Beef Checkoff dollars to target New York

New York consumers in 2012 will be hearing more about the benefits of eating beef through the investment of South Dakota's beef checkoff dollars. The South Dakota Beef Industry Council (SDBIC) recently approved a package of promotional projects in partnership with the New York Beef Council (NYBC).

"Our main goal is to put checkoff dollars to work where they can have the most impact," says Frank Volmer, chairman of SDBIC's Promotion Committee and owner of Winner Livestock Auction. He explains that New York has a beef council, but because of the state's low cattle numbers they do not have the dollars in-state to effectively reach their own population. "SDBIC has partnered with New York for the past few years on different projects and we've had a very good response," says Volmer.

The partnership with the New York Beef Council was just one of the promotional efforts approved December 15 during the SDBIC quarterly meeting in Fort Pierre. As part of the initiative, SDBIC will help fund tours in New York that take food writers and culinary and dietary professionals to farms where they will get a close encounter with today's beef industry. A South Dakota beef producer will attend the tours, providing an opportunity to interact with tour participants and help provide accurate information about beef production. South Dakota will also partner with the New York Beef Council by sponsoring Team Beef athletes for the Boilermaker 2012 in Utica, NY—the largest 15K road race in the country, helping sponsor both a Best Burger in New York contest and a recipe contest to increase knowledge of beef nutrition cooking and the beef industry.

Additional promotional projects approved by the SDBIC board of directors include a partnership to help sponsor an intensive educational seminar on beef at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, a well-known culinary school in Napa Valley, CA. The seminar will focus on securing beef's position on America's menus nationwide. SDBIC will also fund beef promotions with the Sioux Falls Pheasants professional baseball team, educational projects with South Dakota's college students and young ag professionals, and sponsorship of the Place & Plate television program which is produced in Sioux Falls and features local area restaurants, nutrition and healthful eating. The program reaches approximately 20,000 viewers weekly.

In other business, SDBIC Directors Becky Walth and Georgia Talsma were appointed as directors on the Federation of State Beef Councils. Walth, a Glenham, SD, beef producer, serves as Region VII Vice President of the Federation and was re-appointed to a three-year director term. Talsma, Springfield, SD, was appointed to fill a one-year term.

Directors also heard reports from SDBIC's representatives on the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). John Symens, Amherst, SD, and Wayne Tupper, Kimball, SD, attended the USMEF meeting in Tuscon, AZ, in November. Symens shared information from a Cornell University economist indicating that each dollar invested in USMEF's export programs generated an average net return of $3.87 for the beef industry, translating to an increased net revenue of $46.3 million. Currently, 14% of U.S. beef production is exported, adding $200 per head value. The U.S. is the largest exporter of beef, followed by Australia and Brazil.

The next SDBIC quarterly meeting is scheduled for April 5.

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