May is Beef Month! And combating hunger has become a goal of the New York Beef Council (NYBC), with NY beef producers stepping up to take part in the 2017 NYBC Farm to Food Bank Initiative.
Since April 24 auction markets throughout New York State have been assisting NYBC in promoting the Farm to Food Bank Initiative.
“So many things are going on at the beef council these days!” reported Jean O’Toole, newly appointed Executive Director at New York Beef Council. “New York Beef Council, in partnership with Empire Livestock Marketing, Finger Lakes Livestock Exchange, Inc., Hosking Sales, Northern NY Farmer’s Marketing Coop, Inc. and NY Beef Producers Association are encouraging beef and dairy farmers to donate cattle sale proceeds for the sole purchase of beef for six regional food banks serving all 62 counties in New York State. The donations generated will help ensure more protein will reach families and individuals in need.”
O’Toole goes on to say, “Our NY Beef and Dairy Producers daily mission is to feed people, the ‘Farm to Food Bank’ initiative allows them to extend this mission philanthropically to ensure those that are food insecure, will receive a quality protein on their plate.”
Katherine Brosnan, new Director of Industry Relations and Promotions, reports that in addition to collecting donations, NYBC now also trains NY Food Bank staff.
“New York Beef Council will be spreading the message of beef’s role in a healthy diet by providing training for food bank staff on how to economically utilize and prepare beef donations,” Brosnan explained. “Beef is a high value protein and often under utilized by low income families — despite its nutrient dense value.”
Brosnan, who joined NYBC staff in October 2016, says she has also been busy planning other upcoming events for NYBC.
“It has been an extremely busy, but fantastic first six months on the NYBC staff,” commented Brosnan. “I came to NYBC from Cornell Cooperative Extension of Madison County where I was the Agriculture Community Educator. In my new role as the Director of Industry Relations and Consumer Promotions I have been transitioning into some roles that Carol (Gillis) or Jean (O’Toole) were responsible for in the past. This includes BQA (Beef Quality Assurance) and Producer Communication, as well as Consumer Events. May will be very busy at NYBC as we kick off ‘May is Beef Month’.”
Brosnan, NYBC coordinator for the NY BQA program, coordinates beef tours, culinary tours and the Master of Beef Advocacy program.
“Communication is key to knowledge,” said Brosnan, describing a “brand new e-newsletter we are launching aimed to allow us to connect with more beef and dairy producers.”
“NYBC has launched a new, monthly, electronic newsletter to create a better connection with beef and dairy producers to share New York Beef Council and national outreach and consumer promotion activities.”
Sign up for monthly emailed newsletters at www.beefboard.org/beef-checkoff-news#form-newsletter-signup.
Phil Trowbridge, well known as a staple in New York’s beef industry, spoke as an advocate of the NY Beef Council’s Farm to Food Bank Initiative.
“Our biggest thing is helping people that need help,” said Trowbridge. “What we’re thinking is that it’s really important for us to donate, because there’s so many of us raising beef, and there’s 6 food banks in New York that make food available to people who don’t have food.”
Trowbridge explained that a $50 donation to these food banks equals meals for 150 people.
“That equals 300 pounds of beef that can be purchased by the food bank.”
Trowbridge Farms has donated a 9 month-old, Black Angus heifer feeder calf to be auctioned off at Finger Lakes Livestock Exchange, Inc. on May 6.
“All proceeds will go to NYS Food Banks,” said Trowbridge. “The 2017 NYBC Farm to Food Bank Initiative runs through May 31st.”
“Phil Trowbridge has taken a huge interest this year — much to our great pleasure!” remarked O’Toole. “This is the second year of the promotion, last year we collected $2,500, this year we have hit the mark so far — and the program hasn’t ‘started’ yet, technically!”
Trowbridge was Chairman of the NYBC when O’Toole came on board more than 11 years ago and worked closely with both Gillis and O’Toole.
“Carol Gillis is a hard act to follow,” remarked Trowbridge. “But Jean O’Toole can do it!”
Annual “Meat Your Beef – Farm to Fork Tours’ sponsored by New York Beef Council are upcoming June 13-16, 2017.
“For over six years New York Beef Council has helped educate industry influencers about where their food comes from,” said O’Toole. “Our ‘Farm to Fork’ tours allow dietitians, retail, food service and culinarians a chance to meet our NY beef producers, ask them questions, dispel myths and gain greater insight so that they may take these facts and new-found knowledge to their clients and customers.”
NYBC invites all folks involved in food service and education to attend these free tours that will be available across New York State.
Topics covered will include, cattle handling/animal husbandry, feeding/watering/pasture management, fencing and housing of cattle, disease prevention and health care program/practices, and a marketing program. A blind taste test/beef brands, Lunch & Learn with speakers are all included in these all-day programs. Continuing education credits are available for dietitians.
For more information contact Katherine Brosnan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nutritionists and registered dietitians should contact Cindy Phillips, RD at email@example.com.
Find NYBC Farm to Food Bank Initiative info at www.nybeef.org/farmtofoodbank1.aspx.