Inspiring The Next Generation Of Meat Cutters And Butchers With Beef Checkoff Class Takeover

Bedford – State College, PA  – The Beef Checkoff’s Northeast Beef Promotion Initiative (NEBPI) hosted a Beef Checkoff class takeover event in conjunction with Penn State’s Butcher School Program on Monday, August 7th, 2023 at Penn State’s Meat Lab.

Penn State’s Butcher School, offered by Penn State Extension, is an apprentice training program registered with the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, the Penn State Butcher School is designed to develop and promote the skills necessary to become a trained meat processor.

NEBPI hosted a Beef Checkoff Class with present and past students from the apprenticeship program with the goal of the event to inspire the next generation of meat cutter/butchers to learn more about the beef carcass all while sharpening their cutting skills and noting it’s value and versatility.

Components of the Beef Checkoff class included, insights into today’s beef consumer, an overview on the Beef Checkoff and a review of resources that are available to foodservice and retail professionals, a guide into pitching beef to consumers, and a hands-on beef cutting breakdown conducted by National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, (NCBA)’s Director of Product Quality Research, Jessica Lancaster, PhD.

“The class takeover at Butcher School was an empowering opportunity to equip the attendees with the knowledge, skills, and resources to optimize the beef carcass, said Dr. Lancaster. The day was packed with hands on content that showcased the value and versatility of beef and attendees were able to gain experiences and insights around beef that they will be able to leverage with the consumers they interact with.”

Students had their own opportunity to break down a chuck roll themselves after following the instructional lead of Dr. Lancaster. This allowed them to put the information and skills they learned for the day to the test. Students also had to put their consumer sales pitch component to the test by pitching a selected merchandising cut from the chuck to the class.

Engagement opportunities, such as this provides hands-on experiences to arm these key foodservice leaders with beef information that can play an important role in ensuring consumers choose beef.

Billie Jo Kiel, one of the students that participated in the class, shared how excited she was to take the knowledge she learned regarding beef cuts and resources that are available and share those with consumers.

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The Beef Checkoff Program was established as part of the 1985 Farm Bill. The checkoff assesses $1 per head on the sale of live domestic and imported cattle, in addition to a comparable assessment on imported beef and beef products. States may retain up to 50 cents on the dollar and forward the other 50 cents per head to the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board, which administers the national checkoff program, subject to USDA approval. Internal links within this document are funded and maintained by the Beef Checkoff.  All other outgoing links are to websites maintained by third parties.