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Fodder for Thought

Your Job: Speak Up for Beef

May is declared beef month but we should be selling ourselves and our product all year long.

The past couple months have been a little tough for the beef community. It seemed every time you opened a newspaper or your web browser another anti-beef, anti-red meat headline was breaking.

Between the LFTB debacle, the poorly done nutritional study out of Harvard University, and now the latest BSE scare, the media just seems to keep piling it on.

May has been proclaimed Beef Month. Even here in my state of Kentucky our Ag Commissioner has adopted the proclamation. For farmers and ranchers involved in the cattle business though, every month is Beef Month, not just May. More than likely beef producers are more worried about spring calving this time of year than posting their favorite pot-roast recipe.

While I’m not trying to take anything away from the ‘May is Beef Month’ campaign, I think it’s important we put things in perspective. The entire idea behind campaigns such as these is to promote our final product, increase awareness of beef in a healthy diet and continue to reach out to consumers to bridge the gap from gate to plate.

It’s important that cattle farmers and ranchers remain active participants in their industry all year, not just during one month of the year. It is imperative for our business that we are out front representing our interests, whether it’s by advocating to consumers or voicing our opinions to Congress.

The need for these efforts can be seen in every aspect of our world. Unnecessary regulations, animal rights activists and negative press are only a small sample of the barrage of issues we contend with. Without industry advocates our way of life would be in a world of hurt.

All this being said we could do more. So I encourage you, if you’re not already, to speak up for your community. We need you.

Like I’ve heard NCBA president J.D. Alexander say many times before, “If you’re not at the table, you risk being on the menu.”

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