Many Nebraska ag groups spend time and money every year sending members and delegates on promotion and trade missions to other countries, but do these foreign marketing tactics actually work?
The Nebraska Beef Council says yes. That's why they've decided to allocate more checkoff funds this year to continue those promotion projects.
Director Ann Marie Bosshamer says promoting Nebraska beef in other countries benefits Nebraska exports.
"Taking those business trips over to Japan, or wherever it might be, is very crucial for us, and if we do them consistently, we are able to build relationships which obviously helps us to sell more product," she said.
Bosshamer says trips to Asia, Central and South America cultivate relationships between American producers and foreign buyers. She says there's plenty of proof that it works noting that one of Hong Kong's premier cooking schools uses only Nebraska beef to their students.
"We go over there, we do cutting demonstrations, we do cooking demonstrations, we've had their instructors come here to Nebraska to learn about production," said Bosshamer. "It's kind of a unique opportunity that we have to work with those culinary students."
Beef Council board member Craig Uden, who is also the Vice Chair of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, says buyers want to know where their food is coming from.
"They want to know who's producing the product, so it's very vital that producers get over there when they have the opportunity and meet those folks one-on-one," said Uden.
Uden says export dollars are a large part of every animal sold in Nebraska, and foreign marketing can multiply export opportunities.
"You have to open those doors, and it's no different than doing business over here, it's people meeting people and people developing trust," he said.
Beef Council officials also say that delegates from other countries enjoy coming to Nebraska to see production methods and values first hand.
The Nebraska Beef Council plans to continue funding a relief project in Japan they took part in last year, and holding another beef showcase for buyers in Panama City.