By Suzy Geppert, SDBIC Executive Director

“When the time to perform arrives, the time to prepare has passed.” Howard Putnam

The main goal of the checkoff is to build beef demand, acting also as a catalyst for other industry players. To do that, and do it well, you need a plan. As part of the November 2016 board meeting, South Dakota Beef Industry Council (SDBIC) directors met with other industry partners to collaborate on the development of the 2018-2021 strategic plan.  The council completes this process every 3 years. By using the wealth of information from beef checkoff research, opportunities are identified to expand, manage, and prioritize the SDBIC’s focus. Your federal checkoff dollars may only be utilized for research, promotion, and education. Creating a long-term strategic plan helps ensure the SDBIC’s work remains focused on those three key areas.

Research is the basis of virtually every checkoff program, which therefore makes it very important you know the “why” behind it. Checkoff funded research projects completed to date have likely saved the industry more than once from possible ruin, often brought on by beef information previously based on assumption, rumor, propaganda, and non-scientific studies. Beef checkoff research has identified and supported industry improvement in areas of meat tenderness, juiciness, and flavor—all areas identified by consumers as things important when they choose our product.  Muscle profiling research resulted in the development of several new value-added beef cuts from individual muscles previously overlooked—including the Petite Tender and Chuck Shoulder Steak. Both of those cuts also meet the government guidelines for “lean”. Prior to this research, that part of the carcass was usually processed into ground beef. Product development research continues to increase the overall value of beef as it builds the bridge to alleviate other consumer concerns.

Consumer focused research reveals Beef as part of a heart healthy diet also remains a concern. The checkoff responded by funding the Beef in an Optimal Lean Diet (BOLD) study.  Published in the January 2012 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, BOLD found participants experienced a 10% decrease in LDL cholesterol from baseline when they consumed lean beef daily as part of a heart-healthy diet and lifestyle containing less than 7% of calories from saturated fat. The BOLD diet showed to be as effective as the gold standard heart-healthy diet (DASH, Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension).

The SDBIC’s strategic planning process allows us to expand and develop research beyond the national studies so it can be adapted and proven with population groups like South Dakotans where beef is grown and remains a cultural aspect of many people’s diet. For our consumers who need to implement “heart friendly” food choices into their daily lifestyles, they can now include lean beef with confidence when having to adhere to this type of diet.

Dr. Kendra Kattelmann, PhD, RDN, LN, FAND and graduate student Kristin Olsen took this research a step further as they utilized South Dakota checkoff dollars to conduct the study, “Let Them Eat Beef:  Effects of Lean Beef Consumption on Markers of Metabolic Syndrome”. Metabolic syndrome is the name for a group of risk factors that raises your risk for heart disease and other health problems, such as diabetes and stroke.

Participants with metabolic syndrome were instructed to receive about one-third of their energy from protein with half of that amount as lean, red meat. This group had outcomes similar to those in the controlled DASH diet mentioned earlier. This would indicate moderate amounts of lean beef can be part of a diet to control metabolic syndrome symptoms. This is particularly important for those who have cultural practices which include beef and consume beef as a locally sourced food. 

The SDBIC congratulates Dr. Kattelmann and Kristin Olson on their exemplary research and its proven findings in supporting beef as a nutritious and heart-healthy protein. Their research has received national acclaim with recent publication in the Functional Foods in Health and Disease Journal and an upcoming MED magazine.

The SDBIC continues to use research such as this, along with other consumer-driven research, to develop programs and provide educational resources for use as a foundation for collaborative health-influencer partnerships. In upcoming articles, we will look at these partnerships in more detail as we focus on heart-healthy cooking and fitness events and activities completed across the state. Two of these include the American Heart Association’s Healthy Eating Day and Team BEEF South Dakota.

Do you have more questions? We want to hear from you. These “Beyond the Plate” articles are designed to address your questions, share South Dakota checkoff stories, and highlight industry impacts. For more information on the SDBIC and the beef checkoff contact Suzy Geppert, Executive Director, SDBIC. For national program efforts visit

Include:  Kattelmann Picture and AHA Event Picture