Colo.) – During the three days leading up to the grueling 26.2-mile run, beef checkoff representatives were making sure runners were well equipped with the beef nutrition message at the Sports & Fitness Expo. Boston Marathon runners came to the Expo to pick up their numbers and registration packets -- an appropriate venue for beef and an opportunity to speak to the country and world's most elite runners about lean beef as fuel for active bodies.
The Northeast Beef Promotion Initiative (NEBPI) worked with the checkoff-funded Beef and Veal Culinary Center to demonstrate Roast Beef & Veggie Wraps, a lean, portable and easy recipe, serving just over 7,000 samples to marathon runners. Through partners Johnnie's Foodmaster (who donated 200 pounds of Certified Angus Beef roast beef), Dole, Harbar Foods and Richelieu Foods, all wrap ingredients were donated.
“Our efforts to spread the message about the benefits of lean beef really hit home with this active consumer audience,” says Emilie Miller, Director of Retail & Foodservice Relations for the NEBPI. “We heard comments such as ‘I was a vegetarian – up until an hour ago!', ‘You just saved a runner's body.' and ‘I learned so much and feel much more confident about eating beef.' Dedication begins on the farm with our producers and this spring in Boston, beef crossed the finish line a winner.”
Checkoff-funded National Beef Ambassadors Jennifer Rassler and Michelle Wiggley served samples and interacted with booth visitors. They were joined by Beef Ambassador Program Manager Carol Abrahamzon; Jean O' Toole and Kara Behlke, New York Beef Industry Council; Dan Connor, Vermont Beef Industry Council; and Emilie Miller and Carrie Bomgardner, NEBPI.
Running for team BEEF with steak-adorned jerseys were Ford Drummond, 3rd generation cow/calf and stocker operator of Drummond Ranch in Pawhuska, Okla., and NCBA Executive Committee member; Michelle Baade, Colo. (sister-in-law of Kristy Lange, American National CattleWomen president-elect); and Lucinda Harnish, Penn. (daughter of Clayton Harnish, veal representative to the Federation of State Beef Councils in Pennsylvania).
“The marathon was fun and challenging as always, but Team ZIP (Zinc, Iron, Protein) received a lot of positive feedback from spectators and words of encouragement along the way. Other runners complimented me on the jersey and my husband, Brad, also wore a Team ZIP jersey as he cycled along the course, providing some additional exposure for our beef nutrition message,” says Harnish. “I look forward to wearing my ZIP jersey again this summer at other running events to help promote beef.”
For more information about checkoff-funded efforts, visit www.beefboard.org.
The Beef Checkoff Program was established as part of the 1985 Farm Bill. The checkoff assesses $1 per head on the sale of live domestic and imported cattle, in addition to a comparable assessment on imported beef and beef products. States retain up to 50 cents on the dollar and forward the other 50 cents per head to the Cattlemen's Beef Promotion and Research Board, which administers the national checkoff program, subject to USDA approval.