, immersive professional development experience that combines food and agriculture with science education. Then, they take what they’ve learned back to their students, exponentially broadening the program’s reach.

Why does this program matter? Because far fewer schoolchildren today are exposed to agriculture, they often don’t understand where their food comes from. I used to experience that every fall, when I’d bring corn stalks with ears attached to my classroom for a door display. Many students – even in an agriculture-rich state like Missouri – wanted to know how I “made that corn” because it didn’t look like the corn that was a part of last Sunday’s dinner. I was able to explain why field corn looks different from sweet corn and how beef producers harvest and use it. However, in urban areas, teachers usually don’t have an agricultural background, which is why sharing the farming experience with them is so important.

The twelfth and most recent On The Farm in-person tour took place in June, when 29 teachers and school administrators from across the country representing 70,000 students traveled to Colorado for an event hosted by the Colorado Beef Council. Participants visited with experts from across the cattle industry to better understand how to integrate animal agriculture into their STEM classrooms back home.

Day One included learning about elements of cattle feed. Attendees also began developing their own lesson plans centered around the involvement of STEM in the beef cattle life cycle. On Day Two, attendees toured Colorado State University’s AgNext research facility to learn about methane measurement and how researchers observe and research cannulated cows. In addition to the in-person tours, this program included two pre-tour webinars that led up to the multi-day, in-the-field, immersive experience, one post-tour webinar and a structured professional development community. Previous On The Farm STEM tours have taken place in Portland (OR), Oklahoma City, Los Angeles, Nashville, Minneapolis, Fort Worth, Philadelphia, Syracuse (NY), Kansas City and Boston, providing different agricultural perspectives from around the country.

AFBFA’s efforts go beyond the On The Farm tours. They work with teachers across the country to integrate Checkoff-funded elementary, middle and high school beef curriculums into their lesson plans in multiple ways, like offering free resources, virtual workshops and so much more. By offering these well-rounded, immersive programs, the Beef Checkoff is giving hundreds of educators the knowledge and tools to effectively introduce students to beef production and the care and commitment beef producers dedicate to their herds.

Connecting agriculture with science helps these STEM educators foster a new generation of consumers who are better informed about beef and beef production. That’s incredibly important in today’s world where so much misinformation about agriculture and beef production exists. As a producer and an educator, I want consumers to better understand agriculture’s remarkable impact on us all – and the Beef Checkoff is helping make that happen.

Frequently Asked Questions

Consumers continue to look for the “antibiotic-free” label when shopping for groceries. 1In fact, according to the most recent International Food Information Council (IFIC) Food & Health Survey, 25 percent of U.S. consumers say they regularly purchase products labeled “raised without antibiotics.” Yet, the same survey shows a significant number of consumers are concerned with animal welfare and environmental sustainability when buying foods. Also indicated in the survey was that protein is the number one nutrient consumers seek. 2

Cultivating Change

Acknowledging these somewhat conflicting facts, how does the beef industry explain to consumers how responsible antibiotic use positively affects sustainable, safe beef production and ensures the highest standards of animal care? That’s where the Beef Checkoff comes in.

The Beef Checkoff funds multiple programs and initiatives that communicate the responsible use of antibiotics in beef production. They also give beef producers the tools and resources needed to face the ever-changing landscape of responsible antibiotic use. One way the Beef Checkoff accomplishes this is by collaborating with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC.)

Cross-Industry Collaboration

The National Institute for Animal Agriculture (NIAA), on behalf of the Beef Checkoff, convenes animal agriculture experts and allies in collaborative settings. Here, they explore, discuss, learn and develop knowledge that fosters interdisciplinary cooperation for the improvement and continuous progress of animal agriculture.

“Collaboration across industries is increasingly important as issues arise, but it’s even more important to work together to prevent issues before they arise,” Cattlemen’s Beef Board Vice Chair Andy Bishop said. “Through collaboration, we can work together to achieve the same goals without overlapping or superseding our efforts.”

On the Farm Tours

Group of producers posing for cameraThe Beef Checkoff engages with CDC professionals by hosting farm tours and educational events. Recently, in partnership with the Kentucky Cattlemen’s Association and Kentucky Pork Producers Association, 12 CDC doctors toured Kentucky ranches to see on-farm practices, animal preventative care and treatment protocols to understand the practical use of antimicrobials in animal agriculture. CDC professionals were able to see the University of Kentucky’s beef, swine, poultry and sheep units. They also toured Branch View Angus in Hustonville, Kentucky and learned how grains are processed at Burkmann Nutrition. The doctors walked away from the interactive event with new perspectives.

