Audio with Jerry Effertz, Chairman
Jerry Effertz, a cow-calf producer from Velva, North Dakota, was elected chairman of the Federation of State Beef Councils during the recent 2017 Cattle Industry Convention in Nashville, Tenn. Effertz says state beef councils and how they interact with national programs will be of key importance to his efforts over the coming year.
"If you were to ask me what my focus is as the incoming chair of the Federation, obviously that would be at the top of the list, is to maintain that strong relationship that we have with the state beef councils. After all, they’re the ones that collect the checkoff dollar, they’re the ones that have to implement the program. It’s critical that we maintain that strong national/state partnership. No reason to believe that it won’t continue to be strong, but it’s certainly one of my goals to maintain and keep that.” (34 seconds)
According to Effertz, working with states requires some flexibility and a broad perspective.
“Every state beef council is a little bit different. We don’t have a one size fits all. So we have that unique relationship where different states’ history in terms of coming into the checkoff system; nationally we all came in at the same time in 1985, implementing it in 1986, but how the state beef councils organize themselves is very unique. And frankly I like to think that’s our asset. Not everyone is the same, not every culture is the same, we can utilize that to promote our products and get more beef out there for the consumer.” (42 seconds)
Among the programs being implemented through the states and national program are ones that focus on millennials – those consumers born between about 1980 and 2000.
“Several years ago we made a strategic shift to focus in on that age group. Now, that age group is a challenge. They are not the normal consumers that some of our senior citizens are. And so that is a new challenge that we are facing. The good news there is that we’ve also focused on them digitally. They are very strong digital users and our marketing techniques have really gotten up to speed in using that technology.” (34 seconds)
Effertz says millennial consumers can be strong beef consumers – as long as the industry approaches them in thoughtful and appropriate ways.
The Federation of State Beef Councils is a division of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, which is a contractor to the Beef Checkoff Program. The beef checkoff is overseen by volunteer checkoff payers on the Cattlemen’s Beef Board, with final approval of projects provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.