This spring, USMEF-Taiwan utilized support from the Beef Checkoff Program to hold the “2009 Hottest Little U.S. Cowboy Competition,” promoting the role of U.S. beef in a healthy family diet. Families submitted photos for the online cowboy/cowgirl photo contest throughout April and May. Contest winners were selected through a combination of online polling and judging by Monnalisa Kids’ Garment Co., the event sponsor.

Twenty contest winners and more than 120 family members took part in the award ceremony at the Agora Garden Hotel in Taipei earlier this week. Winners received great prizes, as well as the chance to be featured in USMEF’s 2010 table calendars.

   “The healthy cowboy contest promotes an ideal of sturdy, growing children, who need the nutrients found in U.S. beef such as zinc, iron and amino acids,” said Davis Wu, director of USMEF-Taiwan. “The awards ceremony really attracted a great group of energetic kids who kept the audience and the media in attendance very well-entertained.”

Taiwan was the sixth-largest value market for U.S. beef last year, totaling nearly $128 million despite the exclusion of bone-in cuts and variety meat.

“U.S. beef has achieved remarkable success in Taiwan, despite these continued restrictions,” says USMEF President and CEO Philip Seng. “By continuing to work constructively with government officials toward full market access, we can build a very bright future in Taiwan for a wider range of beef cuts.”