In their post-event surveys, attendees said they felt far more aware of the ways animal antibiotics may be used and who is involved in ensuring animals are getting the antibiotics they need—and not the antibiotics they don’t need. “I have learned a great deal about animal production that I feel has improved me as a scientist and a meat-consuming customer,” one attendee said.

Following the tour, 90 percent of attendees said they better understood how farmers, ranchers and veterinarians use antibiotics in their operations, and more than 80 percent said farmers, ranchers and veterinarians are responsible stewards of antibiotics. 3

“Visits like this allow us to not only tell our story but also give us the rare opportunity to meet face to face with medical professionals and scientists,” Bishop said. “The tour gave producers a voice and the chance to network with officials who make rules that will impact our operations. The ‘realness’ that this networking opportunity provides shows these officials that we work hard to provide a safe and nutritious product for consumers. For producers, it shows that the individuals making regulations are real people too, just like us.”

For Ryan Moorhouse, Cattlemen’s Beef Board secretary-treasurer, these types of events give the beef industry a steppingstone to connect with the regulation decision makers.

“By creating more transparency between the CDC officials and animal agriculture production, the voices who work for the government could advocate for us and dispel misinformation about what we do,” he said. “My hope is that we could work together to create regulations instead of having them handed down by folks who have no idea about antibiotic use in animal health management.”

Reflections and Takeaways

Farmers, ranchers, veterinarians and others in the animal agriculture industry used the CDC tour as an opportunity to tell their stories. Meanwhile, CDC professionals gained valuable access to ask questions and explain their research objectives.

“The benefit of these dialogues is incalculable,” Morgan Young, NIAA’s director of communications and outreach said. “The tour participants were incredibly gracious hosts and were open to telling their stories and engaging in a dialogue with people outside of animal agriculture. The CDC participants were very open to understanding what policies are in place and how we’re all working toward the same one-health goal.”

CDC attendees expressed their appreciation for the gracious tour hosts and the invaluable experience they enjoyed:

  • “It was so refreshing to get out and talk to people in the industry and better understand how our work impacts one another.”
  • “The visit was one of the most enjoyable work visits of my CDC career. I really appreciate the time taken to broaden (and correct, sometimes) my understanding of food animal production.”
  • “I have a renewed appreciation for everything that goes into food animal production and a different perspective of how we can work together in the future.”
  • “I learned so much from each stop on the itinerary and came away with a new appreciation for our food producers.”
  • “I have been so impressed by how digitalized the food animal production industries are and excited about the powerful trackback systems; how academic knowledge seamlessly transformed into the power of efficient production, improved animal wellness, and better disease prevention and forecasting; how different entities care about the antibiotic resistance issue and try their best to contribute to solve it.”

NIAA sees the future of responsible antibiotic use as shaped by consistent, effective communication of scientific collaboration, and the Beef Checkoff will support this effort throughout the current 2024 fiscal year. To learn more about the Checkoff’s industry information program and NIAA’s 2024 initiatives, visit,

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

My husband Craig and I are the fifth generation of the Moss family to farm and feed cattle here in Northwest Iowa. His parents, Arlan and Ruth, continue to work with us on the operation, and our two boys, Merritt (11) and McCoy (9), also pitch in as needed.

Years ago, a life-changing college internship with the Mississippi Beef Council launched me into the beef business. From there, I became even more engrained in the industry as part of the Montana Beef Council. I gained a lifelong passion for the beef industry, and I saw firsthand how important it is for producers to step up and become leaders. My husband currently serves as the Northwest Regional Vice President for the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association, and I became a member of the Cattlemen’s Beef Board – the governing arm of the national Beef Checkoff program – earlier this year. It’s been an eye-opening experience.

You may know that the Beef Checkoff drives demand both here and internationally through various promotional efforts. However, you may not realize the Checkoff is also constantly addressing misinformation about beef. You’ve probably seen and heard a lot of chatter about beef recently, from dietary guidelines and sustainability claims to meat substitutes and animal welfare and everything in between. Of course, much of that chatter is not factual. However, it still has the potential to affect beef purchases at grocery stores or restaurants, which impacts not just my livelihood, but that of the nearly 800,000 other beef producers in the United States today.

