Where the Checkoff Meets the Consumer
DENVER - The New York Beef Industry Council (NYBIC) has big numbers – just not big cattle numbers. The state is home to 19.1 million consumers and 1.4 million cattle, or 13.6 consumers for every cow. Quite different from a state like Nebraska, where cattle outnumber people nearly 4 to 1.
NYBIC's need to promote to and educate New Yorkers about beef is a prime example of the value of the Federation’s “share the load” checkoff strategy. New York’s budget is under $300,000, with the majority of dollars coming from the dairy industry. Without support from the Federation and high checkoff collection states such as Kansas, Nebraska and South Dakota, NYBIC could not afford to extend national checkoff programs in its population-rich cities. Here’s what Gillis had to say:
Q: What do these additional checkoff dollars mean for your state?
Gillis: The additional dollars have enabled us to add a registered staff dietitian, to train foodservice distributors and student chefs at culinary schools. We’re able to participate in more nutrition conferences and have developed a major partnership with the Boilermaker, a famous 15K road race that draws thousands of runners and spectators, who hear our message that beef is “Fuel for the Finish.”
Q: What is your biggest 2012 program priority?
Gillis: This year our focus in on strengthening the image of beef and our industry among influencers and consumers. Our biggest outreach efforts this year have been four beef farm tours and a veal tour. Since our state has primarily small operations, beef producers from around the country have helped us present a picture of the entire industry to our audiences. Craig Uden came from Nebraska to represent the feedlot sector on a farm tour. During Beef Month, Wanda and Ed Blair from South Dakota helped provide tour participants with perspective on the large beef operations in the Midwest and Western states. And Nebraska producers come to our state fair every year to help us talk to consumers about beef production. The NYBIC is fortunate to receive such whole-hearted support from the Federation, our fellow beef councils and their generous producers.
NYBIC at a Glance
History – Established in 1986 as a Qualified State Beef Council to collect the national checkoff
Federation Participation: Invest in a veal and beef director seat
Board Makeup: 9 directors Directors are appointed by the N.Y. Beef Producers Association, N.Y. Farm Bureau, Northeast Dairy Producers Association and N.Y. Veal Growers. One director is from the Cattlemen’s Beef Board and a livestock market representative is chosen by the NYBIC board.
Did You Know: New York ranks third in the country in dairy cows, with a ratio of 6-to-1 dairy to beef animals. Yet in 2011, New York was one of a few states that saw a rise in beef cattle numbers.