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BEEF EARNS NATIONAL ATTENTION AT BARBECUE BATTLE

Centennial, Colo., July 18, 2006 -- Several checkoff-funded programs and products earned national attention at the recent Safeway 14th Annual National Capital Barbecue Battle, a charity event that draws some 120,000 protein lovers to Washington, D.C. each year.

While traditional proteins were entered in the competition, 28 of 39 teams from across the country came with a beef recipe, resulting in a special beef category, said Allison Wenther, director of retail marketing and public relations for the beef checkoff's Northeast Beef Promotion Initiative (NEBPI).

In cooperation with retail partners, the Virginia Beef Council and the Meat Importers Council of America, the beef booth featured live cooking demonstrations by Chef Richard Chamberlain, author of the checkoff-funded Healthy Beef Cookbook. Safeway's mobile grill team and volunteers distributed more than 10,000 sample strip steak dishes. Members of the checkoff-funded Beef Ambassador Program also circulated through the crowd and talked with visitors about beef's flavor, nutrition and versatility.

Spectators seemed to appreciate learning facts about beef nutrition and all the recipes, said Beef Ambassador Melissa Green. "We heard a lot of 'I didn't know thats!'" she said. Steak with Ginger Plum Sauce was the unofficial fan favorite dish, she added.

The competition was held on Pennsylvania Avenue, where the volunteer beef boosters were featured at Safeway's Mobile Grill and Beef Cooking Stage, next to the Safeway Pavilion. All were prime ingredients for spectacular consumer visibility, Wenther added.

During the three-day event, beef earned nearly a minute of coverage on a local FOX TV station and more than 1 million additional media impressions. A number of Healthy Beef cookbooks, autographed by Chamberlain, were given to visitors, courtesy of the publisher, General Interest Books John Wiley & Sons.

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