As part of its Northeast Beef Promotion Initiative (NEBPI), the beef checkoff hosted a “Meat Your Beef” channel influencer immersion event at a modern-day beef processing plant and nearby beef feedlot in Eastern Pennsylvania on March 26 for the chef instructors and culinary students at Philadelphia Art Institute in Philadelphia, Pa.

The experience started with an in-depth look at beef processing with a tour of the JBS Beef Plant located in Souderton. Most of the chef instructors and culinary students had never seen a modern-day processing plant and the tour of JBS exposed them to the entire process, from live cattle all the way through to boxed beef.

“It is important for a culinary student to see meat fabrication from a large production site,” said Chef Instructor with the Philadelphia Art Institute, Chef Dan D’Angelo. “The students learned that safety and sanitation is the number one priority. Seeing how the meat is butchered at a large production area makes them appreciate the art of butchery. The experience was great to see first-hand how cattle go from start to the finished center-of-the-plate protein.”

Heather Mangieri, Owner and Nutrition Consultant at Nutrition Check-Up, LLC, and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, gave a beef nutrition presentation during the lunch hour. Culinary students receive a wealth of information about beef cookery in their culinary classes but nutrition classes are oftentimes limited. Mangieri’s presentation walked them through basic nutrition, the nutrient profile of beef and its role in a healthy diet.

The afternoon portion of the Meat Your Beef immersion experience included a farm tour of the Palmer Feedlot in Shartlesville, Pa. Owners and farm managers as well as father and son pair, Tom and Bill Palmer, led the farm tour by explaining the role of the various feedstuffs used on the farm, how they mix and feed rations, cattle care and handling and how they select quality cattle. An in-depth cattle nutrition presentation followed the farm tour and was led by cattle nutritionist at Agri-Basics, LLC, Jim Hogue.

“As we speak to culinary students and professionals who teach them, I truly sense that they are open-minded and willing to learn more about how beef is produced and processed, and the value it has as a center of the plate item,” said Hogue. “Their questions are good and I believe they really benefit by seeing and hearing about beef production. There is a significant ‘multiplier effect’ in pursuing their careers, as they have the opportunity to touch many lives about the true story of beef that they hear and see on the farm. I believe the group today came away with a real empathy for the producer.”

For more information about the beef checkoff’s“Meat Your Beef” events, contact Christie Brown cbrown@pabeef.org or visit the NEBPI’s “Northeast Loves Beef” Facebook page for photos and more event details.

For more information about your beef checkoff investment, visit MyBeefCheckoff.com.