During my relatively short time on the CBB, I’ve learned how the Beef Checkoff actively monitors television, online and social media to discover emerging issues that could threaten consumer confidence in beef. By knowing what issues are out there in real time, the Checkoff can fund research that will help the beef industry uncover and share the facts about our product’s sustainability, nutrition, safety and quality.

Those efforts come to life through Checkoff-funded initiatives like middle and high school curriculums about greenhouse gases and cattle, attendance at New York City’s Climate Week conference and immersion events that bring inner city teachers to real farms to learn about how much we producers care for our land and cattle.

There are partnerships with the American Heart Association to educate consumers about beef’s role in a healthy diet, as well as programs providing health care providers with educational content through webinars, in-office visits and at professional conferences. By sharing information through both consumer and professional outreach, the Checkoff can also respond to questions about how beef compares with other proteins, including the plant-based, alternative proteins that have emerged in recent years.

I’m proud to represent Iowa producers on the CBB. I now have the opportunity to share cattle producers’ perspectives from right here in Northwest Iowa with the rest of the country. And I know the Beef Checkoff will continue to focus on funding projects that have a tremendously positive impact on the American beef industry.

Not everyone is aware of how the Checkoff works, and that’s why I encourage my fellow producers with questions to get involved. Go to the meetings – they’re open to all producers. Come chat with me as one of your state’s CBB representatives. It’s by making our voices heard that we get the most value from this program we help fund.

Frequently Asked Questions

Nine Out of 10 Healthcare Professionals Advocate Beef Consumption After a Successful Medical Office Outreach Campaign1

In a world where opinions on what to eat are so diverse, many consumers find themselves relying on the recommendations of doctors and medical professionals. With their wealth of knowledge and experience, doctors are seen as trusted guides for both people’s individual health and for parents looking to give their children the most nutritious meals. Knowing the significance of a doctor and patient relationship, the Beef Checkoff ensures that doctors and medical offices are well informed about lean beef’s role in a balanced, nutritious diet.

Strong Minds, Strong Bodies Toolkits

Recently, a beef toolkit, Strong Minds and Strong Bodies, which focused on school-aged and adolescent nutrition, was delivered to 3,324 targeted family practice and pediatric health professionals across 48 states. The toolkit materials included a “Dear Health Professional” letter, a MyPlate teaching tool and beef tips and recipes for parents. Of the toolkits delivered, 51 percent of them went to pediatric offices and 49 percent went to family practice1.

Following the delivery of the toolkits, a post-program survey was sent out to medical professionals and consumers to measure the program’s success.

Responses showed 91 percent of professionals have already recommended beef to patients and 95 percent of consumers have prepared or plan to prepare meals that include beef since receiving these materials1. Additional results showed:

  • More than 7 in 10 professionals feel a more favorable impression of beef as a nutritious, high-quality protein food to support children1.
  • More than three-quarters of professionals feel more knowledgeable about the role of beef as a nutritious, high-quality protein food to support children1.
  • Seventy-four percent of consumers said their health professional specifically recommended beef as a nutritious part of a balanced meal1.
  • Receiving the handout from their health professional makes 76 percent of the respondents more likely to prepare a meal for their child that includes beef1.

Heart Health Cookbooks

Additionally, heart health cookbooks were delivered to 854 family practice and cardiology professionals nationwide. Within those cookbooks were a health professional letter written by the cookbook author in collaboration with the beef nutrition team, a beef research booklet, and pamphlets on lean beef in a heart-healthy diet that medical professionals could share with their patients.

Responses to this effort were also very positive, with 76 percent of medical professional and consumer respondents saying they found the cookbook to be valuable1. Respondents commented on how visually appealing the cookbook was and how the letter added a personal touch. One respondent specifically added, “The research studies were very informative for providing evidence for including lean beef in a healthy, balanced diet.”

The doctor’s office mailing program is only one part of the Beef Checkoff’s nutrition and health program. This promotion would not be possible without Checkoff-funded human nutrition research, which is the foundation for all industry nutrition education and communication initiatives. Explore the current Checkoff-funded human nutrition research projects and resources that are shared across consumer and health audiences.

Frequently Asked Questions

On this episode of The Drive in Five, learn how the Beef Checkoff monitors and manages issues and tactics to defend beef production practices. Also, get an event recap from the Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. 300 NASCAR race in Daytona, Florida.

