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    US Beef Producers Tell It Like It Is
13/02/07

A new beef checkoff-funded website tells the US beef production story -- often in the words of beef producers themselves. The site, www.BeefFromPastureToPlate.org, covers the entire production chain, from gestation to dinner presentation, and features producer profiles, a live "Ask a Producer" page, fact sheets, recipes, safety tips and even beef trivia.

beef cattle

A unique aspect of the site is the virtual view -- through short audio clips and photographs -- it gives visitors into the everyday lives of the nearly 1 million men and women who make up the U.S. beef industry. Cow-calf producers, a dairy producer, feedlot operator and a livestock marketer share personal stories about how and why they do what they do for a living.

The site meets a long-time checkoff goal to provide easy and useful public access to facts, statistics and the personal experiences that take place from pasture to plate. Emma Brown, a fifth-generation Colorado cattle producer who is profiled on the site, said www.BeefFromPastureToPlate.org is a public outreach to help the beef industry talk to and with its customers.

"I want consumers to know our story. I want them to know producers care about them as much as they care about themselves and we don't want anything to jeopardize the relationship between us," she said.

The Web site gives beef producers, along with other segments of the beef production chain, an opportunity to share their heart-felt passion for their livelihoods and the beef they produce for families around the world.

"Being a beef producer is a very satisfying and prideful state of mind for me. It's that legendary idea that we, the American ranchers, are feeding the homeland. I couldn't be happier doing any other kind of work," Brown added.

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 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.

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