Beef checkoff launches educational game for consumers

News
Jan 20, 2012

The Beef Checkoff Program recently released a new, eye-catching attempt at consumer education—Cow Chow. The mini-game is a 10-question interactive quiz on what cattle eat. The quiz-game comes complete with a cowboy-hat-wearing character and short video clips showing life from a cow’s (or steer’s) perspective.

The game offers players the choice to play as Jill or Bill, both decked out in digital denim, boots and plaid shirts. Each of the game’s 10 questions is multiple choice. Correct answers earn the player points and some questions offer the option to wager points. Wrong answers prompt the player to watch a brief informative video on the topic addressed.

Though the whole interface is designed around the topic of what beef cattle eat, specific topics include nursing calves, regional feedstuffs, feedlot nutrition, and the role of ranchers in the process. Videos are composed of interviews with managers, cowboys and veterinarians, giving it a very one-on-one feel.

Some of the most unique videos, however, are brought to players from the cattle themselves. Cameras attached to collarlike harnesses provided a steer’s-eye-view of cattle diets. Jennifer Stolp, project director for Cow Chow, said the innovative approach took some finessing.

The creation of the game was prompted by earlier beef checkoff research which found consumers are increasingly interested in what beef cattle eat. The goal of Cow Chow is to answer these questions and correct some of the misconceptions regarding what cattle are fed.

Cow Chow can be found on ExploreBeef.org, a consumer outreach site operated by the Cattleman’s Beef Board and the National Cattleman’s Beef Association, and is funded by the beef checkoff. — Kerry Halladay, WLJ Editor

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