Beef producers urged

to reach out to local media, neighbors

By TIM HEARDEN

Capital Press

The Cattlemen's Beef Board is urging the public to celebrate Earth Day by eating steak.

Cattle raised today require less land, water and energy than in the past and each serving provides essential nutrients, the board stated in a press release.

The beef board, which administers the Beef Checkoff program, has encouraged state organizations to spread the message in the weeks before the annual celebration of the environment, said Melissa Slagle, the board's trade media manager.

"We're really letting producers take the reins on local programs," Slagle said. "But I think it would be nice on a national level to make it known that April 22 is Earth Day, and cattle producers are stewards of the land every day and not just Earth Day."

Producers are contacting local newspapers and talking with their neighbors about the environmental benefits of beef production, Slagle said.

Among a list of talking points the beef board has handed out:

* About two-thirds of cattle farms and ranches have been in the same family for two generations or more.

* On average, each cattleman has 13 different practices in place to meet environmental goals such as nurturing wildlife, preventing erosion and conserving and protecting water.

* Raising livestock in the U.S. today accounts for less than 3 percent of the country's total greenhouse gas emissions.

The beef board asserts that U.S. beef production offers a sustainable solution as a growing world population will increase the need for food production by 70 percent by 2050.

Slagle said many ranchers "don't find it special" that they take conservation members on their land.

"This is just encouraging them to tell their neighbors or people at their church about what they're doing on their own farm," she said.

Online

Explore Beef: www.ExploreBeef.org

Beef Checkoff: MyBeefCheckoff.com

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