KEARNEY, Neb. – Learning about the products they use or talk about every day brought a diverse group from around the country to the Corn Husker State recently to see beef on the hoof.
Chefs, dietitians, bloggers and foodservice professionals were guest on the Beef Experience Tour hosted by the Nebraska Beef Council on May 9 – 10. The tour attendees were visitors from states across the country including New York, Ohio, Tennessee, California, Arkansas, Utah and Pennsylvania. The tour is offered each year to help attendees better understand the various segments of the beef community and how farmers and ranchers work together to raise quality beef products.
“We specifically target individuals for this tour that work with beef products every day but don’t necessarily have the background on how beef is raised,” said Adam Wegner, director of marketing for the Nebraska Beef Council. “These guests also have the ability to share their experience and knowledge with many other people creating a much larger impact.”
The tour included a visit to Knobbe Feed Yards near West Point where the attendees experienced a large-scale feeding operation and learned about the various feed sources used to raise high quality beef. The group continued with stops at Peregrine Ranch near Fullerton and Loseke Farms outside of Columbus. Each stop explained their role in raising beef from grazing pastures and breeding to corn production and animal care.
“I feel that my line of work has provided me with some strong insight on our country’s beef supply, but seeing it firsthand was very gratifying,” said Chris Johnson, senior specialist in culinary innovation for The Wendy’s Company. “The one component that stuck out to me the most was the passionate care the farmers had for their cattle. They aren’t just looking at their livestock from a dollar standpoint, they genuinely care about the health of their animals and providing high quality beef for everyone, including their own families.”
The tour concluded with a visit to Cargill Meat Solutions, a 5,000 head per day harvesting facility in Schuyler. The group watched the harvest process and carcass breakdown resulting in boxed beef ready for shipment.
“Nebraska is ideal for telling the story of how beef is raised,” said Wegner. “We have the natural resources, the feed, the packing industry and most importantly, the people that it takes to efficiently raise quality beef.”
Nebraska is the number one red meat production state in the country with over seven billion pounds produced each year.