Food production has become one of the most publicized topics in this decade, yet many consumers don’t know where to find accurate information about the people who grow, cultivate and raise the food they eat. By utilizing beef checkoff resources, America’s cattle farmers and ranchers initiated "Close-Up on Modern Beef Production" to provide consumers with a behind-the-scenes view of how beef gets from pasture to plate. The project is a collection of three videos made by student filmmakers showcasing different areas of beef production.

To inspire awareness and encourage all consumers to take charge of their food choices, the Beef Checkoff Program selected three student filmmakers to receive funding to produce 20-minute documentaries on various aspects of U.S. farming and ranching. This enables the viewer to explore the beef production process along with the student, none of whom were raised with close ties to agriculture or the food industry.

The filmmakers include Michael DeTerra, a senior at Washington State University in Pullman; Katie Griffith, a recent graduate of West Virginia University in Morgantown; and Kevin Smith, a graduate student at Central Michigan University in Mt. Pleasant. DeTerra’s video examines animal welfare today and how it has evolved over the past 30 years; Griffith’s video explores families who work in beef production and their motivations for doing so; and, Smith’s video discusses the environmental impact of beef farming and ranching.

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