Friday, November 19, 2010

Show Me Beef University

Beef producers will see what happens to their product on the way to the supermarket meat case in a workshops, Jan. 11 – 13, 2011, at the meats lab at the University of Missouri.

“Producers can learn what adds value to their product,” said Carol Lorenzen, MU Extension meat specialist. “They will see the process from live animal to carcass to retail package.”

The “Show-Me Beef University” workshops are sponsored by MU Extension in cooperation with the Missouri Beef Industry Council. The classes will help producers think beyond the farm gate to learn what consumers want when buying beef. “Too often, beef producers never think about what affects quality. Few think of what happens to their calves, once they leave the farm,” said David Patterson, MU Extension beef reproduction specialist.

“The workshops will be very much hands on,” Lorenzen said. The instructors will be MU professors from animal science, veterinary medicine, and food science.

A big part of the lessons will be on food safety at every step of the process. Finally, participants will go into a commercial kitchen to see the final steps to the dinner plate. Participants will cut a whole rib, progressively, down to the final products. They will also see displays of different types of retail case-ready packages and convenience products. The participants will see processing of a market steer and a cull cow to learn the difference in meat quality and value. The workshop will also feature taste testing of beef to discover the differences between USDA quality grades and aging times of meat.

Enrollees will arrive at 5 p.m. on the first day to study meat products and participate in taste tests. Research updates will follow dinner. The second day runs from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. with lectures and participation exercises. The final day, the participants will see the actual cut outs from the carcasses graded the day before. The program ends with lunch.

The classes will be limited to 30 participants on a first come basis. The $100 registration fee includes four meals and a parking pass in addition to instruction materials. Advance registration is with Kathy Craighead at  (573) 882-2752. Tuition can be paid upon arrival. A block of rooms has been reserved at the Courtyard by Marriott, 3301 LeMone Industrial Blvd, Columbia, MO 65201. Room rate is $89 per night with breakfast included. Reservation deadline is January 1, 2011. Ask for “Show Me Beef University” rate when calling 573-443-8000.

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