Millions of consumers are looking at the “Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner” website ( for cut information and re­­cipes, says Season Solario, senior executive director of brand marketing for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), a contractor to the beef checkoff.

But a new, interactive beef expert is available for questions related to all things beef, and he’s available through voice activation. The expert is Chuck. Chuck Knows Beef, that is. He’s powered by artificial intelligence and brought to consumers recently by the beef checkoff.

Chuck Knows Beef helps consumers learn more about different cuts of beef, recipes and cooking temperatures. It’s available at or by enabling Chuck Knows Beef on your Amazon Alexa or Google Home Assistant.

Chuck Knows Beef allows the checkoff to expand the message about beef through other interactive channels, Solario said.

 “There are nearly 50 million smart speaker owners today in the United States, so we wanted to take all that information and put it into a rapidly growing area of technology,” she said.

New products

Launching new products means thinking creatively about existing ones, says Eric Mittenthal, vice president of public affairs at the North American Meat Institute. He and his team are working to fully launch the Beefshi concept. Beefshi is a new sushi-style concept that features convenient beef products like pastrami, roast beef, summer sausage, hot dogs, corned beef and bologna prepared in rolls with rice and vegetables.

The Beefshi website,, shows recipe ideas and preparation instructions, complete with a how-to videos. One recipe, called the Inside Out Wisconsin Noori Maki, combines summer sausage, cheddar cheese and sushi rice to make a Wisconsin-inspired sushi roll.

Some checkoff-funded activities and events in 2018 featured Lance Pekus, a cattleman from Idaho who is known as the Cowboy Ninja from NBC’s “American Ninja Warrior.” He was a part of the “Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner.” website and helped develop a farm-to-gym 20-minute workout. Pekus also participated in the nation’s largest health and fitness expo in Washington, D.C., where he represented the beef industry.

The beef checkoff is launching a first-ever national consumer veal campaign, which will be directed by the North American Meat Institute. The campaign launch, coming soon, will feature globally inspired recipes and fresh ideas for consumers looking to craft quick and easy-to-prepare meals.