Restaurant, Health Professionals Learn Beef Production Step-by-Step in Tour
An April 25 tour of Colorado beef raising and production facilities helped increase the understanding of the beef industry by restaurant and dietetic professionals, who directly interact with consumers on a regular basis. Twenty people participated in the full-day tour, which explained how beef on the plate gets there, all the way back to the pasture where beef animals are raised. The tour is part of an ongoing checkoff-funded effort to increase consumer understanding of the beef industry, and was coordinated by the Colorado Beef Council.
The tour started at the JBS beef plant in Greeley, Colo., where those on the tour learned about beef fabrication and harvesting, and the tremendous technology and efficiency involved in beef processing. Participants next visited the JBS Five Rivers Kuner Feedlot near Kersey, Colo., where a close look was provided of how and what cattle are fed in the few months prior to harvesting.
Last stop on the “reverse production” tour was the Croissant Red Angus facility near Briggsdale, where those on the tour learned about this cow/calf operation and the beginning of the cattle lifecycle. The importance of grazing, record-keeping, genetic selection and herd health were a focus of this tour stop.
“We wanted to stress that what really happens on the farm and ranch is not always what is portrayed in the news or on television,” according to Kevin Miller, owner/partner of Croissant Red Angus. “It’s very important for those of us involved in production to engage those outside of our industry to tell the real story.”
Tour participants appreciated the opportunity to hear directly from those who produce the beef. “Most Americans are removed from this,” said one attendee. “I think it’s important to educate yourself… to gain a true appreciation.”
“This is just one of the ways the Beef Checkoff Program is working to educate consumers,” says Tami Arnold, director of marketing for the Colorado Beef Council. “We’ve got a great story to tell. But being transparent is also a need of many consumers. Through these kinds of tours, we’re able to reach out to those who communicate with consumers daily and can share important information about how beef is really produced.”