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Beltway Beef Audio

Date: 3/13/2017

Title: Audio with Steve Hanson, Past Chairman

Audio with Steve Hanson, Past Chairman
Federation of State Beef Councils

Earlier this month Steve Hanson, a beef producer from Elsie, Nebraska, completed his one-year term as chairman of the Federation of State Beef Councils. Hanson says there have been many changes since he began volunteering in beef demand-building programs many years ago.

When I first got on to the Operating Committee, we were advertising on print media; you’d see our and you’d open up a magazine and there’d be the famous char marks on the steaks, and you’d hear those famous voices on TV and radio. And now with the dollars the way they are we can’t afford that kind of advertising, so we went to strictly digital to reach that millennial; she seems to be the person that does most of the buying decisions in the family – and I shouldn’t say she, because it’s he or she – the millennial really is our most opportunistic target right now.” (34 seconds)

Hanson says he has become a big proponent of using new strategies to reach today’s beef consumers.

We’re working digitally with all of the social accounts; Facebook, Twitter, we have some real knowledgeable people at NCBA in the marketing division, and we’ve hired a firm to help us with this, too, so it’s very important that we invest in this digital means. Social media has become a big player in this, and it’s very helpful, and I think we’re seeing some new things. I think we’ll see some new things at the Operating Committee level this year; we’ll see new ways when the woman walks into the supermarket, she will look at her apps and see what’s on sale that day. You know we hope to move things forward and make the digital world the real world where we can sell people meat and have people buy it.” (42 seconds)

Hanson says the Federation benefits from the differences among its state beef councils.

“We have great diversity within the Federation. We have states that have large numbers of cattle and small numbers of people, and we have states with small numbers of cows and large numbers of people. So you see a large interaction between larger checkoff dollar states into states with large numbers of people and small numbers of cows. An example of that would be Nebraska, Kansas go together to support a dietitian in New York, and we have for years, and it’s a way to reach a long ways and make our money go a long ways.” (33 seconds)

Among the things Hanson has learned through his service to the Beef Checkoff Program has been understanding how the Federation interacts with various organizations, including the Cattlemen’s Beef Board.

One thing I’ve learned is that it’s valuable to have a good working relationship with the CBB. They are our counterparts in investing in beef demand. The CBB has a great group of people and we have a good relationship with them. I’ve also learned that there’s more than one way to do things. There’s a lot of different ideas out there on how to drive demand, and we need to be open to all of them.” (22 seconds)