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Frequently Asked Questions

The Beef Checkoff’s principal role is to successfully drive demand for beef. To accomplish that goal, the Checkoff must connect and engage with a wide variety of audiences. While reaching the core target audience is crucial, the Beef Checkoff is expanding its efforts and working to reach all segments of the beef consumer audience. And by utilizing the power of Checkoff-funded nutrition and health research, it unlocks opportunities to reach an important audience group – infants and toddlers.


Sound science is at the core of many Beef Checkoff-funded promotional campaigns. A growing body of scientific evidence has illustrated the beneficial role beef’s nutrients play in the physical and cognitive development that happens during the first few years of life.

A Beef Checkoff-funded research paper, Meat Helps Every Bite Count, underscores the fact that infant’s internal iron and zinc stores begin to deplete around six months of age. Further, this research reinforces the need for high-quality dietary sources of iron and zinc, like beef, in the early years. The unique, nutrient-dense matrix of beef makes it an ideal first complementary food to help meet an infant’s nutrient needs. Because infants and toddlers typically eat small quantities of food, it’s critical to make every bite count in those early years.

As a result of the growing body of research in this area, for the first time, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) committee addressed the need to provide authoritative guidance on nutrition recommendations for children from birth to 24 months of age. Specifically, the committee recommended animal-sourced foods, such as beef, as a foundational protein source to support healthy growth for infants and toddlers.

With these advantageous recommendations from the DGA as well as from The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Women, Infants and Children’s Program, the Beef in the Early Years promotional campaign launched back in 2021 with great success, and much of the campaign was rolled into 2022.

Over the past couple of years, Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. has extended this campaign, reaching health professionals, parents and caregivers from across the nation with attention-getting materials, infographics, preparation guides, eating tips, videos, recipes and more. These materials have been promoted through YouTube, Google search, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Spotify and podcasts, reaching more than 1.7 million consumers and more than 1.3 million health professionals. Since its launch, Beef in the Early Years has reached more than 32 million consumers with information that supports introducing beef to infants. Here are a few ways Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. achieved those remarkable results:

  • Partnerships with five leading, credentialed nutrition influencers helped reach more than 112,000 consumers via social media and blog posts.
  • Messaging in top-tier nutrition and health journals and e-blasts provided health professionals with educational opportunities. These efforts had a circulation of more than 1.3 million.
  • More than 2,500 health professionals registered for an educational webinar where they learned about the nutrient adequacy and safety of incorporating solid foods – including beef – when implementing the baby-led weaning approach.
  • An episode with the popular podcast, The Nourished Child, featuring Dr. Michael Georgieff was downloaded more than 2,000 times on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, YouTube and Stitcher. Dr. Georgieff highlighted the importance of iron in children’s health and their brain development.
  • Meat Helps Make Every Bite Count: An Ideal First Food for Infants, research paper was published in Nutrition Today. This article has already been viewed more than 3,800 times.


Beef Checkoff-funded nutrition programming didn’t stop at Beef in the Early Years. In fact, those efforts rolled right into expanding beef’s benefits across the lifespan by highlighting beef as a tool for growth and development throughout childhood and adolescence.

This past August, to mark the start of the school year and World Iron Awareness Week, the Beef Checkoff emphasized beef’s role in building strong minds and strong bodies in school-aged children. In fact, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans said many children and adolescents aren’t getting enough high-quality protein, iron, zinc, choline and vitamins B6 and B12, which are critical nutrients for proper growth and development. High-quality sources of protein and iron, like beef, deliver many of these nutrients. As many parents and caregivers turn to health professionals for guidance on providing proper nutrition to children and teens, the Beef Checkoff found value in funding these health professional education opportunities:

  • In-office educational toolkits were delivered to doctor’s offices across the nation. Offices have received approximately 1,500 toolkits to date, with more expected to be delivered in early 2023.
    Partnerships with five leading, credentialed nutrition influencers reached 332,000 people on social media.
  • An EatRight Pro and Nutrition and Dietetics SmartBrief delivered an advertisement and e-blast to more than 406,000 health professionals.
  • State Beef Councils utilized an educational presentation with updates on school lunch nutrition and opportunities to support beef as part of the school lunch program.

Whether through connecting with medical professionals or educating parents, the Beef Checkoff’s nutrition and health program is not only working to further drive demand for beef – it’s also trying to give these audiences the tools and materials they need to help infants, toddlers and adolescents build healthy and strong minds and bodies.

