The “Meat Your Beef” farm tour offered chefs and foodservice professionals the opportunity to do just that, to meet their beef. A group of 21 chefs from the suburbs of Philadelphia, PA attended a full-day beef tour in the south-central part of Pennsylvania on June 26. The chef attendees source their beef from Indian Ridge Provisions, a further processor and distributor of proteins based in Telford, PA.
The first tour stop of the day was to the Masonic Village Farm located in Elizabethtown, PA. Scotty Miller, Beef Herdsperson at Masonic, led attendees through a first-hand look at the entire beef lifecycle, from birth to market. Masonic Village Farm was selected as the 2016 National Beef Quality Assurance Cow/Calf Award recipient as well as the Region 1 Environmental Stewardship Award winner in 2011. Not only were chef attendees able to learn more about the day-to-day commitment cattlemen have for the health and well-being of cattle but they also learned about the passion beef farmers have to preserving the land, water and natural resources. Following Masonic, the attendees toured Hershey’s Lancaster Beef in Mount Joy, PA led by owner, Seth Hershey. Hershey’s is a grain-fed finisher of beef and they’ve worked to secure a direct-market for their cattle through relationships built with local restaurants.
Dr. Sara Place, the Senior Director of Beef Sustainability Research with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, a contractor to the beef checkoff program shared a beef sustainability presentation with the group over the lunch hour and she also served as panelist on a beef industry panel discussion later in the afternoon. Additional panelists included Dr. Dave Wolfgang, VMD, MPH, the PA Department of Agriculture’s Director for the Bureau of Animal Health and Diagnostic Services, Adam Zurin, a Cattle Nutritionist with Agri-Basics, Inc., and Seth Hershey, owner of Hershey’s Lancaster Beef. Attendees had the opportunity to have candid discussions with panel members on topics ranging from cattle traceability to plant-based proteins. No topic was off the table and the discussion allowed for a deeper dive into the transparency of the industry.
Prior to the beef tour experience, 27% of attendees stated that the positives of beef strongly outweighed the negatives and following the tour, that number had risen to 88%. With over 60% of the attendees claiming they were at least 3 generations removed from production agriculture, it’s worth noting the post-tour survey results showed a 32% increase in the attendee’s favorability towards farmers and ranchers involved in the beef industry.
For more information about the beef checkoff’s presence in the Northeast region, check out the NortheastLovesBeef Facebook, Twitter or Instagram pages. For more information, visit NEBPI.org or MyBeefCheckoff.com.
Internal links within this document are funded and maintained by the Beef Checkoff. All other outgoing links are to websites maintained by third parties.
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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.
Source: The Beef Checkoff Program