April 22nd marks Earth Day – a day to celebrate America’s beef producers and their commitment to the environment. Producers are well into their 2009 Earth Day celebration under the theme, America’s Farmers & Ranchers … Everyday Environmentalists. The campaign goal is to educate today’s consumer about the steps farmers and ranchers take every day of the year to sustain agriculture and ensure a healthy beef supply for the United States and abroad.
One outreach program features Scott Stone, 2008 Environmental Stewardship Award Program winner from Yolo County California, serving as the national spokesperson for a radio media tour. Stone will be heard on 11 metro area stations with an audience of about 3.2 million listeners during the week leading up to Earth Day. He runs both conventional and grass-fed beef operations on his 7,500 acre ranch.
“For America’s beef producing families, our land is not just where we raise cattle; it’s also where we raise our families. That means we have a personal stake in the quality of our environment. We always are looking for new ways to improve the air, land and water on or near our property. Scott is a shining example of that,” says Austin Brown III, Cattlemen’s Beef Board member, cow-calf producer from Beeville, Texas, and vice chair of the industry’s Joint Information Committee. “As producers, we know what we do every day on the farm, so while the nation is thinking about the environment on Earth Day, it’s important that we use our checkoff-funded resources to share our story with the consumer.”
In addition to the national efforts, state beef councils have a kit containing 6-weeks of campaign materials for producers to use proactively and reactively around Earth Day. The checkoff is engaging producers across the country in spokesperson training; a PowerPoint presentation has been created for producers to use when speaking to local consumer and/or cattlemen’s groups; and videos of two Colorado producers are featured on YouTube highlighting the steps they take to care for Colorado’s natural resources.
“On average, each beef producer has 13 different practices in place to accomplish environment goals such as nurturing wildlife, preventing erosion or conserving and protecting water,” continues Brown. “It’s critical to our business. We’re using fewer natural resources to provide an abundant supply of safe, nutrient rich beef. Our checkoff investment, through the Issues and Reputation Management program, is helping educate consumers about how farmers and ranchers are everyday environmentalists.”
Producers interested in getting involved on a local level in Earth Day activities should contact their state beef council. More information about environmental practices can be found at www.explorebeef.org.
For more information about checkoff-funded programs, visit MyBeefCheckoff.com.