The South Dakota Beef Industry Council (SDBIC) along with the Northeast Beef Promotion Initiative (NEBPI), through the use of Beef Checkoff dollars, hosted the second “Meat Your Beef” retail and foodservice influencer immersion event for May Beef Month.
South Dakota cattle rancher and SDBIC board of director Craig Bieber, Leola, SD, attended the first “Meat Your Beef” event at Hedgeapple Farms in Buckeystown, MD, on May 7, and Linda Gilbert, Cattlemen’s Beef Board member and rancher from Buffalo, SD, participated in the second event at the Gibbet Hill Cattle Company in Groton, MA, on May 14.
“It was very interesting to learn more about what our consumers are wanting from the beef they buy,” said Gilbert. “Consumers are fascinated to visit with ranchers who raise their beef. This was an awesome opportunity to connect with them in a very unique event.”
The goals of the events were to bridge the gap between retailers, ranchers and consumers through an interactive tour, which offered beef industry members to interact with consumers on the East coast. Consumers got to experience the complete pasture-to-plate story as all the calves born on both farms are retained for finishing and direct-marketed through the farm’s retail market, SpringDell Farm Market in Littleton, MA.
“As a cow-calf producer in a remote area in South Dakota, it’s not often that I get the opportunity to interact with the folks who promote and sell our beef or the consumers who buy our product,” said Gilbert. “It was awesome to see how knowledgable our beef retailers are about our product, and how they have been able to utilize the checkoff to learn more about how to meet consumer demands for beef. These retailers are very in-tune with consumers’ needs, are able to answer their many questions, and keep a close eye on various meat trends that are on the horizon.”
Gilbert was able to share with consumers in attendance her ranching story, including photos of her sixth-generation family operation, her cattle, and the rotational grazing system they use on the South Dakota prairie.