The Kansas Beef Council hosted workshops this month for students enrolled in dietetic internship programs at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City and Kansas State University in Manhattan.
These checkoff-funded sessions are designed to provide accurate information and practical experience with beef to aspiring professionals who will reach thousands of consumers with dietary advice.
Future dietitians learned about beef nutrition from KBC Director of Nutrition Audrey Monroe, RD, LD. They heard firsthand how cattle are raised from Wamego rancher and KBC Chair Barb Downey. NCBA Senior Executive Director of Communications Daren Williams presented tips to student dietitians about responding to media questions and conducting on-air cooking demonstrations.
Students practiced these skills through mock interviews about the Beef in an Optimal Lean Diet study, and through cooking demonstrations, where they learned to grill top sirloin steaks and discuss on camera how to build a healthy diet with beef using the government's MyPlate model.
Katelynne Burghardt, a dietetic intern at KU Medical Center, said the event provided new perspective on issues like beef sustainability and the passion ranchers have for their animals.
"For Barb to come in to talk to us about what it is she does as a cattle raiser, how she can use byproducts, potential waste from other companies, showed us another side," said Burghardt. "I love to see that and as future dietitians, we can really promote that information we learned today."
The Kansas Beef Council was first formed in 1973 by the Kansas Livestock Association for the purpose of beef promotion.
The Kansas Beef Council is directed by a board of volunteer cattle producers from across the state.
In May 1988, a national referendum was passed requiring $1 to be collected on each head of cattle sold. It is commonly called the $1 beef checkoff. Kansas collects about $10 million each year. Approximately 85¢ of each dollar collected in Kansas is forwarded to the national level to fund programs nationwide. There are 45 state beef councils that fund national beef promotion efforts with an approximate annual budget of $80 million.