The Kansas State University Beef Cattle Institute and Housing and Dining Services hosted a Beef Sustainability Summit October 14-16 in Manhattan. The checkoff-funded tour and educational sessions targeted the sizable market segment of onsite foodservice, which includes university and healthcare foodservice directors.
Throughout the tour, beef industry experts provided up-to-date information and research practices that reveal different sustainability impacts on the environment. Sara Place, previously the 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. Attendees also had the opportunity to hear from ranchers Galen and Lori Fink and Megan Fink Larson of Randolph.
“It is unusual for us to host groups without an agriculture background, but there were many questions and much lively discussion about everyday life on a cattle ranch,” the Finks stated. “We feel it is our responsibility to help connect customers with what we do to help preserve our livelihoods in the future.”
The mission of this event was to provide a hands-on experience that encompasses the entire span of beef production, beginning at the farm level and ending on the consumer’s plate.