With beef demand at a 33-year high, the North Dakota Beef Commission (NDBC) is focusing beef checkoff dollars on educating the next generation of beef consumers. Consumer research reveals close to 80% of North Dakota consumers have a very positive attitude about beef and eat beef at least weekly, which trumps the national average of 64%.
The NDBC recognizes the significance of children and families when it comes to the future role they play as beef consumers, and North Dakota beef checkoff dollars are being invested in exciting new programs focused on youth across the state. One checkoff-funded project focuses on the diets of student athletes at the high school and college level. Performance on and off the court or field is improved when sports nutrition focuses on protein at the center of the plate. Beef’s 10 key nutrients provide young athletes with high-quality nutrition, and partnerships with coaches and athletes in schools are providing students with the chance to see the benefits of a protein-rich diet that includes beef.
Youth across North Dakota are also receiving beef education opportunities through an NDBC mini-grant program. Teachers in agriculture education and family and consumer science have the opportunity to apply for educational classroom grants ranging from $250 to $1000. The grants are used to educate students on cutting beef and creating beef products, as well as beef nutrition and cookery. Through these lessons and experiences, students learn where food comes from and how beef gets from the pasture to the plate.
These new programs also provide insight into potential careers in the food and beef business and are in addition to the longstanding programs the state’s beef industry has supported through career and technical education, FFA, 4-H and Ag In The Classroom efforts.
The beef checkoff program, funded by North Dakota beef producers and coordinated through the NDBC, exists to provide beef product promotion, research and education to consumers on behalf of dedicated ranching families across the state. These families are committed to providing safe, wholesome and nutritious beef to local communities, the country and the world, and take pride in raising cattle into high-quality beef that is eaten and enjoyed globally.