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NMSU to host July 30 webinar on marketing beef directly to consumers

Release Date: 21 Jul 2020
NMSU to host July 30 webinar on marketing beef directly to consumers

Interest in direct marketing of beef to consumers has increased since the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the retail food supply chain.

In response to requests for further information about the direct sale market, New Mexico State University’s College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences and the Southwest Sustainable Beef Project will focus the July “Navigating COVID-19 for New Mexico Beef Producers” webinar on this topic.

The session that will begin at 6 p.m. Thursday, July 30.

“The objective of this webinar is to provide New Mexico beef producers with an update regarding current regulations for direct marketing of beef and potential changes in those regulations in the future,” said Craig Gifford, NMSU Extension beef specialist. “The webinar will be hallmarked with a few producers who have built successful businesses based on direct marketing of beef to consumers.”

The program will include Jeff Witte, New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture, providing the latest on COVID-19 impact in agriculture, as well as updates regarding state-level meat inspection.

Marcy Ward, NMSU Extension livestock specialist, will provide updates on current regulations in NM as well as some considerations for direct marketing to consumers.

Rounding out the program will be Mike Callicrate of Ranch Food Direct out of St. Francis, Kansas, and Cindy Tolle of Evergreen Ranching and Livestock LLC out of Custer, South Dakota.

“Our two out-of-state guest speakers will give us insight into direct marketing from their experiences of operating such businesses,” Gifford said. “Both are selling grass-fed beef to non-traditional markets.”

Callicrate developed the Callicrate Smart Bander in 1991 and started Ranch Foods Direct in 2000. He has been actively involved in social and political efforts to improve the welfare of family farms and restore effective publicly regulated markets.

“Mike is really in tune with what is happening around the nation regarding direct marketing,” Gifford said. “There are a groups of producers who are coming together at marketing co-ops. He will tell us about this option and gives some ideas on how to direct market.”

Tolle raises Criollo cattle and bison. She is a member of the Southwest Sustainable Beef Project team and has collaborated for a number of years with NMSU’s Jornada Experimental Range Criollo project.

Through Evergreen Specialty Foods, Tolle provides Audubon Conservation Ranching Certified grass-fed, grass-finished beef, bison, pastured pork, goat and lamb to clients in a wide market.

“Cindy has a different approach to marketing her grass-fed beef that I think our producers will find interesting,” Gifford said.

To attend the webinar, participants must register in advance at After registering, a confirmation email will provide information about joining the meeting.

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