NCBA’s Shawn Darcy

(Jamie) Thanks for staying with us! Now Duane and Shawn discuss what consumers want to know about the cattle industry.
(Duane) Duane Toews joining you with AGam in Kansas. While at the Kansas Livestock Association Annual Convention and Trade Show in Wichita, a chance to catch up with Shawn Darcy, from Lakewood, Colorado. Shawn you work for National Cattleman’s Beef Association. You had an opportunity to talk to the producers at the convention this year about consumer’s interests and their desires and wants. Give us a little update on what you had for information to provide for them. (Shawn) I think the biggest thing is that we see that there’s a clear lack of education and consumers are further away from their food than they ever have been. So, we want to be part of those conversations. And one of the best ways that we can do that is through telling our total production story of how cows or cattle are raised from pasture to plate. So all the way through the life cycle. And that was a key component from what we’ve learned is telling the story from the cow/calf operation all the way to that retail case, really is what consumers want to know. They want that transparency. Let’s give ’em some of that and tell them about all the positives, all the people involved in the process. (Duane) We think about the opportunity to do so. We need to feed them the right amount of information, but not overload them at the same time. That’s kind of a delicate balance to accomplish that. (Shawn) Absolutely, absolutely. What we’re seeing is you want, we want stimuli, or media that is going to be appealing to consumers, shorter videos, infographics, things that are able to condense some of this information into one as you put it, that they wouldn’t be looking at for too long or losing their attention spans. So under five minutes, two minutes if you can. Infographic, interactive infographics so that they’re able to interact with the different phases of the life cycle, that sort of thing. (Duane) We do have a consumer audience these days that is more interested in where their food comes from and really it’s probably our responsibility to provide that information. (Shawn) I would agree. I think it is very important because they are getting that information. So, we want to be part of that story to be able to tell how beef is being raised and not just letting other people fill in that information for us. (Duane) As we go down the road and look forward to recognizing what we need to do is one thing, but accomplishing that task is another. (Shawn) I would agree. I think it’s important to leverage the research that we do and make sure we are developing the tools, whether it’s a difficult topic to address so that we have those tools available. And also proactively telling that positive story out there. (Duane) So Shawn in a producer level, obviously we’re hearing these things from the national level and it filters it’s way down to the local level. How does an individual producer start to make that step, to make a positive influence in our industry? (Shawn) You know that’s a great question. I think there’s a lot of ways cause what our research would tell us, is that it’s important for that aspect to talk about the cattlemen and ranchers that are involved. So I would say anyway that’s possible, whether it’s online in their local, personal social media pages if they happen to have those, or getting involved in their community in whatever ways they can to talk about those things. (Duane) One thing to note, there is help out there from their state associations that can help them accomplish that as well. (Shawn) Absolutely. We push a lot of programs and work simultaneously with our state programs as well as other stakeholders and industry leaders throughout. So that yes, that is very important. (Duane) Our thanks to Shawn Darcy from Lakewood, Colorado. He works for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Associate Director of Market Research, talking with KLA members at their annual convention about what consumers want to know. For AGam in Kansas, I’m Duane Toews. Jamie, back to you.
(Jamie) Don’t go away – after the break Kyle Bauer introduces us to Nancy Kavazanjian.

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