Editor’s note: R-CALF USA is a CPA member organization with a new program connecting consumers directly with US ranchers.
Billings, Mont. - In the wake of reports that beef cases in grocery stores are empty in some areas of the country, R-CALF USA has launched a new Website to connect consumers with their neighboring cattle farmers and ranchers who raise and sell cattle or beef that is exclusively born, raised, and harvested in the U.S. directly to consumers. The Website is www.USABeef.org.
[March 24, 2020 | R-Calf]
The Website is a platform for cattle farmers and ranchers to list their farms, ranches, or businesses, along with the type of cattle, beef and beef products they offer direct to consumers. American consumers can peruse this list online and contact the farmer, rancher or business of their choice to purchase beef that is exclusively born, raised and harvested in the United States.
In some instances, the farmer, rancher, or business will sell consumers a portion or the entire live animal and will arrange for the consumer to have the animal harvested at a state-inspected packing plant. In other instances, the farmer, rancher, or business will sell beef and beef products directly to consumers that were harvested in a federally inspected packing plant if the consumer lives outside the state where the animal is harvested.
R-CALF USA issued a member alert to its 5,300 members in 43 states on Friday announcing the availability of the platform that its cattle farmer- and rancher-members can begin listing their farms, ranches and businesses so they can be contacted by American consumers. Over the weekend, 31 farms, ranches and businesses from 18 states are already listed on the platform and American consumers can begin contacting them immediately.
All U.S. cattle farmers, ranchers, and business that sell beef direct to the consumer, including local butcher shops and local processors, are invited to list their contact information on www.USAbeef.org, provided they meet the site's only requirement: all beef must be USA -born, -raised, and -harvested.
"This is a small but important step that our organization can take to help connect America's consumers to America's cattle farmers and ranchers so they can enjoy the safest, most wholesome beef in the world - USA beef," said R-CALF USA marketing director Candace Bullard.
Bullard added that her organization hopes that by bridging the gap between consumers and their cattle-producing neighbors, some of the farmers and ranchers struggling with seriously depressed cattle prices will be able to stay in business.
"However, many of our industry's cattle producers are not able to sell their cattle or beef directly to the consumer, which is why our first step in addressing this ongoing crisis was to urge President Trump to take immediate steps to fix our dysfunctional cattle market and to pass a new Mandatory Country-of-Origin Labeling (M-COOL) law for beef so American producers can compete in America's marketplace," she said.
"Back to our new Website, if people share the Website on their social media, and message it to their friends perhaps we can help ensure that no American family will have to go without USA beef on their table at a time when it's needed most," Bullard concluded.