Education has high priority at the Kansas Beef Council, with two events geared to better education for key members of the public taking place in October.
A group of 25 dietitian members of the Wichita Dietetic Association learned the beef production life cycle during a ranch tour coordinated by the council, funding by beef checkoff dollars, and hosted by McCurry Brothers Angus near Mount Hope.
Participants studied cow-calf production and how proper animal health practices and genetic improvement ensure a quality end product. The importance of the ruminant animal's ability to convert low-quality feedstuffs to high-quality, consumable protein also was discussed.
Veterinarian Dan Thomson from the Beef Cattle Institute at Kansas State University explained how animal rights differ from animal welfare and how the beef production industry falls victim to attacks from animal rights groups. He also educated attendees about how technologies such as implants, feed additives and antibiotics increase beef production in a safe, regulated manner.
Health professionals, including dietitians, are a target audience of KBC due to the direct influence they have on consumers. The ranch tour concluded with dinner featuring a KC strip steak, one of the 29 lean cuts.
In another education session conducted by the KBC at the School Nutrition Association of Kansas annual conference, the nutritional values of beef and its importance in building strong bodies and smart minds was the featured topic.
The workshop discussed the challenge of today's youth being overweight, yet undernourished and living sedentary, inactive lifestyles.
Quality school meals, including breakfast and lunch, are important to combating these unhealthy issues. Around 50 school nutrition and foodservice specialists assembled and sampled six checkoff-developed school foodservice recipes, including Beef and Garden Vegetable Pizza, BBQ Beef Sandwiches, Spicy Mexican Beef Bake, Eat a Pita Meatball Sandwich, Beef Fried Rice and Saucy Shredded Beef Wraps.
All six recipes include nutrient-rich beef, whole grains and a minimum of one serving of a fruit or a vegetable. To request a copy of these recipes for your school, contact the KBC office.