Beef group taps Integer to defend benefits of marketing program

CENTENNIAL, CO: The National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) has hired the Integer Group to tout to dairy farmers the benefits of a controversial beef-marketing program.

CENTENNIAL, CO: The National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) has hired the Integer Group to tout to dairy farmers the benefits of a controversial beef-marketing program.

Although they are not technically part of the cattle industry, dairy farmers account for 17% of the US beef supply by selling their cattle after they are no longer useful as dairy animals. As a result, they are required to pay into the "checkoff" program, which promotes beef in general.

Because dairy farmers provide so much of America's beef, the NCBA sees them as an important constituency that needs to understand the benefits of the program.

Hiring a firm will "allow us more strategic knowledge and planning" in outreach, said Sharyl Sauer, executive director of industry communications.

The program, and others like it, is the subject of a case pending before the US Supreme Court. A group of cattlemen brought suit, contending that the program hurts them by promoting all beef rather than distinguishing between varieties. They don't want to be required to pay for it.

The association has budgeted $80,000 for PR to support the dairy portion of the checkoff program next year, she said.

The cattlemen aren't the only group that has ramped up PR behind a checkoff program. Last year, the National Pork Board hired Osborn & Barr to implement a producer communications program. The pork board was facing a court challenge from small-hog producers over its pork checkoff program.

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