South Dakota Beef Checkoff supports beef promotion in Washington, D.C.

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Farm Forum

PIERRE — Barbecue fans couldn’t resist the smell of sizzling steaks on the grill at the 23rd Annual Safeway National Capital Barbecue Battle held in Washington, D.C., on June 27-28.

Beef Checkoff Executive Chef Dave Zino hosted cooking demonstrations in the Safeway pavilion, while attendees were invited to visit a beef booth for recipes, games and more information on the versatility of beef.

The event was sponsored by the national Beef Checkoff Program, in partnership with the Northeast Beef Promotion Initiative (NEBPI) and the South Dakota Beef Industry Council (SDBIC).

“Our booth aimed to show consumers the convenience and versatility of cooking with beef and highlight beef’s flavor profile,” said Jennifer Orr, NEBPI director of public relations. “Our staff talked with consumers about cooking with beef, beef cuts, beef’s nutrient density and much more. Event attendees were able to play interactive games to test their beef cut knowledge, and they were surprised at the variety of cuts which were in fact lean and could easily be found on restaurant menus and in their local grocery stores. Attendees could make their own beef rub to use on steaks or ground beef at home. Staff reviewed cooking methods and temperatures to ensure a delicious and safe eating experience when grilling beef at home.”

During the two-day festival where thousands of people were in attendance, Chef Zino prepared recipes for “Three-Way Marinated Flank Steak” and “Gazpacho Steak Salad,” while NEBPI mascot “Miss Patty Melt” entertained the crowd.

“The crowd loved Chef Zino’s demonstrations and were able to sample the marinated steaks, afterwards commenting on how flavorful, juicy and tender the cuts were,” said Orr. “Chef Zino prepared easy-to-prepare beef meals, which would easily feed an entire family and with tastes that were kid-friendly. His marinated flank steak was demonstrated with three different sauces to appease a variety of consumers taste preferences and cooking methods.”

Overall, Orr said the event offered consumers more in-depth knowledge of beef’s flavor profile and the variety of beef cuts they can cook with.

“Using an onsite survey, 95% of attendees had a positive favorability of beef after interacting with checkoff staff and engaging at the beef booth,” said Orr. “Additionally, 79% of those polled stated they are more likely to recommend/serve beef at home to their families after visiting the beef booth. Having the ability to interact, face-to-face with these metro consumers and confirm today’s beef supply is raised in a safe and wholesome way, really resonates with them. Checkoff staff is able to help answer those tough questions they hear about agriculture and debunk myths to give them confidence in eating and choosing beef for their families.”

According to SDBIC Executive Director Ron Frederick, without funding from states like South Dakota, the beef industry would have little or no voice in the Northeast region where over 26% of the nation’s population resides and limited checkoff dollars are available due to low cattle numbers in the region.

For more information on projects of the SDBIC, check out www.sdbeef.org.