(Jamie) Welcome back. Let’s join Duane and Mark.
(Duane) Duane Toews joining you once again from the Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show in San Diego, a chance to catch up with Mark Harms from Lincolnville, Kansas. And Mark you sit on the Revenue Committee for the Federation. Can you explain a little bit about how that happens and what the particular committee does? (Mark) OK, so the Executive Committee is basically the Federation and Policy sides both. It’s a collective group of about 30 members and a lot of the issues we discuss will come up for vote to the general membership session during the business session on either Friday or in committee meetings on Friday and the entire membership on Saturday. In the Revenue Seat that I serve for Kansas on the Federation side of the Executive Committee, any state as described earlier that collects at least 10 percent of the total revenue from the Beef Checkoff, gets a seat on the Executive Committee. And I serve that position for Kansas. Some interesting things that are coming out of that, one of those would be the Research Council. Executive Committee on Monday passed that we would bring up to the membership that we will have a more insightful group that looks to make sure that the dollars that we’re using for research through the Checkoff are not duplicative or redundant to other research that’s currently running. And just another opportunity to make sure that we are using our dollars effectively. (Duane) We think about the opportunities to do so at a meeting like NCBA and the Cattle Industry Convention. There are a lot of other subcommittees, if you will that have an opportunity to evaluate the entire industry with their own individual segments, I understand that consumer trust is maybe something that you get to sit in on as well. (Mark) Yes, that will be a committee. Last summer at the Summer Conference we did adopt the new long-range plan to serve our organization, in conjunction with policies for the next five years. And we want to make sure we are all on the same page and that we focus to actually meet some of the goals and objectives that we’ve set forth in that long-range plan. And out of that, new groups were developed within committee structures of the Federation and Consumer Trust is one of those. And our goals within that group will be obviously to address our ultimate consumer and to make sure that they know that we have their best interest in mind. (Duane) And certainly the Beef Checkoff Program in the past has done things to try and alleviate consumer concern and educate them. It’s not something new, but maybe a chance to be more focused. (Mark) Yea, that’s exactly right. I think that it’s pretty easy to fall victim to the fact that we’re doing our best out in our own operations at home. And providing good stewardship, not only for the livestock, but for the land as well. And consumers today want to know that we’re doing that. And we have to be able to verify that and so, keeping that trust, as the committee is named, is vitally important. (Duane) Some people may not understand the correlation between a happy consumer and a consumer that will purchase your product. We rely on them to purchase those products that we produce. (Mark) The one thing that I think we always need to be aware of is that consumers have told us they are willing to pay a premium for beef. It is their preferred protein, whether economies change or market prices as we saw last year, beef prices at the retail level to hit new highs. We want to make sure they’re still interested in our product, that we’re still a product of choice to feed to their families as a protein source. And so making sure that they understand that we’re doing our best to provide their families safe, nutritious beef is top of the mind. (Duane) Our thanks to Mark Harms, Lincolnville, Kansas, joining us in San Diego during the Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show in San Diego. Jamie we’ll send it back to you.
(Jamie) Thanks for joining us. I’m your host Jamie Bloom and I hope you enjoyed today’s show. See you next week on Farm Factor – we’re here every Tuesday on AGam in Kansas.
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