NCF, Cargill partner to beef up producer education

Partnership provides funding to help secure a strong future for the beef industry.

Burt Rutherford, Senior Editor

July 22, 2020

3 Min Read
Beef is king
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

There’s an old saying many of you are familiar with: You gotta dance with the one who brung ya.

BEEF Daily was hard on Cargill and others in the beef business, and I think rightfully so, when we saw the food giant had buddied up with Burger King, which seems to want to distance itself from its roots in the business of selling real beef. Recall that Burger King announced a plan to feed cattle lemongrass to reduce methane emissions.

In itself, that’s a fine endeavor. It’s the misinformation in Burger King’s announcement that we took exception with.

READ: Burger King tries to dupe beef lovers with the Impossible Whopper

Burger King aside, now it’s time to show Cargill a little love. The National Cattlemen’s Foundation (NCF) announced a partnership with Cargill to invest in the long-term resilience and professional development of farmers and ranchers

The partnership will provide funding to North American cattle producers to provide practical tools to help manage market shifts, reduce costs, manage finite natural resource availability and withstand extreme weather events, according to the NCF announcement.

The four-year strategic partnership, funded by a $3 million contribution from Cargill’s protein business, establishes a professional development scholarship program and provides educational resources through the U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (USRSB) and experiential learning in partnership with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA).

“Cargill is invested in the future of ranchers and farmers,” said Jon Nash, Cargill Protein – North America business leader. “This contribution is just one of the ways we are investing what we’ve earned back in agricultural communities. We know we can’t deliver protein to tables without the people on the frontlines of our food system.”

Related: Nicely done, beef. You're still king with consumers

The Rancher Resilience Grant program, which serves as the professional development scholarship arm of the program, offsets expenses for farmers and ranchers to attend state, regional, national, and global educational events. This includes industry conferences, seminars, and certifications that address animal health and wellbeing, profitability, natural resources, sustainability, genetics, and reproduction education, according to the NCF announcement.

“This partnership furthers NCF’s vision by advancing the future of the beef industry,” said NCBA CEO Colin Woodall. “There is no better way to achieve this than by meeting producers on the ground and supporting access to continuing education through free tools and resources.”

Cargill and the NCF will also work with the USRSB to support free virtual education platforms for the entire beef value chain. Additional resources will support the NCBA in promoting producer professional development opportunities.

“The USRSB educational modules provide real-world solutions that can be applied to any operation, no matter size or location,” said Wayne Morgan, USRSB chair. “We are excited to partner with Cargill and the NCF to develop tools designed to help stakeholders across the industry continuously improve how we raise, process and distribute beef.”

“Our industry continually explores technologies and production practices to support more efficient operations that focus on profitability and consistent high-quality beef,” said NCBA Executive Director of Producer Education Josh White. “It’s exciting to see industry partners come together through a shared commitment to promote the long-term economic wellbeing of farmers and ranchers across the beef value chain while also improving our product and our care for livestock and natural resources.”

The Rancher Resilience Grant program will launch this fall. Development of educational resources and promotion will begin immediately.

Watch for the program announcement, stay in touch with your state association and take advantage of this opportunity to improve you and your operation.

As for Burger King, pass ‘em by. BEEF will continue to point out the hypocrisy of this fast food giant’s desire to spurn the “one that brung it” and dance with a partner that may well leave it heartbroken.



About the Author(s)

Burt Rutherford

Senior Editor, BEEF Magazine

Burt Rutherford is director of content and senior editor of BEEF. He has nearly 40 years’ experience communicating about the beef industry. A Colorado native and graduate of Colorado State University with a degree in agricultural journalism, he now works from his home base in Colorado. He worked as communications director for the North American Limousin Foundation and editor of the Western Livestock Journal before spending 21 years as communications director for the Texas Cattle Feeders Association. He works to keep BEEF readers informed of trends and production practices to bolster the bottom line.

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