To learn more about the Human Nutrition Research Program and Beef in the Early Years, visit:

Frequently Asked Questions

Capitalizing on the power of personal interaction is the name of the game for the Beef Checkoff’s Nutrition and Health Team in 2023. Nutrition and health professionals, researchers, dietitians and nutrition influencers are essential advocates for beef and can support its role in a healthy lifestyle. Now more than ever, consumers rely on the advice and recommendations of their healthcare professionals (HCP), and trust between HCPs and consumers are at an all-time high.


  • Registered dietitians and nutritionists are the most frequently consulted health professionals for nutrition and healthy eating information.1
  • They are the most trusted source of information about which foods to eat or avoid. 2.
  • 77% of global consumers say that the advice of dietitians and nutritionists impacts which foods they buy. 3


  • Registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs) (62%) are the third-most-used source of information by HCPs to stay informed about food and nutrition, after Professional Associations (69%) and Academia (67%).4
  • 79% of HCPs refer their patients and clients to RDNs.
  • 94% of RDNs use other RDNs as food and nutrition sources of information.5

Knowing the considerable value and extensive consumer influence these healthcare professionals have, the Nutrition Team is intentionally building relationships and strategically providing evidence-based research and resources to this audience. These graphs show how HCPs prefer to receive and share nutrition and health information:

With this research in mind, the Nutrition Team closed out 2022 with a couple of in-person conferences and events to establish new relationships and strengthen existing connections with health professionals. The Nutrition Team partnered with Produce for Better Health to host a #BetterTogether reception at the Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo (FNCE) in Orlando, Florida. This event attracted more than 80 health professional attendees to collaborate on ways to pair beef and produce to optimize health and nutrition.

Following FNCE, the Nutrition and Health Team moved straight into hosting a three-day nutrition influencer “Meat-Up” event to build relationships with 15 leading Registered Dietitian influencers and offer valuable beef nutrition education sessions. Between beef nutrition 101 presentations, a hands-on culinary education workshop, social media masterclass and a beef sustainability and industry panel, attendees could experience multiple aspects of beef nutrition. Attendees’ specialties ranged from pediatric nutrition to diabetes management to sports performance. Together they had a collective social media reach of more than 1.2 million consumers.

Also, the Nutrition Team is developing a Nutrition Seminar Program to increase collaboration and involvement with state beef councils. This program will place credentialed expert speakers at state-wide healthcare meetings across the country. Currently, the team is working on securing speaking engagements for 22 credentialed experts at health professional education conferences this year. Additionally, as February recognizes National Heart Health Month, the Nutrition Team is partnering with four nutrition influencers to share research and resources that supports lean beef’s role in a heart-healthy diet.

The vital work of the Nutrition and Health Team is establishing lean beef as the protein of choice in healthy diets. Effectively engaging nutrition and health professionals and remaining grounded in sound science encourages higher demand for beef, which leads to greater success for producers everywhere. Beef Checkoff efforts will continue to build a solid foundation and seek opportunities to connect with these professionals.

Frequently Asked Questions

I was a “city girl” – until I married a third-generation dairy farmer. Since then, my husband and I have been actively involved in running our family dairy in Okarche, Oklahoma. Many of those years were also spent raising our four children, and now, we also have 10 beautiful grandchildren. It’s no wonder that as a wife, mom and grandma, I’ve always been very interested in health and nutrition. I’ve spent decades cooking meals I hoped were nutritious enough to help my kids grow up into healthy, vibrant adults. Now, as a co-chair of the Beef Checkoff’s Nutrition and Health Committee, I’m taking my interest in healthy eating and applying it to help drive beef demand.

The beef checkoff’s principal role is to successfully drive demand for beef. To accomplish that goal, we need to engage with a wide variety of consumers. That’s why we’re expanding our efforts and working to reach consumer audience segments. And through the power of checkoff-funded nutrition and health research, we’ve unlocked new audience groups, from infants and toddlers to teenagers and beyond.


We now have scientific evidence touting the beneficial role beef’s nutrients play in a child’s physical and cognitive development. The research paper “Meat Helps Every Bite Count” says that infants as young as 6 months of age need high-quality dietary sources of iron and zinc as their internal stores begin to deplete after birth. The unique, nutrient-dense matrix of red meat, such as beef, makes it an ideal first complementary food.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) recently recommended animal-sourced foods, such as beef, to support healthy growth for infants and toddlers. Backed by this recommendation as well as support from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Women, Infants and Children’s Program, checkoff-funded “Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner” launched a “Beef in the Early Years” promotional campaign in 2021.

