Although the U.S. has been free of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), the checkoff recognizes the importance of being prepared to communicate with industry and consumer representatives in the event of such a crisis. With that in mind, the checkoff formed the FMD Cross Species Communications Group about a decade ago to create a unified crisis communication plan for the livestock industry and collaborate on consumer-tested FMD messages.

In June, the checkoff led a communicators’ webinar for this Secure Beef Supply (SBS) plan to collaborate all sectors of the beef industry on the subject of foreign animal disease outbreaks. Similar to previous briefings of stakeholder groups – such as retail and foodservice trade associations – this latest webinar updated SBS members on communications activities of the FMD Cross Species Communications Group, including consumer-tested messages and talking points, fact sheets, website and other materials developed through the FMD Cross Species Communications Group. The FMD Cross Species Communications Group will continue work to plan against FMD with a tabletop exercise for stakeholders this fall to continue testing the crisis communications plan. Lear more at FMD info.