PIERRE - The South Dakota Beef Industry Council held their Board of Directors meeting March 22 in Fort Pierre. The newly appointed Executive Director Ron Frederick presented his views on the state's Beef Checkoff programs. Frederick says he is anxious to work with the state's beef producers on projects that can increase demand for beef. South Dakota producers send one half of the Beef Checkoff to the national level to support a comprehensive national effort to increase beef demand. My focus will be to steer more of our half of the checkoff to projects right here in South Dakota, states Frederick.
Frederick is currently finalizing plans for May Beef Month activities in South Dakota. Beef promotions will be held in Pierre, Rapid City and Sioux Falls during May with partnering radio stations and retail stores. The Beef Checkoff will also support the annual blood drive campaign, Pump Iron....Eat Beef, with United Blood Services. This partnership offers $2 beef coupons to UBS blood donors during May.
The South Dakota Beef Checkoff program is also building relationships with nutrition leaders and consumers in the state. SDBIC Director of Nutrition Holly Swee reported on various activities and events where the Beef Checkoff was active. Swee, who is a registered dietitian, believes the health professionals who attend health and nutrition events will help spread beef's message to the public. The latest dietary guidelines recommend protein in a healthy diet. These nutrition professional will convey the benefits of beef's nutrients that benefit the body, explains Swee.
Swee also shared information regarding upcoming nutrition focused events. Swee explained, We put Beef Checkoff information to work by showcasing the results of clear science that support's beef's role in a heart-healthy diet. Beef producers don't have the time to meet with these health leaders, but their Beef Checkoff can provide the fact-based information to this key audience.
In other business, a vote to accept the Coteau Hills Cattlemen's Association as a member organization in the SDBIC did not receive a two-thirds majority vote for passage. The Coteau Hills Cattlemen is a membership organization with 350 members in eastern South Dakota.
SDBIC President Merrill Karlen states, We value the input of the Coteau Cattlemen on Beef Checkoff issues and promotions. We encourage continued open dialogue within the industry. However, the vote among the current organizations that make up the SDBIC failed to generate enough support for the addition of the Coteau Hills organization.
The next regular meeting of the SDBIC will be June 14 in Pierre.