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Building beef demand by inspiring, unifying and supporting an effective state/national checkoff partnership.

States Alive!

Focusing on high population areas, influencers and millennials – and with some help from the Federation Initiative Fund – state beef councils and the Beef Checkoff Program are reaching out to further build the case for beef in the diet.

The Georgia Beef Board conducted three Beef 101 Tours and Seminars recently, focusing on retail and foodservice professionals to build greater understanding of what producers face on a day-to-day basis. Each of the tours had about a dozen attendees, and included a farm tour, where they got a sense of the daily routine of cattle producers, their seasonal struggles and marketing; a visit to the University of Georgia Meat Science Department, where attendees learned about beef quality and yield grading; a tour of a meat locker facility; and a carcass breakdown demonstration, where retail cut questions were answered.

Six Pennsylvania State University students attended the day-long training, learning how to better create open and positive conversations about beef. The M2M participants gained the experience needed to talk with consumers about nutrition, animal welfare, environmental impact and other key issues. Joe Hansen, NCBA, helped provide an overview of the beef industry’s current landscape and a tutorial on social media engagement. “Research has shown that our target consumer – the millennial – wants to hear directly from other millennials,” said Bridget Bingham, PBC executive director. “We’re thrilled to help bridge that gap and, at the same time, provide passionate youth ambassadors with the platform to confidently deliver the beef story.” The students were also able to visit with Pennsylvania Agriculture Secretary George Greig, who joined the group for lunch and participated in a candid question and answer session. Meanwhile, the Ohio Beef Council participated in a Team Cuisine Cooks Camp at the Tri-Rivers Career Center that allowed 13 instructors and 29 senior vocational culinary students from across Ohio to expand their knowledge of foodservice and culinary arts. Dave Zino, NCBA executive chef, communicated the value, versatility and profitability of beef on restaurant menus, while Glen Feichtner, an Ohio beef producer, shared important beef production and sustainability messages with the students. After the presentations, the students were able to create several unique recipe applications with Top Sirloin. Participants received checkoff-funded Beef University training materials to serve as a resource on beef production and further emphasize the importance of beef within foodservice operations. “This project helped teach culinary students how beef makes its way from our pastures to their kitchens,” according to Elizabeth Harsh, OBC executive director. “We think this opportunity will help us build future long term relationships not only with this influencer group of students, but also their extended network as they become established within the foodservice industry.” OBC plans on continuing the partnership with the Team Cuisine Cooks Camp, which is located in Marion, Ohio, as well as exploring similar opportunities across the state with vocational culinary programs. All three state projects were partially funded through the Federation Initiative Fund.

Participants in a Georgia Beef Board Beef 101 Tour and Seminar were able to get their retail questions answered during a carcass fabrication demonstration.

Partners in the project were the University of Georgia Meat Science Department, Partisover Ranch and Extension Agent Clay Talton. Additional funding was provided through the Federation Initiative Fund. “We received nothing but positive feedback throughout all three tours,” according to Suzanne Bentley, GBB director of industry information and public relations. “They really allowed us to build and maintain relationships with retail and foodservice professionals and the companies they represent.” According to Bentley, these kinds of tours are beneficial because they provide hands-on teaching rather than impersonal information through literature. Because of the success of the program, the GBB plans on conducting two similar tours each year. In November, The Pennsylvania Beef Council conducted an interactive spokesperson training with millennial students at the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture in Harrisburg. The event was part of the PBC’s inaugural “Millennial to Millennial” Recruitment Program, which aimed to identify young adults who have a passion to advocate for the beef community in Pennsylvania and the United States. The team will help educate the public about beef at large consumer expos and events throughout the year.

Participants in the Pennsylvania Beef Council’s Millennial to Millennial Recruitment Program included Joe Hansen (NCBA), Kaitlyn Carey, Ezra Swope, PDA Secretary George Greig, Emma Foster, Emily Line, Andrea Foore, Courtney Love and Bridget Bingham (PBC).

Future chefs and their instructors got first-hand education about beef at the Team Cuisine Cooks Camp, creating unique recipes from Top Sirloin.

Federation of State Beef Council-December 2014