Hello again to the Florida Cattlemen and Cattlewomen.
It is a pleasure serving this great industry and the people that work so hard to make sure that we, as an industry, move forward.
In our world today, it seems like all you hear about is sustainability. This is the buzz word that everyone in state and federal leadership ask about. They want to know how our industry is going to be “sustainable” in the years to come. Well after 500 years in the business, I say that the cattle industry is pretty well sustainable. No other industry can say that they have been in business that long. Looking into the future, we will have to continue to educate folks that are getting farther away from the farming or ranching backgrounds. They do not understand anything that we, as ranchers, do every day. Let us continue to invite our city friends to the country and share with them what we do.
In early September, we held our FCA Quarterly Meeting in Gainesville. I am happy to say that we had a fairly large crowd, even though COVID was showing its ugly face again. We completed a lot of business meetings that spanned over two days. The Florida Cattlemen’s Association has an open-door policy; so, feel welcome to attend any meetings at any time. Many of the committee chairs conducted their first meeting since being appointed. Thank you to all of the Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen for always stepping up and working through the process. Last year we started to change our Legislative committee and are continuing to work toward making a stronger committee by having members from different areas of the state. Personally, I have never been politically active so this is a big learning curve for me and some of the other officers that follow me. As I think about our legislative committee continuing to grow, I also think about all of the officers and legislative members from past years that have worked so hard politically to make sure our gates stay open. I want to say thank you to those who have been involved and are involved currently. Today as our world continues to change, I feel that every member of our association should get involved in sharing our story. Legislators need to hear your voices and we are much stronger in numbers. #LetsRideTogether and continue to be a respected policital voice in this great state.
Moving on to the Florida Beef Checkoff, here are a few common myths.
Myth 1: The Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB) is supposed to oversee the Beef Checkoff, but once they get behind closed doors, the board does whatever they want to do with the money.
Fact 1: There are no closed doors! State Beef Council meetings, CBB business meetings, and even the Beef Promotion Operating Committee meeting, where funding decisions are made, are open to any producer. The CBB website, DrivingDemandForBeef.com, also has all the info about where and how Checkoff dollars are invested.
Myth 2: Once the CBB funds Checkoff projects, they have no way of tracking how contractors spend the money.
Fact 2: Once a qualified Checkoff contractor’s program is approved, they must pay for the work with their own money. Only then can they request reimbursement from the CBB, which carefully reviews invoices and receipts to ensure all items have been pre-approved and meet requirements for reimbursement.
Myth 3: Why isn’t the Checkoff laying waste to meat alternatives?
Fact 3: The Checkoff can’t disparage other commodities such as soybean, dairy, and fungi-based meat alternatives. But it does provide facts about beef’s role in a healthy, sustainable diet and helps keep beef top of the mind through Beef It’s What’s For Dinner ads, Hallmark Channel and NASCAR sponsorships. The Build Your Base with Beef partnership with Olympic athletes, and more.
For now, I will leave you with these thoughts until next month.
Thank you for allowing me to serve as your president.