Beef councils from Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma hosted a select group of 25 registered dietitians from across the country in late May for a checkoff-funded event emphasizing beef’s nutritional profile, culinary versatility and production methods. Those attending Nutrition Adventure in the Kansas City area were selected for their high levels of involvement on social media and blogs, giving them the ability to influence thousands of consumers.
The group learned from registered dietitian Jill Castle about beef nutrition as it applies to raising healthy children from infancy through adolescence. Dietitians were challenged to utilize trendy ingredients to maximize the flavor and eating experience of beef dishes in a hands-on cooking activity. Sara Place, senior director of sustainable beef production research for NCBA, a contractor to the beef checkoff, communicated the importance of beef’s role in a sustainable food system by highlighting the upcycling capabilities of cattle that consume human-inedible forage and byproducts to create high-quality protein in safe and wholesome beef. The group also took part in an interactive session on food photography and styling, led by registered dietitian Gretchen Brown, with the intent to help them showcase beef recipes on their social media platforms and blogs.
One highlight for participants was a tour of the Tailgate Ranch, a cow-calf operation near Tonganoxie. Dietitians asked questions of area beef producers in attendance and heard from a panel composed of Tailgate manager Kirk Sours; Kansas State University veterinarian Dan Thomson; Grass Valley Farms manager Jack Klosterman, a cattle feeder from David City, NE; and Wes Craig with Cargill Meat Solutions. Questions asked covered the topics of animal handling practices, antibiotic use, growth promotants and sustainability factors.
State beef councils host events like Nutrition Adventure to give opinion influencers accurate, firsthand knowledge that can be conveyed to the large consumer audiences they reach through social media.