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Beef quality summit features gate-to-plate education

The Oklahoma Beef Quality Summit promises to be a true “gate-to-plate” educational experience for participants as they evaluate live cattle to predict quality and yield and then follow the animals through harvest, grading and fabrication.

The Oklahoma Beef Council, in cooperation with Oklahoma State University, will host two of the hands-on courses at OSU’s Stillwater campus Oct. 23-25 and Oct. 25-27. OSU animal science, meat science and agricultural economics faculty, along with other beef industry professionals, conduct the course.

“As beef check-off dollars fund the summit, the tuition, materials and meals will be free for beef producers,” says Heather Buckmaster, executive director of the Oklahoma Beef Council.

People from other industry segments — feeders, processors, retailers and foodservice operators — are welcome to attend, for a registration fee of $150.

Using the National Beef Quality Audit as the foundation, the course offers participants the opportunity to see the causes and results of quality challenges facing the beef industry.

Participants are divided into teams at the beginning of the course and each team selects a live steer to follow through the beef process. Buckmaster says teams become quite competitive, especially when it comes to fabricating the carcasses.

“The teams compete against each other to see how well they captured the value from their animal,” she says.

Buckmaster says the Oklahoma Beef Quality Summit allows producers to develop a greater understanding of how the beef system works.

“It crystallizes for them that they aren’t just producing calves, they are producing beef,” she says.

Folks interested in attending the course can call Staci Amato at the Oklahoma Beef Council (800) 235-5403 for more information or to reserve a space. The courses are limited to 35 participants, so Buckmaster encourages early registration. Attendees will be responsible for travel and lodging costs.

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