Building on the success of last year's event in Nebraska, the beef checkoff, in partnership with the Kansas Beef Council, Nebraska Beef Council, New Mexico Beef Council, and Washington State Beef Commission, recently hosted six "Explore Beef Experience" work days at feedlots and cow/calf operations.
The Explore Beef program brought together industry representatives, veterinarians, producers and influencers who spent time working with producers, asking questions and getting their boots dirty in an effort to help them better understand modern cattle production and everyday life on a farm.
Participants included a variety of experts across the fields of nutrition, food safety, culinary, environment, animal welfare and food security.
"The impact of these events extends far past just the day on the farm," says Joe Guthrie, cow/calf producer from Dublin, Va., and chair of the checkoff's Joint Issues Management Subcommittee. "For instance, one attendee is now a panelist at a sustainability summit; one is partnering with the Hyatt hotels and working with their chefs, helping them see how animal care and beef sustainability fit well within Hyatt's recently announced global food/beverage philosophy."
Those are just two examples of how the events further emphasize the industry's commitment to educating influential audiences who, in turn, communicate about modern beef production to their viewers, shoppers, patients, students and readers.
"These events let people ask the tough, burning questions they've been wanting to ask for a long time – and they get to ask a real farmer," Guthrie says. "We're happy to see that after a great event in Nebraska last year, even more state beef councils are getting involved in hosting events in their areas. This is a great way to bring the farm to the city and impact a lot of people and their perceptions about beef."