NORTH PLATTE, NE – Consumer satisfaction is what it's all about, according to a leader in the beef processing industry.

"Our research shows consumers are not 'anti-beef,' but they do want a product that is convenient and easy to use," said Bernie Hansen, president of Flint Hills Foods, one of six major manufacturers of ready-to-microwave meat main dish products.

Hansen will be speaking at the 2000 University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension Beef Roundups taking place Dec. 4 in Ogallala, Dec. 5 in Cozad, and Dec. 6 in Valentine.

Hansen will discuss what consumers have been telling the beef industry and describe how Flint Hills Foods has changed through the years to meet consumer need.

"The one thing you have to do in this business is change," Hansen added.

Hansen has been associated with Flint Hills Foods since 1971 and has seen many changes through the years. The company began as a small slaughter and meat processing business in 1969 in Alma, Kansas. Today, Flint Hills Foods employs 70 people and has plants in Alma and nearby Wamego. Due to its alignment with Hormel Foods, Flint Hills Foods produces the precooked meat products for retail and wholesale distribution under the Hormel label.

In addition to Hansen, the 2000 Beef Roundups will feature UNL beef specialists and members of the beef industry. At the end of the day, attendees will be able to ask the presenters questions during a panel discussion.

Each Beef Roundup session begins with registration at 9:30 a.m. (MST in Ogallala, CST in Cozad and Valentine) and concludes at 3:45 p.m. Cost of a 2000 Beef Roundup session is $15 per person, if registered by Nov. 27. After Nov. 27, registration is $20. The registration fee includes lunch and a copy of the proceedings.

To register for the Dec. 4 Roundup at the Ramada Limited, Ogallala, call the Keith-Arthur County Extension office at (800) 200-1320.

To register for the Dec. 5 Roundup at the Elks Club, Cozad, call the Dawson County Extension office at (308) 324-5501.

To register for the Dec. 6 Roundup at the Peppermill, Valentine, call the Cherry County Extension office at (800) 657-2188.

For more information or a brochure, contact the local Cooperative Extension office.

T.L. Meyer at WCREC