Beef Blaze

Optimism High as Cattle Producers Meet in Phoenix

Victoria G Myers
By  Victoria G. Myers , Progressive Farmer Senior Editor
The opening general session at this year's National Cattlemen's Beef Association in Phoenix, Arizona, featured a talk by Ree Drummond, Food Network's The Pioneer Woman. The session was hosted by SiriusXM's Storme Warren. (Photo courtesy of ZimmComm New Media/NCBA)

PHOENIX, Ariz. (DTN) -- Cattle producers are once again telling consumers their story using one of the most memorable ad campaign lines ever: "Beef. It's What's For Dinner."

The revival of that campaign, along with a new approach that takes the consumer from pasture to plate in beef's story, is aimed at reaching millennials. It was highlighted at the opening general session for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association's 121st annual convention, held in Phoenix, Arizona, this week. A crowd-pleaser, the new ad used the old Aaron Copland "Rodeo" music, added a nod to "Old MacDonald" and ended on that famous tagline.

Alisa Harrison, senior vice president, global marketing and research, NCBA, a contractor to the beef checkoff, said: "Consumers love beef and as with all foods, today's consumers want the whole story about the beef they buy. Our research shows that the 'Beef. It's What's For Dinner.' brand is still extremely popular among consumers, including millennials. So, in honor of its 25th anniversary, we have refreshed the brand and updated our resources to make beef information available to consumers where they want it, when they want it and how they want it."

While the message may be retro, this evolved version represents today's cattle industry. There's talk about forage production, sustainability, animal welfare, food safety and plenty of images of grilled hamburgers and steaks. Beef checkoff dollars funded the new campaign.

In addition to this unveiling, the first day of the meeting brought throngs of people to hear Ree Drummond, known as The Pioneer Woman, speak about her career and life on a ranch. The event was hosted by SiriusXM's Storme Warren.

Along with celebrities, there were lots of detail-oriented presentations for producers and industry members. The Cattleman's College celebrated its 25th year, with producer-chosen topics and speakers. In addition, a sold out trade show and numerous special events brought together a crowd best described as upbeat and with an optimistic outlook for 2018.

Victoria G. Myers can be reached at


Victoria Myers