South Dakota and New York Beef producers join forces to educate New York consumers

South Dakota Beef Industry Council
Farm Forum

PIERRE — The New York Beef Council hosted more than 60 guests over the course of three “Meat Your Beef” tours that spanned the state. These educational tours were made possible through continued support and funding from the South Dakota Beef Industry Council.

Over the course of the week three tours were held with attendees ranging from registered dietitians, culinarians, teachers, and more. The tours discussed beef sustainability and beef production in New York, as well as, the Midwest. The tours were hosted at Walbridge Farm in Millbrook, N.Y., New Penn Farm in Truxton, N.Y., and Meadowbrook Farms in Medina.

Guest speaker, Sara Place, Ph.D., senior director, sustainable beef production research with National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, kicked off each tour with a discussion of beef’s role in a sustainable food system and the latest beef life cycle assessment including the industry’s steps towards continuous improvement. Tours of each operation included discussion on cattle care, breeding and handling, as well as, feed stuffs and crop production. Following the tour attendees enjoyed a steak lunch and learned more about decoding beef labels and beef nutrition. Attendee post surveys revealed 98 percent of attendees felt they knew cattle raising very well or somewhat well, compared to the 64 percent who indicated knowing little to nothing about raising cattle previously.

The “Meat Your Beef” Farm to Fork tours have been made possible for the last seven years due to support from the South Dakota Beef Industry Council. This year, tour attendees had the special privilege of hearing directly from South Dakota rancher Tammy Basel. Tammy shared her experience with beef production in the Midwest and stories from her years of taking care of her cattle and pastures. One tour participant said, “This tour made me feel differently about the treatment of the animals and the care that farmers take to make sure that animals are treated well and fed well, up until the animal is sold.” Post-surveys revealed that attendees left the tour feeling much more confident in their beef supply. Over 87 percent of attendees were not at all concerned or not very concerned regarding antibiotic use in cattle, humane treatment of cattle on farms and ranches, management and prevention of animal disease, what cattle eat, and the nutritional value of beef.

Attendees summarized their experience by stating, “The tour and education portions were amazing. They were very informative and thorough. This experience gave me a lot of knowledge and complete confidence in the beef industry.”

For more information on the South Dakota Beef Industry Council and the New York Partnership contact Suzy Geppert at or call (605) 224-4722.