Those promotional tactics- and hundreds like them- are funded by the Beef Checkoff Program. It starts at the state level, where $1 is collected on each head of cattle sold. The state beef council then sends 50 cents of every dollar to the Cattlemen’s Beef Board for national beef promotion, research, and consumer education, and the other 50 cents is retained by the state. In Tennessee, that money is used in several ways.

“We work with local retailers like Kroger and Publix to provide them with beef signs, point-of-purchase promotional material, recipe racks, in-store demonstrations for new products, and sometimes even drawings for consumers to win steak knife sets or beef cookbooks,” Bass says. “We also provide educational kits to teachers across the state free of charge, and we work with doctors and dietitians so they can provide nutritional information to their clients.”

I have a bad feeling about this, although I don’t particularly know why.