"On behalf of Colorado's farmers and ranchers, welcome to Colorado."
Readers of the Rocky Mountain News and The Denver Post found this greeting in an ad in the papers during the Democratic National Convention. The ad discussed ways that farmers and ranchers are protecting the environment, while providing food and fiber to the United States and the world.
Furthermore, the ad invited people to visit area restaurants to sample beef, which provides consumers with nine essential nutrients while being produced using "green" practices.
The ad, placed in the newspapers by the Colorado Beef Council, is just one example of the Beef Checkoff at work.
Beef Checkoff funds are authorized through the Beef Promotion and Research Act and Order to be used in national and statewide programs in promotion, research, consumer and industry information (both domestic and foreign markets) and producer communications.
State Beef Councils, such as the Colorado Beef Council, receive 50 cents from each checkoff dollar to run statewide programs. Specific programs, while following the definitions set down in the Beef Promotion and Research Act, vary from state to state.
According to Tami Arnold, Director of Marketing for the Colorado Beef Council, national program plans have just been "rolled out" for Oct. 1, 2008, through Sept. 30, 2009, and now plans are being "rolled out" at the state level.
And what a lot the Colorado Beef Council does!
The ad placed in the newspapers during the Democratic National Convention is just one way the Colorado Beef Council promotes beef and beef products. A few other examples include giving out industry information during the Bike Tour of Colorado, through sponsorships of the Greeley Stampede Rodeo, and in-game advertising at the Budweiser Center in Loveland.
Top priority of the Colorado Beef Council is providing positive nutrition information regarding beef to the consumer, in order to continue increasing beef demand.
As a sponsor of the 2008 Denver Heart Walk, attended by more than 9,000 people, the Colorado Beef Council partnered with the Colorado Chef Association and Mile Hi CattleWomen to provide samples of Flat Iron Steak to attendees. At the same time, the attendees received a brand new brochure with a cooking chart, nutrition information and recipes.
The Colorado Beef Council also sponsored events associated with the Heart Walk, including a CEO Breakfast, the Top Walker Luncheon, the Community Kickoff and team captain events.
Team captains received nutrition information in their packets, which highlighted the benefits of beef in a heart-healthy diet and in exercise.
The Colorado Beef Council is very active in distributing educational materials to Colorado schools. The materials cover topics in the environment, science, social studies and history, and nutrition.
The materials are correlated to Colorado State Academic Standards by a team of teachers, and they're provided free of charge to schools.
For example, "Things We Can Learn from a Cow and a Worm", for grades 5 to 6 is a colorful poster demonstrating the role cattle play in the environment. The activities on the back of the poster can be used in reading and writing, geography, and science.
Another kit helps fast-paced families realize the benefits of spending mealtimes together. The "Family Mealtimes" kit, funded by the Beef Checkoff and distributed by the Colorado Beef Council, features a power-point presentation, tip sheets with conversation starters, and recipes.
There are tear sheets about the food pyramid and nutritional needs for all ages, too, some of which are in Spanish. And these are only a few examples of educational materials available from the Colorado Beef Council.
Some of the educational materials are distributed right here in Moffat County - to schools, especially to fourth graders during the annual Cowbelle-sponsored Ag-Day.
You can find Colorado Beef Council representatives at places like the Colorado State Fair and National Western Stock Show. The Council provides funds to research universities, keeps producers informed, and provides checkoff funds to the United States Meat Export Federation for Foreign Marketing. And it does a lot more.
It's Beef Checkoff at work.