After serving as president of Nebraska Cattlewomen, the consumer and promotion education committee of the Nebraska Cattlemen organization in 2001 and 2010, Cutler had gained experience in program proposals before the Nebraska Beef Council.
Cutler says that prior to serving on the board she knew what the checkoff did locally but has learned much more about what it does nationally during her time on the board.
“As a producer it is our responsibility to be involved,” says Cutler. “We’re all stakeholders and investing in those checkoff dollars and so I just felt running for the seat was a personal responsibility.”
Cutler began her first term as the district six seat in January of 2019, representing Nebraska producers from Arthur, McPherson, Logan, Keith, Lincoln, Perkins, Chase, Hayes, Dundy and Hitchcock counties. Cutler knows that the checkoff is very important to anyone who produces beef, including her closest peers and fellow producers.
“It’s important to keep the checkoff in existence to continue creating ideas that position beef as the #1 protein source with consumers,” says Cutler. “Being the #1 choice for consumers obviously drives up the demand for beef. In return it helps us, the producers, receive the highest return for our beef animals.”
Although all checkoff programs work toward the same goal to keep beef as the top choice in the minds of consumers, Cutler says the Beef Quality Assurance program is essential for the beef industry to be sustainable.
“Farmers and ranchers take care of their cattle because it is the right thing to do,” says Cutler. “We don’t need to be told to do that. But it makes good business sense and we know that safe beef comes from healthy cattle. Beef Checkoff funded research shows that there’s an increased desire amongst all consumers to know more about where their food comes from and where it is produced.”
Cutler notes that as producers become BQA certified, they demonstrate an industry wide commitment to the best management practices, which are constantly being updated based on consumer demands. As a cow-calf producer who is very satisfied with knowing her dollars are going to the checkoff, Cutler urges producers to attend local meetings to learn about how their dollars are being utilized.
“I’ve developed such a great appreciation for all the people involved in the Beef Checkoff process, and in Nebraska, we are so fortunate to have high-quality staff working constantly to develop programs and materials to keep consumers and producers engaged,” says Cutler. “Their knowledge, creativity, and transparency shows their commitment to investing our checkoff dollars in a responsible manner.”
The Nebraska Beef Council is a non-profit organization served by a nine-member board of directors. The volunteers oversee Nebraska’s beef checkoff and checkoff-funded programs. Programs for marketing and promotion are funded by the $1 beef checkoff.