The Ohio Beef Council encourages counties to reach consumers in their local areas through events and programming. The County Promotion Grant program helps counties to share their beef production stories with consumers where face-to-face contact enhances consumer confidence in the beef they are purchasing for their families.
Beef checkoff dollars are utilized to build demand for beef with promotional efforts targeted toward millennial consumers. The millennial generation represents 80 million consumers who are born between 1980 and 2000. Millennials get their information overwhelmingly through social media, including food bloggers, dietitians, “foodies” and other influencers. They are asking more questions about their food and increasing their food spending. By 2020, total spending power of older millennial parents will hit $1.4 trillion a year. The goal of checkoff funded programs is to stimulate these consumers to eat more beef meals more often. To accomplish this goal, checkoff programs are often concentrated in the larger metropolitan areas and increasingly utilize digital marketing strategies to reach millennials who are engaged online and in social media.
When Ohio beef producers voted in 2014 to increase the state checkoff to two dollars, it enabled the Ohio Beef Council (OBC) Operating Committee to create a fund to extend beef promotional programs at the local level well beyond the metropolitan areas. This fund, called the County Beef Promotion Grant, creates a perfect partnership with county cattlemen’s groups and county Farm Bureau groups. Through the grant program the checkoff harnesses the creativity of county groups to reach more consumers with beef promotions and educational efforts. And with nearly 11.5 million people, Ohio has lots of consumers throughout the entire state to reach. The county grant program encourages counties to share their beef production stories with consumers where face-to-face contact enhances consumer confidence in the beef they are purchasing for their families.
For questions regarding County Beef Promotion Grants or the application, please contact Manager of Consumer Programs & Digital Marketing, Nicole Schultz.
The grants are designed for consumer targeted beef promotional/educational events and grant applications are due quarterly on January 1, March 1, June 1 and September 1. Counties can fill out the form below to apply. Grants must be submitted prior to the event and will be evaluated by the planning committee of the Ohio Beef Council and voted on at an OBC Operating Committee Meeting. There is no limit to how many applications a county can submit in a calendar year.
Beef promotion grants will be considered based on the application’s alignment with the objectives of the current year’s OBC marketing plan and alignment with the National Beef Checkoff campaign. Grants will be considered throughout the duration of the current year’s marketing plan, providing there are still funds available in the specific program area.
At the conclusion of the event, applicants will be asked to submit a summary and invoice for the approved amount in order to receive funds.
The event can be a new or an existing event, however, it must be a consumer-oriented event targeted at a non-agricultural audience and be promotional in nature. Ideas include non-agricultural youth educational field days, value cuts cutting schools for retails/processors, new product sampling events, beef cooking demonstrations, beef cook-offs, farm tours and breakfast/dinner on the farm events.
The grant cannot be used for equipment, operating costs and traditional projects. These include bedding for cattle barns, fair trophies and awards, grills or cooking equipment, scholarship fund donations, producer information sessions and county fair sale buyer dinners.