2015 Beef Checkoff Annual Report - Page 8

Research 23.3% Research is at the base of virtually every beef-checkoff investment decision to ensure that we invest checkoff dollars in the most effective and efficient manner possible. Research efforts include market research; beef safety research; product-enhancement research; human-nutrition research; beef-sustainability research; and culinary and beef-innovation research. Following are some key examples from 2015. Understanding Consumers Market research and market intelligence are at the very base of virtually everything the checkoff does, but they also can be important in evaluating the effectiveness of checkoff campaigns. In fiscal 2015, the checkoff launched an online campaign tracker that determines consumer satisfaction with content on the checkoff’s www.BeefItsWhatsforDinner.com website and tracks any subsequent changes in consumer sentiment about beef. This online tracker is an intercept study, whereby visitors to the site are “intercepted” for feedback about their visits and the website, and their reactions have been very positive overall, with 94 percent satisfied with their experience; 90 percent likely to return in the future; and 82 percent planning to share the website with others. The second component is to evaluate individual landing pages within the site through simulated visits. This provides additional insights about how specific programs are working — recipe dissemination, or the Protein Challenge, for example. Another market research campaign in 2015 included studies focused on maximizing the beef industry’s opportunities in the ‘prepared foods’ section of the grocery store. Sharing Beef Innovations Whether it’s new fabrication methods, technical or product innovation, or culinary expertise, the behindthe-scenes work of the checkoff’s Beef Innovations Group (BIG) has a direct impact on beef consumption. A media workshop in fiscal 2015 drew about 15 writers to the checkoff-funded Beef Culinary Center to learn about fabrication of: the shoulder clod into checkoff-developed cuts including the Flat Iron Steak, Ranch Steak and shoulder Petite Tenders; the chuck roll into cuts including the Denver Cut, Sierra Cut, and America’s Beef Roast; and fabrication of Top Sirloin and Ribeye cuts. Social media was hopping with posts during the event, and numerous feature-length stories emerged in key beef magazines and newspapers, including Drovers/CattleNetwork. Focusing on Beef Safety The beef checkoff has a long history of backing peer-reviewed scientific research and working with a host of organizations to maintain a safe beef supply from farm to fork. The focus of recent research projects completed and results distributed in 2015 include: whole genome sequencing; comparative genetics of human vs. cattle isolates; Salmonella prevalence in lymph nodes; and potential effects of lymph-node contamination on beef products. Guiding Beef Quality Education In fiscal 2015, the checkoff released a new USDA Grading Module and Simulation web tool to support beefindustry education. Beef quality continues to be one of the key demand drivers for beef, but many in the industry never have the chance to develop the understanding of how beef carcasses earn yield and quality grades. The USDA Grading Module and Simulation web tool includes educational modules, such as grading’s history, and teaches the carcass grading process step by step. Stacy McClintock Soldier KANSAS 8 Larry Oltjen Robinson KANSAS Perry Owens Minneapolis KANSAS Beth Patterson Yates Center KANSAS Julianna Jepson Franklin KENTUCKY Ryan Miller Bloomfield KENTUCKY Genevieve Lyons Church Point LOUISIANA Andy Salinas Marion MICHIGAN Steve Mathees Goodhue MINNESOTA Ted Reichmann Villard MINNESOTA Mike McCormick Union Church MISSISSIPPI Bre