2015 Beef Checkoff Annual Report - Page 12

Industry Information 4% Checkoff funds invested through the industry information budget category go to creation and distribution of information and programs that will lead to development of new markets, marketing strategies, increased efficiency, and activities to enhance the image of the cattle industry. This includes programs such as issues management, public relations, and beef and veal quality assurance. A Case Study in Crisis Preparedness The October 2015 release of an opinion from International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) suggesting that red meat “probably causes cancer” and that processed meat “causes cancer” made for one of red meat’s biggest news days in the world, with 2 billion social-media impressions in the first 36 hours after its release. The work of the checkoff on this topic in the year preceding the announcement highlights the importance of ongoing crisis planning and preparedness efforts. In November 2014, IARC announced its intent to evaluate red and processed meat with regard to carcinogenicity. During the next 11 months, the checkoff worked diligently on the topic, sharing important gold-standard scientific research and six scientific submissions with IARC members leading up to their decision. During FY15, the checkoff built crisis-preparedness plans that would help provide important context to consumers through traditional media and social media once IARC’s conclusions were published on Oct. 26, 2015. Dr. Shalene McNeill was prepared in advance and conducted more than 15 back-to-back media interviews with national broadcast networks and top-tier consumer media, providing important context and reassuring consumers that there is no research indicating that eating beef can cause cancer. The checkoff also provided important perspective through FactsAboutBeef.com blog posts, drawing more than 27,000 views of various posts, including What Do IARC’s Findings on Red Meat and Cancer Mean For You? The checkoff had prepared many of the messages and content in advance and was able to “flip on the switch” nearly immediately upon the IARC announcement. According to social-media sentiment and media stories, we do not expect that this report will have a long-lasting impact on consumer confidence nor consumer demand for beef — thanks in great part to the checkoff’s preparation and response efforts. Antibiotic Use and Resistance Seminar Use of antibiotics in food-animal production is a very important topic, both to consumers and producers. In an effort to help scientists and researchers work to understand the mechanisms through which antimicrobial resistance develops, the checkoff provided partial funding for the “Antibiotic Use and Resistance: Moving Forward Through Shared Stewardship” seminar. The fifth annual national symposium of its kind, the seminar allows presentation and discussion of the latest science by both animal- and human-health experts in an open and conversational setting. Significantly more human-health experts participated in this year’s symposium and were pleased that animal agriculture has developed a trusted national forum that recognizes shared stewardship to address antimicrobial resistance. Nearly 30,000 people viewed the audio/visual proceedings of the Symposium online during just the first couple of weeks afterward. To communicate key messages of the Symposium better in 2015, a series of “quick-fact” infographics were developed and made available online to producers and consumers alike. Masters of Beef Advocacy In fiscal 2015, the checkoff’s “Masters of &VVbGf