As part of its Northeast Beef Promotion Initiative (NEBPI), the beef checkoff hosted a “Meat Your Beef” channel-influencer immersion event at Hedge Apple Farms in Buckeystown, MD on April 29. Participants included 21 chef instructors and culinary students at the Howard Community College and the Montgomery Community College in the suburbs of Baltimore, MD.
With the majority of participants arriving with little to no understanding of beef production, the tour of the Hedge Apple Farms provided them with a unique opportunity to see a modern-day working beef farm — from pasture to plate. All the calves born on the farm are retained for pasture finishing and are direct marketed through the on-farm retail market. The tour also provided the chefs with the opportunity to meet cattle farmers firsthand and get answers to their production-related questions.
“There is such a disconnect between these students — the majority of them being millennials — and the farming industry, as they often get their information from marketing claims. In general, this was an excellent opportunity for the hospitality and culinary students to get the full information from the right source and to dispel misconceptions from common marketing claims,” said Jana Anderson, adjunct instructor at Montgomery Community College.
Chef Michael Levins, the professional cooking program coordinator for Howard Community College, appreciated the transparency of the industry that the tour provided. “I had no idea how complex the cattle breeding process was,” he said.
“I realized just how well-educated and well-versed farmers have to be,” said Levin’s colleague, Chef David Milburn. “It shows farmers care a lot about their product.”
For more information about the checkoff’s“Meat Your Beef” events, contact Christie Brown email@example.com visit the NEBPI website at www.NEBPI.org