The beef checkoff, through the Northeast Beef Promotion Initiative (NEBPI) partnered with the New York Beef Council (NYBC) to host the two-day Food, Farm and Science: From a Nutrition Perspective immersion experience Oct. 10-11 in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. Twenty-five nutrition, fitness and medical professionals traveled from across seven states to attend including New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

Nutrition influencers kicked off the event listening to distinguished speakers such as Doug Paddon-Jones, Ph. D., Professor of Nutrition and Metabolism at the University of Texas; Dave Zino, Executive Chef for the beef checkoff; Kim Stackhouse, Ph. D., Director of Sustainability Research; Mary Lee Chin, MS, RD, Nutrition Edge Communications; and Mike Roussell, Ph. D., Head of Nutrition at PEAK Performance. Attendees learned the latest in protein research, the comprehensive sustainability study in the beef community, and the BOLD (Beef in an Optimal Lean Diet) research showing lean beef in a heart healthy diet can improve cholesterol levels. “I like the evidence and studies that beef plays an important role in a healthy eating plan,” said Toby Amidor, RD, a nutrition consultant and attendee.

Photo at right: Doug Paddon-Jones, Ph. D. shows attendees the devastating effects of muscle loss without adequate protein intake and protein’s importance in healthy aging.

Chef Dave Zino provided hands-on experience with the power of umami and beef cookery. The first day concluded with a beef and wine pairing dinner on the Hudson Valley riverfront at Shadows on the Hudson, Poughkeepsie, N.Y., sponsored in part by Fox Run Vineyards.

Doug and Cheryl Giles of Walbridge Farm, Millbrook, N.Y., hosted the group on day two, for an on-farm tour of their cow/calf and seed stock operation. The tour began with a hayride through lush green pastures, to gain a true understanding that all cattle are raised on grass for most of their lives on open pastures. Attendees then had the chance to address their questions to a diverse panel of members from the beef community. The producer panel included Paul Slayton, acting as moderator and owner of Slayton’s BearDance Farm, PA; Doug Giles, Owner of Walbridge Farm, NY; Dennis Byrne, Manager of Herr Angus, PA; Buck Wehrbein, Mead Cattle LLC, feedlot operator, NE; Mike Baker, Ph. D., Cornell University, Beef cattle Specialist, NY; Dr. Dave Wolfgang, Penn State University, Extension Veterinarian, PA; and Doug Nicholas, General Manger, Nicholas Meat Packing, Co., PA.

Photo at left: Walbridge Farm owner, Doug Giles takes the attendees through the beef cattle life cycle of and how he cares for the cattle on his farm.

Nutrition and fitness professionals asked the difficult questions including antibiotics use, hormone use and food safety. Dr. Wolfgang explained that antibiotics were used judiciously with the primary focus to keep animals healthy. Attendees walked away with not a single question unanswered and a new found appreciation for the beef industry. Listen to what two certified fitness professionals had to say about their experience:

The event was a great learning and networking experience for all guests in attendance.  Attendees seemed to thoroughly enjoy the experience with one health influencer noting, “This was a wonderful experience. Really enjoyed looking at all the areas of beef production. Being able to come to a local farm was great. Thank you!”

For more information, questions or photos please contact Jennifer Orr or Cindy Chan Phillips, RD

For more information about your beef checkoff investment, visit