Master of Beef Advocacy hits milestone

News
Oct 2, 2009
by WLJ
Master of Beef Advocacy hits milestone

—Beef checkofffunded MBA program reaches 1,000th student mark.

The MBA—Masters of Beef Advocacy Program— launched this past fall by the beef checkoff, recently hit a major milestone: 1,000 registered course participants and of that total, nearly 350 have graduated from the program. The MBA program continues to teach (or refresh) farmers and ranchers, university and extension representatives, 4-H and FFA kids, and industry affiliates across the country how to become effective spokespersons for the industry.

The program consists of six, one-hour core courses: beef safety, beef nutrition, animal care, environmental stewardship, modern beef production, and the beef checkoff.

“This really shows that producers are actively taking a role in promoting their industry by telling the story about beef,” says Daren Williams, executive director of National Cattlemen’s Beef Association communications and MBA program manager. “In less than six months since we opened the doors on the MBA classroom, we have enrolled more students than we expected in the entire first year.”

A majority of the graduates are also connected via an online alumni association that enables course graduates to network and engage in responding to media issues as they arise, share personal success stories, get others motivated and involved, and join a group in their state.

“We post action alerts when we need to engage the graduates in response to increasing attacks on modern food production like the Time cover story,” says Williams. “The MBA program is just proof that one voice can be heard, and a crowd is even louder. Beef producers are making a difference.”

“Through the MBA program, I gained confidence to talk to anyone about beef production and open the door for conversation about what beef production is really like in America,” says Danielle Johnson, an Ohio beef producer who recently attended an MBA commencement training sponsored by the Ohio Beef Council. “I decided to earn my MBA because as a beef producer, I am appalled at the negativity associated with beef production and agriculture in America. I just did not know how to combat the negativity and I did not feel I had the tools to create an intelligent rebuttal. Upon completion of the program, I feel confident that I can tell my story and that people do want and need to hear it. I encourage all beef producers to participate in the program and tell your beef story any way you can.”

Producers wanting more information should e-mail MBA@beef.org or contact their state beef council. For more information about checkoff-funded programs, visit www.MyBeefCheckoff. com. — WLJ

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