The U.S. beef checkoff has added value to the beef cattle we produce. There is no doubt about it.
U.S. beef products are being sold to consumers around the world in markets we could never reach on our own. New retail cuts of beef have added value to the carcass. The U.S. beef checkoff has helped us defend our industry’s reputation during situations like the "cow that stole Christmas" in 2003.
Why do we support a Texas beef checkoff if the U.S. program is doing so much? Because the U.S. program is operating at a disadvantage, and our industry needs our support to continue to grow. We’ve had the U.S. beef checkoff for 27 years. It has helped build beef demand through promotion, research and education efforts. However, that original $1 is worth only 44 cents in purchasing power today due to inflation. The reduction in the cow herd from drought has caused lower collections. It doesn’t look like the political climate in Washington, D.C. will change anytime soon so that we could increase the national checkoff.
But the challenges we face keep growing. Well-funded organizations like the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) continue to push their anti-meat agenda.
The next generation, people age 14 to mid-30′s called Millennials, is even bigger than the Baby Boomer generation, and many Millennials believe chicken is healthier than beef. If we don’t reach out to the Millennials where they are on the Internet and Social Media, this huge generation of consumers will not buy beef for their families.
The challenges facing the Cattle Industry are not insurmountable. We have a great foundation created by the U.S. beef checko222_009_Button_2ff program to build on, but we need more resources to get the job done.
Throughout the history of the cattle industry in Texas, determined ranchers have faced challenges head on. Determined Texas ranchers
forged new trails to emerging markets. Determined Texas ranchers fought disease and drought. Determined Texas ranchers provide the best beef product in the world.
Now is the time to act to establish the Texas Beef Checkoff. Through our collective investment, we have an opportunity to shape the beef industry in Texas and protect our way of life. Visit your Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service county office this week and vote "Yes" for our future.
Join us in voting "yes" for the Texas Beef Checkoff, June 2-6, at your Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service county office.
Pete Bonds, president
Richard Thorpe, first vice president
Bobby McKnight, second vice president
Source: Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association