Community Catalysts Help Cattle Feeders Share Their Stories

Demonstrating its continuing, strong commitment to America’s cattle industry, Merck Animal Health recently conducted a series of Responsible Beef Workshops to help empower cattle feeders to create and tell their story about responsible beef production.

The Responsible Beef initiative is designed to help members of the cattle industry demonstrate their vital role in delivering safe, wholesome beef products. Workshop participants were guided in how to identify their individual stories of beef production, while also creating greater awareness about their dedication to the four pillars of the Responsible Beef campaign – cattle, land, community and business. The ultimate goal of the workshops is to create an open communication channel as part of cattle feeders’ daily interactions with consumers and other businesses within their local communities.

“Beef production is more than just a job for American cattlemen – it’s their way of life,” says Jim Miles, fed cattle marketing manager for Merck Animal Health. “We understand and believe in what they do. That’s why we’re proud to stand together to help them communicate their dedication to their business, the care of their land and their obligation to treat their cattle, their employees and their neighbors in a responsible manner.”

The Responsible Beef Workshops featured leading farm advocate, agricultural author and community catalyst, Michele Payn-Knoper, who provided expert guidance to cattle farmers, ranchers and feedyard operators who attended the recent sessions in Canyon, Tex., and Great Bend and Garden City, Kan.

Her recommendations to cattle feeders included:
  • Tell your story through social media and everyday conversations to correct mistaken beliefs about food production.
  • Listen and engage with the people in your community to help identify shared beliefs, and establish a connection for future communications.
  • Share personal stories that are rich in information so consumers can make informed decisions, while connecting to the farm and ranch families at the center of the plate.
Widely known as a “change agent,” Payn-Knoper delivers advocacy training programs and motivational keynotes to empower organizations to build connected communities. She is the founder of Cause Matters Corp., which focuses on agricultural advocacy, social media strategy, community engagement and growing a food movement. Her lifelong passion for agriculture stems from childhood; she has been breeding and judging dairy cattle as a registered Holstein breeder since the age of 9 and now resides on a small central Indiana farm.

Merck Animal Health’s creation of the Responsible Beef campaign reflects its leadership in developing new product innovations and management approaches that improve beef product quality and safety, animal health and environmental stewardship, as well as support the long-term viability of America’s family-owned farms, ranches and feedyards.