(NAFB)--The beef checkoff hosted a Beef Boot Camp even in New York last week (May 7). Twenty-two retail meat buyers, managers and directors representing more than 400 retail locations were on-hand for the event. In addition - 12 culinary instructors, foodservice distributors and restaurant operators were present. During the event - Cornell University Beef Cattle Extension Specialist Dr. Mike Baker discussed the various choices of beef available to consumers. Cattlemen’s Beef Board member and Beef Cattle Extension Specialist at Penn State University Dr. Dan Kniffen explained the role of the Beef Checkoff Program. The majority of attendees had little to no understanding of beef production - so a tour of the Walbridge Farm provided a unique opportunity to see a modern-day working beef farm from pasture to plate.
After lunch at the farm - Dr. Kniffen discussed the current climate of the beef industry before the group split into separate retail and foodservice tracts. Those in retail heard about the recently launched Better Beef Sales retail training tool, a beef pop-up timer program, beef and veal promotional opportunities available through the beef checkoff, findings from the checkoff-funded 2011 National Beef Quality Audit and saw a demonstration on how to cut and merchandise the new beef value cuts from the beef chuck roll and shoulder clod.
Foodservice influencers received a trio of presentations highlighting the checkoff’s Beef Alternative Merchandising (BAM) program. It started with a cutting demonstration on the beef top sirloin and beef ribeye, followed by a cooking demonstration and then merging the two demonstrations together by showing attendees how to make this work for their menus.