BQA - Cow Calf

Keeping beef top-of-mind for consumers at home

March producer e-newsletter| tammy vaassen, executive director

To sum up the last 7-10 days, I think we might all agree that 'uncertainty' is the word of the month. 

Actually, I take that back - it might actually be the word of the year. We all hope this is a short-term challenge that our scientists will be able to resolve quickly. But in the meantime, as beef farmers you are facing low and uncertain markets, auction barns are working through changes to ensure they can continue to sell your cattle, and every facet of the supply chain is establishing a new 'normal' in order to keep beef moving.

I truly wish each of you and your families the very best during this time and want you to know that our staff is working diligently to continue to fulfill the mission of the Wisconsin Beef Council - to drive demand for beef that is sustainable for future generations. All of our staff at the Wisconsin Beef Council have direct ties to the beef industry and we feel and understand your current level of anxiety. We recognize the impact this has had on cattle prices, and the uncertainty that continues within agriculture moving forward.

We are working to identify and implement creative new ways to reach our beef consumers in light of several consumer education and promotion programs that have recently been canceled. Those ideas are being considered and updated daily as we monitor the social media space, consumer mindsets and other needs of the marketplace. We have immediately put in place the following tactics:

  • Consumer Education: A direct consumer e-newsletter is going out multiple times each week, featuring facts and recipe links to help consumers plan meals, and some tips from our Consulting Dietitian, Sarah Agena, on staying healthy. Similar messages are being shared on our social media pages. You can sign up to receive that newsletter here.
  • Retail: We have connected with retailers across the state, offering them consumer resources that might help their stores drive sales, including recipes, social media posts, and our website - which features cut information and a number of recipe collections featuring ground beef, comfort foods, and kid-friendly fare.
  • Foodservice: We are sharing the Wisconsin Restaurant Association's resource page on their website, which lists Wisconsin restaurants that remain open for carry-out and delivery. You can view the most current list here.

Moving forward, we are working to pull together an exciting summer promotion with the goal of stimulating sales of beef through local markets. In addition, we continue to pursue avenues to move more beef through as many channels as we can, both during and after this crisis.

I would also encourage you to take some time to complete the Masters of Beef Advocacy (MBA) training program, which you can find here. It provides farmers, ranchers, service providers, consumers and all members of the beef community the tools and resources to be an effective beef advocate and answer tough questions about beef and raising cattle. We need to be that reassuring voice to our consumers now more than ever.

We will come out on the other end of this challenge with continued demand for beef. The empty beef slots in meat cases today tell an important story. Demand for your product is strong and consumers want to make sure they have beef at home to prepare for their families. Please reach out to our staff or board members with your comments and questions. We are here and ready to help. In the meantime, let's all continue to promote Beef. It's What's for Dinner.