“Beef in the Early Years” has reached health professionals, parents and caregivers nationwide with attention-getting materials, infographics, preparation guides, eating tips, videos, recipes and more. These materials have been promoted through YouTube, Google Search, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Spotify and podcasts. Since its launch, the campaign has reached more than 32 million consumers with information that supports introducing beef to infants around six months old.

Here’s how Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. achieved those remarkable results:

  • A new nutrition research paper “Meat Helps Make Every Bite Count: An Ideal First Food for Infants” was published in Nutrition Today, garnering more than 3,800 views, a number that’s expected to keep increasing.
  • Messaging in top-tier nutrition and health journals, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Family Physicians and the HealthyChildren Magazine educated health professionals about beef’s benefits. E-blasts were sent through lists provided by EatRight Pro and the American Academy of Pediatrics.
  • More than 2,500 health professionals registered for an educational webinar with dietitian Katie Ferraro about the nutrient adequacy and safety of incorporating solid foods – including beef – when implementing the baby-led weaning approach.
  • Partnerships with five leading nutrition influencers helped reach consumers via social media and blog posts featuring tips for introducing beef to infants and recipes that the whole family could enjoy.
  • An episode featuring Dr. Michael Georgieff on the popular podcast The Nourished Child was downloaded more than 2,000 times on various platforms. Georgieff highlighted the importance of iron for a child’s brain development.


While beef is an important food for babies and toddlers, it’s also great for the growth and development of older children and teenagers. This past August, to mark the start of the school year and World Iron Awareness Week, the beef checkoff emphasized beef’s role in building strong minds and strong bodies. The DGA says many children and adolescents aren’t getting enough high-quality protein, iron, zinc, choline and vitamins B6 and B12. To spread the word about beef’s high-quality protein and iron, the Checkoff funded these initiatives:

  • In-office educational toolkits were delivered to doctors’ offices across the nation. The toolkits included a letter, an educational tool and a tear pad for parents and caregivers. Offices have received approximately 1,500 toolkits to date, with more expected to be delivered in 2023.
  • An EatRight Pro and Nutrition and Dietetics SmartBrief advertisement and e-blast provided information about beef’s key nutrients for children and teens to more than 406,000 health professionals.
  • Partnerships with five leading nutrition influencers featured quick and nutritious school lunches, opportunities to increase protein and iron in adolescence and tips to ensure children build strong minds and bodies.
  • Through a partnership with the Retail Dietitians Business Alliance, the checkoff shared two educational e-blasts and a sponsorship page with educational resources that emphasize the value of beef for children and teenagers.
  • The beef checkoff-funded nutrition team continues to work closely with the Federation of State Beef Councils by offering an educational presentation by Dayle Hayes, MS, RD, with updates on school lunch nutrition and opportunities to support beef as part of the school lunch program.

The beef checkoff’s nutrition and health research is not only driving more demand for beef – it’s also giving parents and health professionals the resources they need to help infants, toddlers and adolescents build healthy, strong minds and bodies. Furthermore, these young people are key to beef’s future success. They’re the next generation who will be purchasing beef and cooking it for themselves and their families.

This program is yet another example of how your checkoff dollars are connecting more consumers with beef. To learn more about the Human Nutrition Research Program and “Beef in the Early Years,” visit the Beef Research website.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Both the beef and dairy industries work hand in hand to contribute to the beef supply, but there is one industry sector uniquely positioned between both – veal.


Primarily raised in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin and Indiana, veal is a meat derived primarily from young Holstein bull calves. Bull calves are typically sold shortly after birth through local auction markets or purchased directly by others who will raise them for beef or veal. There are two primary sources of veal: bob veal and formula-fed veal

Bob veal consists of dairy bull calves sold and marketed shortly after birth, while formula-fed, also known as milk-fed or special-fed, are dairy bull calves that are raised for about six months and harvested at approximately 500 pounds or more. Formula-fed calves also receive grain and are ruminating animals at the time of harvest. In the marketplace today, 68 percent of veal is derived from formula-fed/grain-fed veal calves.

