The beef industry uses the Internet to reach within and beyond ourselves.
Did you ever need grass and become frustrated about how difficult it is to find a lease? The industry has a pretty sophisticated and effective marketing system; but when it comes to locating grass when it’s needed, we’ve operated with a very inefficient system that relies mainly on word of mouth.
With this being the Internet age, this kind of communication strikes people as being highly inefficient. Now, a new website called Pasture Scout, aims to be the Internet’s clearinghouse for finding grass, leasing grass and facilitating the transactions. It is just one example of some highly innovative solutions to problems the industry faces.
Total truth be told, however, BEEF magazine debuted two years ago an online program called Grazing Bulletin Board. On this site, folks looking for pasture can post their desires, while those with pasture to lease can post their availability. Check it out at beefmagazine.com/grazingbulletinboard.
While the two programs mentioned above are more for internal industry communication, there’s plenty going on to reach beyond the industry as well. One thing that’s struck me thus far in Nashville are the many good initiatives being undertaken to improve education and build beef demand. In fact, there are so many that it’s tough to stay abreast of them all.
One neat example is the partnership between the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and Merck Animal Health created to beef up knowledge among retail employees. The new beef retail education project was created to better inform retail meat counter employees and other frontline advocates about today’s beef supply, including modern beef production practices. This effort will allow participants to better explain how U.S. beef is produced and answer consumer questions about the beef they sell in their meat case.
It was amazing to see the sophisticated training materials that NCBA and Merck put together, including videos and an Internet-based delivery. It’s just one small project, but it’s one that has the potential to build demand.