June 27, 2023
Neighbors Helping Neighbors: A Letter From Your Chairman
A Letter From Your TBC Chairman, Pat McDowell
All of us have neighbors, in some capacity. Some are right across the street. Others are miles and miles down a dirt or caliche road. They’re the ones you gather with on Sunday mornings, or just wave a friendly “hello” to at the local grocery store and move on with your busy day.
But neighbors are more than just those we share close proximity with.
For the last year serving as chairman of the Texas Beef Council (TBC) board of directors, and over a decade in various other industry positions, I have considered my neighbors to be fellow beef producers across the state. While we differ by sector, size, management styles, region—the list goes on—we all have a vested interest in sustaining our operations for generations to come. And we’re all facing challenges we can’t control.
Something we can help control is how consumers perceive our product. This is where the Beef Checkoff comes in with a mission of ensuring beef is the protein of choice, which it has been doing since 1986 through promotion, research, and education. You could point to consumers now ranking beef over chicken as a nutritious food (Source: Consumer Beef Tracker), or funding research projects that identified and solved quality issues like tenderness and injection site lesions in the 90’s, as prime examples.
I recently heard some industry trends from the Power of Meat Study that further highlight how we are moving the needle for beef demand. Time and money are precious commodities for families trying to get dinner on the table. But despite these inflationary times, 53% of all fresh meat dollars were spent on beef last year. This was twice as much as chicken and more than all other proteins combined.
TBC uses this information to streamline outreach here in Texas. The award-winning BBQuest series is reaching young consumers where they watch TV, which is on streaming services like Hulu. Recipes, including quick and easy beef meals, were viewed 1.4 million times last year. Ads targeting online grocery shoppers have resulted in 15-20% sales lifts for key retailers.
Our industry is constantly evolving, but today’s consumer is changing at a more rapid pace. As producers, we have to put ourselves in their shoes because we’re ALL consumers at the end of the day. It’s Texas Beef Council’s job to zero-in on younger consumers, Millennials and Gen Z, who are interested in nutrition information and recipes. The ones 3-4 generations removed from a farm or ranch.
As chairman, I’ve enjoyed experiencing first-hand how the TBC board stewards our own Beef Checkoff dollars, and that of our neighbors, to the highest and best use. We represent all areas of the industry and come together as a united front to bring more Texans together over a shared love of beef.
And that’s something I’m proud to report back to all beef producers, who I consider my neighbors. We’re in this together.
Until next time,