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Idaho Beef Council will show how checkoff is spent


By CAROL RYAN DUMAS



Capital Press



The Idaho Beef Council will again host its "Get in the Game Road Show" to give producers an in-depth look at how their checkoff dollars are spent.



The road show will be an all-day event on Nov. 3 in Boise, culminating with attendance at the Boise State University game that evening.



The event will take producers behind the scenes to see how their checkoff dollars are building demand for beef, said Traci Bracco, Idaho Beef Council executive director.



Idaho producers are assessed $1.50 for each head sold. Fifty cents goes to the national checkoff program, and the remaining dollar goes to the Idaho Beef Council for promotional, marketing and research programs.



Bracco said producers know what the checkoff is, but they often don't understand the broad scope and depth of the programs. The road show brings in the retail, research and food service partners in the Beef Council's programs to explain, demonstrate and answer questions about what those programs are accomplishing, she said.



Participants are going to get a full blush of checkoff programs and how their dollars are spent, she added.



The program will include: an overview of promotional and educational events in the retail arena; results of research on the health benefits of beef and improving beef quality; an explanation of work with foodservice, chefs, hotels and restaurants to get more beef on the menu; and outreach to healthcare professionals to dispel myths and educate them on the benefits of lean beef in a healthy diet.



New product and beef cutting demonstrations, and product sampling are also on the agenda.



It's a great opportunity for producers to understand the ins and outs of consumer trends in food consumption, purchases and health choices. And it's an opportunity to go into depth about the Beef Council's programs and the 52 events it sponsors each year, Bracco said.



Most producers understand the promotional and educational side of the checkoff, but they don't understand the research and development aspect, said Leadore rancher Carl Ellsworth, a previous attendee.



"This event gives producers a chance to see more detail, rather than a 5,000-foot view," he said.



It's a great event for two reasons, he said. It gives producers a full overview of what their checkoff dollars actually do, and it's great advertisement for beef and an opportunity to interact with consumers.



Beef is the game-day sponsor of the BSU vs. San Diego game, and a pre-game beef tailgate event will be held to educate and promote beef to consumers.



"It is a great opportunity to learn about checkoff activities that are being done throughout the state and how your checkoff dollars are being utilized to build demand for beef," said Cevin Jones, Idaho Beef Council chairman.



The Beef Council will cover all expenses including the hotel, meals and tickets to the game. The only cost to beef producers is their travel to and from Boise, he said.



The event is limited to 50 participants, and will be held at the airport Holiday Inn.



For more information, call (208) 376-6004 or visit www.idbeef.org .











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