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When the first case of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE – or “mad cow disease”) was found within U.S. borders, the National Cattlemen's Beef Association immediately put into action its BSE Crisis Response Plan, which had been developed and refined since 1997. During the first intense hours and in the months following, the NCBA, Cattlemen’s Beef Board and state beef organizations reassured consumers that America's beef supply was safe. More than a year later, consumer confidence in beef safety is at a record high level and U.S. beef producers are reaping the rewards of increasing demand. The largest segment of American agriculture and a $70 billion industry was protected from economic devastation.