“BEEF. IT’S WHAT’S FOR DINNER.”® Does this phrase ring a bell? A dinner bell perhaps?
Since Iowa is fourth in the nation in the number of cattle on feed, Iowans are very familiar with the catchy phrase—especially considering it’s been part of the industry for more than 25 years. This month, though, calls for eating even more beef…because May is Beef Month!
In the overall beef industry, Iowa is a powerhouse. There are 28,000 cattle operations in the state, as well as 32,317 jobs directly related to the cattle industry. Cattle business activity alone contributes $6.3 billion to Iowa’s economy. The team of people at the Iowa Beef Industry Council (IBIC) and those serving on the Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB) help drive these impressive statistics.
Comprised of a 20-member elected and appointed board, plus four representatives from the Beef Board, the IBIC works for Iowa cattle producers on education, promotion and research. They’re also the entity that directs the Beef Checkoff Program.
The Beef Checkoff Program was established by the 1985 Farm Bill. It assesses a $1.00-per-head collection on all Iowa cattle when they’re sold. In March 2017, an additional $0.50-per-head state checkoff program was instated. The organization now captures a $1.50 total, which it uses as a catalyst in the supply chain for producers to promote beef and beef products.
“At no time in history has IBIC had both state and national checkoff dollars working for producers at the same time,” said IBIC Executive Director Chris Freland. “The additional funding allows us to invest producers’ dollars, which enhances our mission and advances the beef industry for the state.”
Key Cooperative Director Brian Sampson is one of four cattlemen appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture to serve on the Cattlemen’s Beef Board. “To serve is an honor,” he said. “I want our producers to know the IBIC meets every challenge they bring forward.”
IBIC is well known for its strong programming throughout the state. In February, it kicked off the ninth annual Iowa’s Best Burger Contest. Nominations were received from all over the state. After narrowing it down to a list of 10 top burgers, a panel of judges set out on a taste-testing expedition.
“In Iowa there’s a lot of opportunities for restaurants to source their meat from local farmers,” said IBIC Director of Marketing Brooke German. “Many of our Best Burger winners have chosen to go through local beef producers.”
To celebrate Beef Month with IBIC and learn which restaurant took this year’s Best Burger title, visit the IBIC website: www.iabeef.org.
“I’m so confident in the value our producers receive from their checkoff dollars going to work.”
– BRIAN SAMPSON, Cattlemen’s Beef Board & Key Cooperative Director
Source for statistics: Iowa Beef Industry Council’s economic study, conducted for the beef industry by Iowa State University, and fact sheets at www.iabeef.org.