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Runners refuel with beef stew


TEAM BEEF—Iowa runners meet those from Kansas at the Living History Farms Off-Road Race in Urbandale: (from left to right) Pat Carlson, Atlantic; Kristy Pellett, Atlantic; unidentified Kansas runner; Nancy Reynolds, Atlantic; unidentified Kansas runner; Margaret Dunn, Ames; and Kaylee Miller, Lacona. (Photo courtesy of Iowa Beef Industry Council.)

More than 75 Iowa beef industry volunteers served 8,000 portions of hot beef stew to runners in the 33rd annual Living History Farms Off-Road Race on Nov. 19. Runners from across the country enjoyed the cool November weather to run the 7-mile race, which takes place on the museum's grounds in Urbandale.

"This year, a group of 20 TEAM BEEF runners sported shirts with the message 'Beef. Fuel for the Finish,'" said Nancy Degner, executive director of the Iowa Beef Industry Council. "TEAM BEEF was composed of Iowa State University students with majors in animal science and veterinary medicine, as well as other cattle farmers and friends of the beef industry who are passionate about beef," she added.

Kristy Pellett, cattle farmer from Atlantic, said "I was proud to wear the TEAM BEEF- Iowa shirt and hear all the support along the race from runners and bystanders who shouted 'Go Beef' and 'Where's the Beef?' We answered, 'At the end of the race in the beef stew!' I was proud to have cattle farmers serving the beef stew at the end of the race and heard many comments about how good it tasted."

Pellett added that it was fun to meet up with two runners from TEAM BEEF-Kansas, who joined the fun. Several state beef councils sponsor their own TEAM BEEF.

Degner said the beef checkoff became involved to carry a message to the athletes. "Our message to the runners was two-fold," said Degner. "First, that beef provides high-quality protein needed to build, maintain and repair muscle, and is a great recovery food after endurance exercise. Second, we wanted to give runners the chance to meet local cattle farmers as they served the beef stew."

The hot beef stew greeted cold, muddy runners after a route complete with five creek crossings and other obstacles. The beef checkoff provided the 2,000 pounds of smoked beef brisket used in the stew prepared by the Iowa Machine Shed.

Serving was completed in 90 minutes by volunteers that included cattle producer families, Iowa State University animal science and veterinary medicine students and faculty, 4-H-ers, Youth Beef Team members, and friends of the beef industry. Beef certificates were awarded as prizes for the race, replacing the traditional frozen turkeys and chickens.

Those interested in joining or learning more about TEAM BEEF can visit the Iowa Beef Industry Council website at www.iabeef.org or by calling 515-296-2305.

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