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The beef checkoff made its debut at the third annual Food & Wine Festival

The beef checkoff made its debut at the third annual Food & Wine Festival at National Harbor recently in Maryland. Thousands of food and wine lovers enjoyed the two-day event, which offered world-class opportunities to learn about the latest food and beverage trends in a beautiful and unique setting along the Potomac River, just south of Washington, D.C. Visitors followed their noses to the beef checkoff tent, where Mike and James Brannon of Roseda Beef grilled more than 240 pounds of beef tenderloin steaks for everyone to sample.

Beef Ambassador Street Teams, sporting "I Heart Beef" T-shirts, directed guests into the booth as the beef checkoff's mascot, Patty Melt, braved the 90-plus degree heat to make an appearance. National Beef Ambassadors Ellen Hoffschneider and Jackson Alexander, along with Carol Abrahamzon, National Beef Ambassador program manager, and Northeast Beef Promotion Initiative staff member Lisa Jones, answered consumer questions about beef's 29 lean cuts, safe grilling tips and today's beef production practices. Street Team members tweeted about the event and posted snapshots all weekend long under the @BeefFWFNH handle.

Executive Chef Dave Zino of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, a contractor to the Beef Checkoff Program, led a cooking demonstration on the Viking Stage, preparing a simple Teriyaki Steak and Couscous recipe from the Healthy Beef Cookbook. The checkoff also hosted the inaugural "So You Think You Can Grill Cook-off" to crown the newest amateur grill master of the National Capital Region. Finalist Lincoln Rhoads of Fairfax, Va., pit his grilled flank steak against Jason Yaskoir's "Fried, Fried, Fried Veal Burger." Rhoads' recipe reigned supreme in the contest, winning him the title and a brand new Weber grill. For more information about your beef checkoff investment, visit MyBeefCheckoff.com.

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