The national beef industry has enlisted college students across the country in its public relations fight for America’s hearts, minds and stomachs.

The Masters of Beef Advocacy program also recruits farmers, ranchers, high-end chefs and school dietitians to spread the gospel of red meat consumption.

But, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), which started the outreach effort two years ago, has placed a strong emphasis on the Twitter generation. At least 20% of the nearly 2,200 program graduates are age 21 or younger.

The online program – called MBA in a nod to the more commonly known graduate business degree – is available in 47 states.

It’s especially popular at public land-grant universities with strong agricultural schools, such as the University of Missouri, Iowa State, Kansas State and Western Kentucky.

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