Kansas Shorthorn Association


How to address damaging press

The Beef Industry Needs You

As a Beef Advocate, we need you to be the eyes, ears and voice of the beef industry. It seems every day brings more attacks to the industry-from environmental to animal care to nutrition. These ill-informed attacks come in the form of newspaper articles as well as television programs. Unfortunately, we see them in the heart of “beef country.”


Studies show that consumers trust producers and look to them for accurate information. To help you be the voice of the beef industry, we are sharing tips to writing a letter-to-the-editor to submit when you see an article with incorrect information.


Recommendations for submitting a letter-to-the-editor:


  1. Word count. Most letters-to-the-editor should be less than 150 words. However, to determine the word count requirements of your specific newspaper, look for guidelines on their Web site in the “Opinion” section or call the newspaper’s main phone number.
  2. Exclusive. Letters should be exclusive to the newspaper. For example, don’t send the same letter to both the Kansas City Star and the Topeka Capital-Journal. Also make sure to customize any template letters to represent your operation and personal experiences. Your newspaper is more likely to run a letter that sounds authentic.
  3. Submission method. Most newspapers prefer letters to be e-mailed to a specific e-mail address. This e-mail address usually is found on their Web site in the “Opinion” section. Copy and paste the text of the letter into the body of an e-mail; do not send the letter as an e-mail attachment. Newspapers often have software programs to identify e-mails with attachments delete them.


  1. Signature. When signing a letter, include your full name, farm or ranch name (if applicable), mailing address and phone number. Occasionally, the newspaper will call to verify you wrote the letter. Your phone number and address will not be published.

For additional assistance, template letters or industry facts to include in your letter, contact the Kansas Beef Council (KBC) office by phone at (785) 273-5225 or e-mail at kbc@kansasbeef.org.



I "heart" Beef Campaign

You may have seen the press release about the “I heart Beef” promotion.  I have attached it below if you have not seen it.

 As part of this campaign, the checkoff has created a logo that you can include in your e-mail signature. If you need technical help in getting it into your signature, please let me know and I can forward the information we sent out with the signature logo for the “Give Thanks” campaign.

 Keep your eyes open for more “alerts” on activities you can assist with for this campaign in the coming weeks!


During a time when sales of middle meats are traditionally slower, the checkoff’s food and nutrition communications team, using conclusions drawn from checkoff-funded market research, is gearing up to capitalize on a month that boasts many familiar holidays and special occasions. Thus, the beef checkoff is initiating an “I Heart Beef” campaign.

The program was specifically designed to help strengthen interest in beef middle meats, cuts that have a proven return on investment for beef producers, by reminding consumers of their passion for great steaks like the T-bone and tenderloin. Not only that, but February is Heart Health Month.

“A growing body of evidence shows that lean beef, trimmed of visible fat, can be a part of a low saturated fat diet that does not increase heart disease risk factors,” says Dave Fugate, cow/calf producer from Greenback, Tenn., and chair of the Joint Public Relations Subcommittee. “The checkoff’s I Heart Beef campaign is strategically positioned during a time when consumers tend to focus on dieting, and we’re trying to make them aware of the heart health benefits of lean beef; meanwhile, aiming to increase sales of middle meats which aids the ultimate goal of the checkoff – increase beef demand.”

The checkoff-funded consumer survey used as a foundation for the campaign found:

  • In this month of romance, beef is the preferred choice of Americans (62 percent) because nothing says love like a great steak dinner for Valentine’s Day.
  • Americans associate steak as a “best match” for love (44 percent), romance (42 percent) and passion (41 percent)—more so than other high-end proteins.
  • When it’s time to share that Valentine’s Day meal, beef wins. A ribeye (35 percent) or T-bone steak (32 percent) are chosen as the best meal to share with a significant other.
  • Americans most often associate beef with celebrations (50 percent), compared to chicken (18 percent), pork (17 percent) or fish (15 percent).
  • Sixty-two percent of Americans say they choose to prepare beef if they are looking for gratitude or appreciation from their dinner partner.
  • Fifty-three percent of Americans identify filet mignon as the food most associated with candlelight romance and 50 percent of Americans think filet mignon is the best way to say “I love you.”

The campaign includes numerous media outreach components, online and electronic communications, and communications and a recipe contest geared toward registered dietitians, encouraging them to share their love for lean beef. As an off-shoot of the national efforts, the campaign can then be tailored by state beef councils.

“This campaign will kick off in February but the benefit to beef producers is that its usefulness can be extended to other holidays such as St. Patrick’s Day when consumers are celebrating the holiday with corned beef and cabbage,” says Fugate. “And there’s something out there for everyone – if you’d like to participate as a producer, this program offers ways to be involved and help share the beef story so hopefully more people remember to ‘heart’ beef during February. Watch your e-mail or contact your state beef council for more details.”

For more information about checkoff-funded initiatives, visit MyBeefCheckoff.com.




Deena Robinson

Director of Consumer Information

Kansas Beef Council

6031 SW 37th Street

Topeka, KS 66614

(785) 273-5225





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