Oklahoma

Oklahoma State University and the Oklahoma Beef Council wrapped up two, three-day Oklahoma Beef Quality Summit sessions that gave 61 attendees a new and educational look at the beef industry.

"This is an educational seminar, our primary purpose is to educate the participants about the beef industry from hoof all the way to wholesale cut," said Michael Kelsey, Oklahoma Beef Council executive director.

The week marked the 29th session of the seminar hosted at OSU's Food and Agricultural Products Research and Technology Center, which has educated 833 national and international participants since its beginning.

The seminar targets beef producers, retailers, grocery store owners, restaurateurs, chefs and distributors while focusing on beef quality issues, food safety protocols and issues like beef tenderness that affect consumer appeal, said Kelsey.

"What we try to do is include all segments of the industry," said Kelsey. "They communicate, they share ideas and thoughts. Quite frankly, they educate each other."

The seminar provides an opportunity for these various sectors to come together which makes the experience unique, said Kelsey.

"The setting to come together is what is so crucial. They would never get the opportunity otherwise," he said.

Onesimo Aleman, a purchasing supply chain manager for Sonic who doesn't deal directly with live cattle, said the material was presented easily enough for him to get a good understanding about beef in only three days.

Kelsey said an important component of the seminar is the hands-on participation as participants fabricate a side of beef into wholesale cuts under the guidance of OSU graduate students.

Oklahoma Beef Quality Summit is funded by beef check-off dollars, provided under the Beef Promotion and Research Act of 1985 where one dollar is collected at the sale of every bovine animal, said Kelsey

"What's really impressed me and what's made a big influence on me is to see and learn what our check-off dollars have done," said David Boyett, a beef producer in Morris, Okla.

Boyett said he would almost make the summit a requirement for all beef producers.

"I think every beef producer needs to know what the consumer is looking for," he said.

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