How Do You Tell If A Food Fight Is A Success?

November 22, 2009 06:00 PM

Answer: Take look at the activities of the beef checkoff and the producers and importers who got involved.

Friday marked the conclusion of a five-day campaign called Food Fight, a fight for the future of the beef industry. The checkoff's issues management and producer communications teams led the effort which centered around beef producers, dairy farmers and importers using their voices in the debate, and putting a face on the industry.

The message to consumers: Give thanks for the abundance of food that starts on farms and ranches across the country. The week included such activities as Give Thanks letters to the editor, business cards, use of an e-mail signature graphic, social media posts, viral Give Thanks e-mails, and encouragement for producers and consumers to volunteer at a food bank. The program showcased the state beef council/national beef checkoff combined efforts, with the national checkoff and states joining the "fight”.

So how do you measure the success of a Food Fight? Here are a few highlights from the week:

  • On the producer communications Web site,, a specific landing page was created for state beef councils and producers. In just four days, the page received more than 1,900 page views as a result of e-mails sent, banner ad click-throughs and trade media coverage of the program.
  • A message board posted to gave consumers to "Give Thanks” to farmers and ranchers directly, thanking them for the food on our plates. Throughout the campaign, hundreds of messages of thanks were posted.
  • Social media posts were fast and furious. As a result, our give thanks Facebook flair has 276 users.
  • During the annual meeting of the National Association of Farm Broadcasters, more than 35 interviews were conducted about Food Fight efforts. More than 25 major beef ag trade publications have aided in awareness for the program for each day's specific activity.
  • Individual Beef Board members and ranchers across the country have been involved -- placing Give Thanks ads in local newspapers, placing Give Thanks business cards on tables at local meetings, posting on their personal Facebook and Twitter accounts, and sending e-mails with the Give Thanks signature and messages to their friends and family.
  • The voice of the beef checkoff, Baxter Black, recorded a Public Service Announcement (PSA) that aired on numerous radio stations across the country.
  • 16 states successfully encouraged their Governor or Ag Secretary to sign a Give Thanks proclamation declaring Nov. 20 "Thank a Farmer Day”.

"It has been an outpouring of success from producers across the country,” says Beef Board Chairman Lucinda Williams, a dairy producer from Hatfield, Mass. "In the wake of increased negative media coverage, producers were asking ‘What can we do?' This program was a way for producers to have a voice and tell their own story instead of someone else telling it for them. I'm very proud of everyone who got involved whether it was something they could do from home or in front of a crowd – every message counts.”

Even though the campaign was a five-day blitz, beef producers, dairy farmers and importers are encouraged to keep the positive messages about agriculture going. Watch for future updates about the Food Fight program, success stories from producers and importers, and anecdotal stories of how telling your story can set the tone for securing a place in the future of the industry.

For more information about your beef checkoff, visit  

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