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Beef Checkoff Highlighted at New England Meat Conference

08:30AM Mar 14, 2014

The beef checkoff was honored as a Crown Roast sponsor at the 2014 New England Meat Conference in Concord, N.H., March 7-8. A partnership between the national beef checkoff's Northeast Beef Promotion Initiative, the Vermont Beef Industry Council and the Pennsylvania Beef Council's Northeast Dairy Beef Quality Assurance Contract helped highlight the latest checkoff efforts to more than 300 New England packers, restaurant operators, retailers, producers, and meat cutters at the conference.

During a two-day trade show at the conference, the checkoff distributed beef educational materials, cut charts, and merchandising materials and gave participants the opportunity to enter a "Best of Beef" raffle basket of beef promotional items.

The conference kicked off with a 90-minute checkoff-sponsored educational demonstration by James Beard nominated author Kari Underly, who demonstrated how to break down a beef hindquarter. Underly demonstrated the beef value cuts from the beef loin, sirloin and round in an effort to highlight the value potential and variety of cuts available from the hindquarter compared to the more traditional cuts fabricated from this area of the carcass.

Another session, "Improve the Value of your Beef through Quality Assurance," featured Dr. Mike Baker, beef cattle extension specialist at Cornell University, and allowed participants to complete their Level 1 BQA certification.

"When the audience was polled (before the session), of the 20 or so participants, only one or two were BQA certified," Dr. Baker said. "Nearly all of the farmers at the conference were direct marketers. As the purpose of the BQA program is to enhance carcass quality and safety, thereby protecting consumer confidence in the beef supply, it only makes sense that this is an audience that should be particularly interested in BQA certification.

"The presentation sparked a lot of interest, and we look forward to assisting direct marketers in meeting consumer demands through BQA certification," Dr. Baker said.

For some of the participating New England meat industry influencers and attendees, this conference represented their first interaction with the Beef Checkoff Program.

"The New England Meat Conference provided a great forum for the Beef Checkoff Program to update both processors and producers about the great work that the checkoff is doing on their behalf and the resources that the checkoff can provide to help them promote and sell beef," said Chad Smith, director of collections compliance for the Cattlemen’s Beef Board.

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Source: Beef Checkoff Program