RENO, NV – The Federation of State Beef Councils (FSBC), a division of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) has awarded seven new grants through its Federation Initiative Fund to help underwrite beef promotions in states with high human populations but low cattle numbers and limited checkoff collections.

The awards were announced during the 2008 Cattle Industry Annual Convention and Trade Show, Feb. 6-9 in Reno. New grant awardees include Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, New York, Oregon and Pennsylvania.

The fund, which just topped $1 million, is supported by the FSBC, as well as additional voluntary contributions from state beef councils in Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Texas.

Money comes from the states’ 50-cent portion of the $1 checkoff and helps extend national efforts to increase beef demand, says Gary Voogt, a Michigan producer and FSBC chairman.

“Here’s an example – there are 19 million consumers in New York State,” he says. “That’s more than six times the population of Kansas and more than 30 times that of North Dakota. The need for a cooperative effort to support member states and help distribute checkoff dollars to heavily populated areas is crystal clear.”

FSBC is an alliance of 45 beef councils that invest checkoff dollars to support and implement beef promotion, education and research programs at the state and national level. It has been in operation since 1963.