By Melissa Slagle, Cattlemen's Beef Board
With a virtually constant flow of anti-meat rhetoric in mainstream media of late, it's easy to get frustrated when you (beef and dairy producers) are working the land and cattle in environmentally sound and caring ways. Of particular concern is the fact that so many of the attacks on our industry are based on unfounded information and emotional pleas rather than facts or science.
So in addition to all the positive research, messages and tools your checkoff investment provides, WE NEED YOUR VOICES as producers to tell your story. Starting Nov. 16, your checkoff-funded issues and reputation management team is working to organize a one-week ‘food fight' to activate beef producers and dairy farmers to speak up and help Americans realize what they have to be thankful for as they prepare for the Thanksgiving holidays. You need to get your voice heard in the debate and put a face on your industry.
That's where you and your checkoff come in! Your checkoff shares the scientific results of research about beef products and safety, but that's not enough against the onslaught of Internet and other electronic platforms that allow anti-meat brigades to spread information far and wide in the blink of an eye.
For the most part, the folks delivering the anti-beef messages have no idea what it's like to be a farmer or rancher, and they are contributing to the ignorance about how you raise their food. We CANNOT leave consumers on their own to dig through the clutter and draw their own conclusions. And checkoff-funded research shows that consumers have faith in producers – so your stories represent one of the best ways to show consumers the truth about how you raise your animals.
You can get involved through sending a viral e-mail (ask your friends to pass it along and participate, too!) and letters to the editor, posting on Facebook and Twitter, ads placed in local newspapers or online, and ideas and messages you might want to deliver. Get involved by contacting your state beef council or find more tools and a timeline here.