An agricultural grassroots organization, The American National Cattlewomen (ANCW), takes on a role of educating consumers about the benefits of purchasing beef. ANCW president Evelyn Greene says it's a role that has become vitally important during a struggling beef market.
The organization, established in 1952 has focused on agricultural education and promoting women in agriculture over the years, through their Women in Ranching Education & Development program, Collegiate Beef Advocacy Program, K-12 program and the ANCW Legislation Committee.
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Greene said, the ANCW sees this as a time when advocates need to be taking more action.
“There continues to be a great deal of uncertainty going forward and the impact that COVID-19 will have on the beef industry. But I know that we are a resilient industry and we will make the necessary changes to remain viable for all segments of the industry,” Greene said, “I see CattleWomen not just as 'important' but 'vitally important' to assure consumers we still have an abundance of choices and the supply of safe delicious, nutritious beef.”
Greene said a slowdown in the meat packing industry due to COVID-19 has severely affected all segments of the food supply chain. She believes getting the packing industry back to full production is a necessity for beef producers.
There is not a short supply of food, just an interruption in the food supply chain, Greene said. The solution to recovering the issues with the packing industry is returning the flow of beef from pasture to plate seamlessly.
“Getting the meat packing industry back in ‘full-force’ is a necessity. We must do this while providing a safe and healthy working environment for the thousands of men and women responsible for converting our cattle (and other food commodities) into products that line the grocery shelves every day.”
Greene said the advocacy ANCW provides for the beef industry is even more crucial during this time, so consumers know all parts of the beef industry is working hard to provide safe and healthy beef, no matter what is occurring during the recent slow down in the food supply chain.
Her background in the beef industry developed throughout her childhood years, as Greene said, she was raised on her families diversified farm where they produced cattle, sweet potatoes, corn and soybeans, located in the largest beef producing county in Alabama. Greene went on to continue her presence within the beef and agriculture industry as she has been managing her family farms row crop and cow/calf operation since 1982, while being active with CattleWomen chapters.
Greene said she has learned vital skills from her family's commodity production that she has learned vital skills that have prepared her to take on roles such as her presidential role for the ANCW. As an organization with 27 state affiliates of ANCW across the U.S., the organization has a local and national presence in the promotion and education of beef, Greene said.
Greene sees an ongoing representation of women such as herself, playing vital roles in the beef sector.
“The United States Department of Agriculture statistics show that 44% of American farmers and ranchers are women. The economic impact women make in agricultural enterprises have a $12.9 billion impact on our economy,” Greene said.
An aspect of the industry which Greene has emphasized during her ANCW presidential run is keeping the industry and markets in a positive light for generations to come. Greene said her theme of the year has been “beef for generations,”referring to predictions brought to her attention, by the year 2050 there will be 9 billion people coming to the table when the dinner bell rings.
“The American National Cattlewomen’s Association plays a critical role in both production and promotion of a high-quality food protein. The American National CattleWoman is strong, enthusiastic woman, willing to stand up for what we believe in. We are advocates for the beef industry,” Greene said.