Nominations open for BQA Awards
Applications for the third annual National Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) Award are now being accepted. The National BQA Award will recognize one outstanding beef and dairy producer who best demonstrate animal care and handling principles as part of the day-to-day activities on their respective operations. Two National BQA award winners will be selected by a committee of representatives from universities, state beef councils and affiliated groups.
Nominations can be submitted by any organization, group, or individual on behalf of a U.S. beef producer. Individuals and families may not nominate themselves, however, the nominees are expected to be involved in the preparation of the application. For further information on the award or to download the application, please visit www.bqa.org.
SD beef council funds promotions
At its regular quarterly meeting, the South Dakota Beef Industry Council voted to invest beef checkoff dollars in several projects promoting beef and the agricultural industry. In a partnership with Ag United for South Dakota and several other agricultural groups, the SD Beef Checkoff will support a comprehensive program called Farmers Feed Us. The intent of the Farmers Feed Us program is to educate consumers about where their food comes from and to put a local face to farming and ranching. A second checkoff project creating positive impressions for beef is a South Dakota partnership with the New York Beef Industry Council. The SD Beef Checkoff will support a series of farm tours in New York state, exposing urban consumers, health professionals and the media to factual information about beef and beef production.
Iowa school earns honors at beef contest
The Iowa Culinary Institute was awarded “Best Overall Beef Presentation” at the 8th annual Reinhart Inter-Collegiate Beef Culinary Competition in Iowa City, IA. They won the top honor by earning the most combined total points for their beef breakfast, lunch and dinner entrées. Top Sirloin was the centerpiece of their entries that included breakfast entrée Steak Eggs Benedict, lunch entrée Blue Cheese Steak Sandwich, and dinner entrée Surf “N” Turf with Horseradish and Roasted Garlic Mashed Potato which also won the Best Beef Dinner Entrée category. The competition is designed to allow chefs-in-training to gain hands-on working experience with beef. They explore cooking methods and experiment with what flavors best enhance beef, according to Michelle Baumhover, Iowa Beef Industry Council director of consumer marketing. The annual Reinhart Inter- Collegiate Beef Culinary Contest is co-sponsored by the Iowa Beef Industry Council and Reinhart Foodservice.
EPA promotes going “meatless”
An intern’s Web posting on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Web site in the EPA’s “Greenversations” blog promoted the benefits of going “meatless” due to environmental and animal welfare concerns. The posting earned criticism from the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), which urged the agency to remove the posting. “Interns, like all Americans, are entitled to their own opinion on subjects being discussed in public forums. But they, like all government employees, should have an understanding that they are not just representing themselves, they are representing the particular government agency—in this case the EPA,” said AFBF President Bob Stallman. “While this is a position taken by an intern of the agency, EPA should control its blog space. What is written on its blog comes across as its official position toward farmers and ranchers that it regulates and shows a terrible disregard for them and the agriculture industry.”
Producers promote beef in Asia
Two producers representing Iowa’s beef industry recently attended an Iowa meat trade mission to South Korea and Japan in April. Business meetings with key meat importers in both countries were a focus of the trade trip. Traveling with the Iowa group was Bill Northey, Iowa secretary of agriculture. Stan Zylstra, cattle feeder from Hull, IA, and director on the Iowa Beef Industry Council, reported that trade policies with reduced tariffs are the primary issue to expand beef exports to South Korea. In Japan, Iowa beef leaders, Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack, Northey, the Japanese ambassador and respective agriculture staffs began a dialogue about the current age requirements for U.S. beef. It is hoped that discussion can resume this fall on updating the trade agreement. The share of U.S. beef exports to Japan has been increasing and has reached 20 percent of their imports.