WESTMORELAND, N.Y. — The New York Beef Council, in partnership with New York Ag in the Classroom, hosted more than 100 guests over the course of four “Meat Your Beef” tours that spanned the state of New York. These educational tours were made possible through continued support and funding from the South Dakota Beef Council.
In just four days over 100 attendees ranging from Registered Dietitians, Culinarians, Food Bloggers, teachers, and more learned about beef production in New York, as well as, the Midwest. Four tours were hosted June 13th-16th at Walbridge Farm in Millbrook, NY, Golden Acres Farm in Westerlo, NY, Lucky 13 Beef Farm in Tully, NY and Hereford Beef Farm in Medina, respectively.
Tours of each operation included discussion on cattle care, breeding and handling, as well as, feed stuffs and crop production. Following the tour attendees were led in a blind taste test of different types of beef and presentations from NYBC staff on beef options and beef nutrition. Guest speakers, Dr. Mike Baker, Cornell Beef Extension Specialist, and Dr. Dave Wilson, DVM joined the groups throughout the week to present information regarding antibiotic use, and regulations and oversight of antibiotic withdrawal times for cattle. Following the tour over 85% of attendees reported being not very or not at all concerned about the use of antibiotics to keep cattle healthy.
The “Meat Your Beef” Farm to Fork tours have been made possible for the last six years due to support from the South Dakota Beef Council. New this year, tour attendees were able to hear directly from and ask questions of two cattlemen from South Dakota who visited New York to speak on beef production in the Midwest. The South Dakota producers shared pictures of their cow-calf and feedlot operations while showing guests that “big is not bad” and the steps they take on their farms to care for their animals and the environment. “This was a great way to understand where our beef comes from and how it was produced. It was especially interesting to “see” the process in other parts of the country”, shared one attendee. Pre and Post- Surveys conducted revealed there was at least a 60% increase in those surveyed who were not at all concerned or not very concerned about management and prevention of animal disease, what cattle eat, and the sustainability of beef production.
One tour attendee summarized their experience by stating, “We need farmers! This program gave excellent information about the integrity of the farming/cattle raising industry business. It cleared up the negative side of “red meat”. The hard work that is put into providing nutritious food for the masses is amazing. We are so fortunate to have farmers with such high standards. I learned a lot! And I gained a ton of resources. Can’t wait to use them. Thank you so much!” New York Beef Council Staff is proud to educate our consumers on behalf of the beef and dairy producers of NY and to serve as a resource to consumers relating to anything beef!
–New York Beef Council
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