The attendees heard from a variety of speakers including the Nebraska Beef Council’s director of nutrition and education, Mitch Rippe, and director of marketing, Adam Wegner. Rippe shared information on beef’s nutritional advantages, how beef nutrients play an important part in overall human health, and best practices for communicating those messages with consumer audiences. Wegner addressed current consumer trends at foodservice and what factors come into play when consumers are deciding what to order at a restaurant.
The symposium also included a small group project where participants worked with a local product development chef to create a new beef menu item, identify the proper restaurant concept for that item, and then develop a marketing plan to reach a targeted consumer base. Each group had the opportunity to prepare the dish and present it to a panel of judges.
“Every year I’m impressed by the creativity and attention to detail that these students put into their projects,” said Wegner. “It’s great to see young people that are passionate about the beef industry, who also want to understand consumer behavior. Having that broad perspective will serve them well as they pursue their career paths.”
The NYBLS program provides an opportunity for young people to broaden their perspective on the complexities of the beef industry, while stimulating creativity and enhancing their leadership skills. Each year, CASNR scholarships are awarded to eight of the NYBLS participants.
The Nebraska Beef Council is a non-profit organization served by a nine-member board of directors. The volunteers oversee the beef checkoff in Nebraska and checkoff-funded programs. Programs for marketing and promotion are funded by the $1/head beef checkoff.