Today, there are approximately 400 veal farms in the U.S., and many are Amish or Mennonite families. Each farm family raises about 400 head per year. Out of all the formula-fed calves marketed each year, 95 percent come from Veal Quality Assurance (VQA)-certified farms. All VQA certifications are verified by a veterinarian.

  • ~ 400 veal farms in the U.S.
  • ~ 400 head per farm each year
  • 95% come from Veal Quality Assurance (VQA) certified farms

Ultimately, veal production supports the dairy industry by adding value to its calves and co-products.


The Beef Checkoff-funded VQA program is designed to ensure dairy beef animals raised and marketed specifically for veal receive a level of care that guarantees optimal health and welfare. In addition to being beneficial for veal producers, VQA helps grow consumer trust in veal production.

Seventy-four percent of consumers agree that food companies should be more transparent about their farming practices – this jumps to nearly 80 percent when asking Millennials alone1. This statistic shows the importance of giving consumers complete clarity on the production practices of veal farming.

The VQA program makes it possible for Beef Checkoff contractors to share credible and ethical stories when marketing veal to consumers.


The Beef Checkoff-funded National Veal Program is managed by Checkoff contractor North American Meat Institute (NAMI) and subcontractor New York Beef Council (NYBC). This team produces multiple Checkoff- funded promotional campaigns and develops educational pieces, both intended to increase consumers’ discovery and trust in veal. The consumer-facing brand, Veal – Discover Delicious, capitalizes on veal’s unique taste, value and versatility. Veal is distinctive in the meat space because a three-ounce serving of cooked, trimmed lean veal has just about 170 calories, making it one of the most nutrient-dense protein foods around.

Also, veal provides 29 percent of the recommended daily intake of zinc, 36 percent of niacin and 23 percent of vitamin B-12. In short, it provides a fat and calorie profile similar to chicken but with the nutrient density of beef2.

  • 29% of the recommended daily intake of zinc
  • 36% of the recommended daily intake of niacin
  • 23% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin B-12

To spread the word about veal’s extraordinary nutrition package, Veal – Discover Delicious focuses on reaching new Millennial audiences with exciting promotional efforts. Millennial consumers today continue to have little awareness or knowledge of veal as a meat choice.

All promotional efforts address this knowledge gap with messaging that explains how to find and access veal while building confidence in the protein’s taste, nutrition and safety.


Forty-five percent of consumers report shopping online for groceries more now than before the pandemic3, and online shopping has remained popular into 2022. To reach the online shopping community, Veal – Discover Delicious partners with Chicory, a digital shopper marketing platform that turns recipes into a retail environment by reaching consumers through an online recipe network. While reading through online recipes, consumers can add veal directly to their virtual shopping carts with a quick click on advertisements with retailers like Instacart and Publix. Campaigns with Chicory last year have resulted in more than nine thousand veal orders. Additionally, Fresh Direct is another online retailer that Veal – Discover Delicious works with and has resulted in more than one thousand orders of veal last year. If consumers can’t find veal in their local store, Veal – Discover Delicious hosts online retailers on its own website where consumers can buy veal and have it delivered right to their door.

Another tactic Veal – Discover Delicious utilizes to effectively reach Millennial and younger audiences and first-time veal eaters is leveraging influencers.

These influencers highlight veal’s versatility and flavor in recipes while incorporating information about how veal is raised and the faces behind veal production. Influencers then share this messaging on their blogs and social media platforms. Many influencers also coordinate or participate in veal cooking classes. This is an educational opportunity for all audiences to learn more about veal and how to best prepare it. Many of these events have themes, like the best recipes for Valentine’s Day or a Kentucky Derby party.

The National Veal Program also hosts events like veal farm tours, both in-person and virtually. Beef industry stakeholders and supporters join these tours to learn about veal farming practices, discover more about the protein and get a chance to ask industry experts their questions directly. Farm tours are only one way the National Veal Program is creating veal advocates and growing consumer trust in veal production.

Over the summer, a new video campaign was launched to introduce consumers to modern veal farming. Featured on social media and Google advertisements, this video series engaged with consumers on what veal is, what veal calves eat and how they’re raised. To watch the videos, visit

Although small, veal plays a significant role in the U.S. beef and dairy industries, and the Beef Checkoff actively works to share the progressive message of veal’s protein strength, versatility, transparency and sustainability.

To learn more about the National Veal Program and access educational resources, visit: