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As I approach my eighth and final year on the Nebraska Beef Council board of directors, I wanted to take the opportunity to share with fellow producers in my district some insights about the Beef Checkoff, which I believe are vital to understanding the beef business.

The Nebraska Beef Council works with many different outlets who market our beef and provides them the research, information and materials needed to educate our consumers about beef products. They also work with the U.S. Meat Export Federation and the Nebraska Department of Agriculture to see the bigger picture and capitalize on the foreign marketplace which is so important to our industry and the value of the fed steer. I’ve been able to participate in foreign trade missions and educational events and it amazes me the reaction folks across the water have to our beef!

As it relates the to the beef checkoff, I think it is imperative for all of us to understand its value. It supports research demonstrating that the beef business we work in every day is sustainable and that beef provides a superior source of protein in terms of safety, nutrition and taste! The checkoff does this while providing a return of $11.91 per head! But what is most central to this topic is that checkoff programs and funding are overseen by producer volunteers. It’s people like me, my fellow board members and the other 700+ producers on other state beef council boards who oversee the direction of the program and how our dollar is invested.

Lastly, I’d share that over the past year I have learned more about the Federation of State Beef Councils and the many services it provides to its state partners. The expertise of the staff, the creativity of the programs and the way the state and national team works together makes for a very efficient program that I am extremely proud of. I’d encourage you to read information sent to you and visit with me or other volunteers who are directly involved with the program to learn more about the beef checkoff. Getting engaged and learning the facts is how we all benefit and make our business better, no matter what sector of the beef industry you’re involved in!

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Buck Wehrbein has been on the Nebraska Beef Council Board of Directors representing District 7 since 2012. He lives in Waterloo.

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