Beef Education and Fun for Pennsylvania Family Physicians

Layman's session - PA beefThe national beef checkoff and the Pennsylvania Beef Council sponsored events ranging from protein education to a chili cook-off during the Pennsylvania Academy of Family Physicians CME conference. The conference was held in conjunction with the Penn State Health Conference “Primary Care Across the Lifespan,” in Harrisburg, March 16-19.

(Photo at left: Dr. Donald Layman explains to Pennsylvania family physicians why optimizing protein consumption, including beef, throughout the day contributes to an overall healthy lifestyle.)

The academy’s annual meeting drew nearly 200 family physicians, residents and students from across Pennsylvania for the three-day education event. During the meeting, the checkoff was able to engage directly with this influential group of health care professionals and to share the positive benefits of lean beef in the diets of their patients. Attendees enjoyed the Be Inspired by Beef recipe station at the beef booth. Conference-goers were encouraged to “Beef Up” their healthy eating by selecting lean, nutritious beef recipes for themselves and their patients. Physicians also had the chance to learn about new American Heart Association Heart Check-approved recipes.

Champion chili tasting

The checkoff also hosted an educational session on “Optimizing Protein in a Carbohydrate World,” which was presented by Dr. Donald Layman, Professor Emeritus of Nutrition at the University of Illinois. Dr. Layman’s session presentws the scientific research supporting the benefits of lean beef in the diet. Session attendee Dr. Mark Mamros of Washington Family Doctors, Washington, Penn., commented, “This was jaw-dropping new information I hadn’t heard before and wasn’t expecting. This lecture was a home run. The information was relevant and important to staying healthy and keeping my patients healthy.”

(Photo at right:  Physicians enjoy sampling delicious chili recipes during the chili cook-off. Pictured is the Champion Chili Recipe, Texas BBQ Sweet-Hot Chili by Kurt Ehrenfeuchter.)

After two full days of educational sessions, the physicians had the chance to unwind at the checkoff-sponsored Chili Cook-off. Six different chili recipes were entered by conference attendees and featured at the reception, where physicians could try each one and vote on their favorite. The Texas BBQ Sweet-Hot Chili created by Kurt Ehrenfeuchter of Patient First took first place. His recipe is featured below. Coming in second place was the physician group from Lancaster General Hospital with their 7-7-7 Chili.  


1 onion, chopped 2 (14-ounce) cans Rotel diced tomatoes, drained
1 teaspoon oil 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
2 lbs ground beef 4 (16-ounce) cans chili beans
1 tablespoon minced garlic ¾ cup picante sauce (your favorite flavor and heat)
Dill, to taste ½ -¾ cup barbecue sauce
Chili powder, to taste 1 (4-ounce) can diced green chilies
Cumin, to taste  
Red pepper flakes, to taste  


  • Sour cream
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Frito Scoops
  • Prepared macaroni and cheese


  1. Sauté onion in hot oil until softened. Add ground beef and minced garlic. Dust with dill, chili powder, cumin and red pepper flakes and mix well. Cook, covered, over medium heat, stirring occasionally until beef is cooked through. Drain fat.
  2. Stir in diced tomatoes, tomato paste, chili beans, picante sauce, barbecue sauce and diced green chilies. Add additional chili powder and/or red pepper flakes if desired.
  3. Bring mixture to a low boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 30 minutes. (Contestant’s note:  “I have let this simmer for up to 2 hours and the longer it sits, the yummier it gets. It's great the next day, and the day after, too!”)
  4. Ladle chili into bowls and top with sour cream and shredded cheese. Eat with the Frito Scoops if you are feeling adventurous enough to dig in without a spoon.
  5. Optional - Make a box of mac ’n’ cheese and ring your chili bowl with it before spooning in the chili. Delectable!

The Pennsylvania Academy of Family Physicians currently works on behalf of 5,000 family physicians, family medicine residents and students as a professional member-driven association. The Academy serves state physicians through acting as the leading resource for training of family physicians, being the primary voice of physicians on health care issues, setting standards for organized medicine and being a leader in the community on health care issues.

For more information, questions or photos, please contact Jennifer Orr For more information about your beef checkoff investment, visit

Internal links within this document are funded and maintained by the Beef Checkoff. All other outgoing links are to websites maintained by third parties.

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