The Arkansas Beef Council works to encourage and educate consumers about beef and beef products — purchasing, preparation, cooking methods, food safety and nutrition. The council funds research to develop better and healthier beef products and works with the retail and food-service industry to help promote and sell more beef in those operations.
The Arkansas Beef Council was created as part of the 1985 Farm Bill through the Beef Promotion and Research Act. Beef farmers wanted to work to increase the demand for their products through promotion, education and research.
Donette Spann is the administrator for the Arkansas Beef Council. She grew up on a cow/calf farm, where she fell in love with agriculture and the cattle industry. Working with beef, she meets a lot of the farmers and ranchers who raise the cattle that are eventually going to be that steak or burger on your plate. She loves seeing the process from farm to fork, knowing that cattle producers take so much care in raising livestock to be healthy, producing the best beef possible for consumers.
Spann says that during the pandemic, beef revenue has gone through the roof. While the sales have calmed down some and one can now finally find some beef in the meat case at the local grocer, consumers cooking and eating at home has helped the industry tremendously. The Arkansas Beef Council has adapted to the pandemic by increasing its digital presence, connecting with consumers through videos, social media and other online platforms.