The New York Beef Industry Council (NYBIC) once again invited more than 50 industry influencers to an educational veal/dairy tour of New York State. The dynamics of this year’s tour was different than the tour of 2010 as this year’s attendees were a mix of chef educators and their students. Six different culinary schools, along with food service, retail, dietitians and media, were present for a farm-to-fork look at the veal and dairy industries.
The tour discussed how the dairy industry impacts the veal industry, the aspects of group housing and feeding, veal nutrition, Veal Quality Assurance, Veal Issues Management, and Packer Processing, including inspection and grading. Center-of-the-Plate expert Steve Olson and Executive Chef Dave Zino conducted a 90-minute veal cutting and cooking clinic. After the lectures, attendees were sent to the “hands-on kitchen”, tied on aprons and cooked up a veal storm creating eight culinary dishes to be served for lunch.
Tours such as the one hosted by the NYBIC are a way for farmers and ag groups to showcase the transparency of the industry on a local level. It gives industry influencers (such as bloggers, media, foodservice reps, chefs and dietitians) a chance to freely ask questions and express their concerns over myths and misconceptions that are often portrayed about agriculture, which enables them to then communicate the FACTS with the consuming public.