On August 8, during the 79th Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, the South Dakota Beef Industry Council (SDBIC) hosted two separate events—one highlighting SDBIC’s consumer-focused beef promotion competition the “Sturgis® Beef Throw Down!” and the second educating beef producers on the importance of promoting beef in unique ways.
Earlier in the day at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, celebrity chef Justin Warner presented the award for the winning dish of the “Sturgis® Beef Throw Down!”, a competition among 10 participating restaurants throughout the Black Hills region. Each restaurant created a new beef dish that was judged by Warner and a producer panel. The winner was Chef Braun’s Steak Diane sandwich available at the Alpine Inn located in Hill City, SD.
Area producers gathered later that evening at the Mt. Rushmore Angus Ranch near Hermosa, South Dakota, to learn about the efforts the Beef Checkoff and SDBIC are making to drive beef demand. Greg Hanes, CEO of the Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB), was in attendance to share his vision for the Beef Checkoff and answer producer questions about the program and its initiatives. During the evening’s event Warner demonstrated the different ways he is cooking beef to widen its appeal to consumers.
“Both events today showcased the broad impact of the Beef Checkoff,” says Hanes. “Earlier in the day, we were able to see how the South Dakota Beef Industry Council is marketing beef to consumers. Tonight, we are able to come together, celebrate the success of many checkoff programs at the state and national levels and discuss how we can continue to drive demand for beef.”
The Beef Checkoff is a producer-driven program that relies on producer input in order to remain effective.
“Today’s events allowed us to showcase our efforts that are resonating positively with consumers in this state and give South Dakota producers the chance to have their voices heard,” says Suzanne Geppert, executive director SDBIC. “This positive engagement is important for the Beef Checkoff and the entire beef industry.”
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 may 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.