Why reaching out to Northeast consumers is key for boosting beef demand

Yesterday’s blog praised the hard work our state and national Beef Ambassadors do to promote beef, correct misconceptions and advocate for the cattle industry they love. Today, I want to focus on an area where the ambassadors have had the most impact — beef promotions in the Northeast.

In case you missed it, check out: How youth Beef Ambassadors are tackling hot industry topics

Each year, Beef Ambassadors are asked to assist in promotional projects sponsored and hosted by the Northeast Beef Promotion Initiative (NEBPI). The NEBPI was created in 2004 after several state beef councils came together to discuss ways to specifically channel beef checkoff resources to promote beef along the I-95 corridor in the Northeast. The program received funding in 2006, which was the year I served as a National Beef Ambassador.

Pennsylvania and Virginia Beef Council staff promote beef at a BBQ festival in Washington, D.C. (Photo courtesy NEBPI)

During that time frame, our ambassador team promoted beef at a barbecue competition in Washington, D.C., the Pennsylvania Farm Show, and the Boston Marathon. Nine years later, these promotions are still in effect; however, the NEBPI has expanded its reach to other popular events where consumers might be, as well as outreach programs for culinary students, food bloggers and more.

I’m a strong supporter of what the NEBPI is doing to promote beef in the Northeast, where nearly 70 million (23% of the total U.S. population) call home. Unfortunately, only 3% of the beef checkoff dollars are collected in this region, so NEBPI often partners with state beef councils for specific projects.

My state’s beef council is keen on earmarking dollars for NEBPI’s projects. After all, in South Dakota, cattle outnumber people 4 to 1, so instead of preaching to the choir on the prairie, it makes a lot more sense to send those dollars to the coast, where more consumers can be reached.

Most recently, NEBPI has promoted beef at the 23rd Annual Safeway National Capitol BBQ Battle, Boston Marathon, Philadelphia Art Institute, and New York City Marathon. NEBPI might be old news for some of you who actively follow how our checkoff dollars are used, but if you haven’t heard of the great work these folks are doing in the Northeast, I encourage you to check out the NEBPI website here.

What are other ways we can reach consumers in urban areas? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of beefmagazine.com or Penton Agriculture.

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