By Sara Brown
The vast majority of our consumers do not understand where their meat, milk or eggs come from. You can sit there at the computer and type in a number of search keywords, and find a wealth of opinions about the beef industry, farming and agriculture. Some will be accurate, but most won’t. Now, you can sit there and complain about it, or you can do something about it.
These girls from the University of Missouri (MU) Collegiate Cattlewomen decided to do something about it. Their “Meet Your Meat” campaign brought a show heifer to the middle of Lowry Mall on the MU campus, while the local Boone County Cattlemen’s served hamburgers and ribeye steaks to passersby.
As crowds of students, walked by, here’s what I heard:
“What does she eat? She’s huge!”
“Want to try a sample? Ribeye steak is one of the 29 lean cuts of beef.”
“Come pet the cow! It’s two months pregnant!”
“I love beef. It tastes so good!” (Really it was more like “luuuuuuuuvvvv”, but I think you get it.)
“Isn’t kinda mean to have the smell of meat going right into the cow’s face?”
I have to give these girls an amazing amount of credit. They handled the comments and questions like a pro! With attention getter “Cupcake” an Angus heifer from member Morgan Kueckelhan, there were many students stopping to take pictures and learn about the animal. Erin Mohler, PR committee chair for CCW and a student from La Plata, Mo., says there were a lot of production question from students, as well as if they had a response to the movie, Food, Inc.
“We try to tell people that, we are here to tell our story, so if you don’t mind, let me tell you about myself and what we do on my farm back home,” Mohler says. “It’s very important that the young growing community understand the importance of [knowing] where their food comes from.”
The Boone County Cattlemen and CCW members cooked about 500 burgers and ribeyes for the event, while the CCW members sold “I ♥ Beef” t-shirts.
And the answer to the fifth question above? “The only smells cows are concerned about are hay, grass and corn. They don’t even know what a hamburger is.”