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Beef And Bikers

bikes.jpg The Steakhouse Saloon, owned by Kim and Colleen King of the 2Y Ranch in Belle Fourche, SD, was the hot spot during the Sturgis Bike Rally Aug. 8-10. The saloon, which rests in a hay field on the ranch, is where the South Dakota CattleWomen’s Association (SDCWA) and the South Dakota Beef Industry Council (SDBIC) teamed up to promote beef to bikers. The Steakhouse Saloon opens only for the week of the rally, allows beef producers to set up camp each year to share the agriculture story with attendees of one the nation’s largest motorcycle events.

Tracey Orsburn, SDBIC compliance officer and program assistant, helped out at the event, along with Ron Frederick, SDBIC executive director. Orsburn says the event is a great opportunity to reach a diverse group of people.

rally.jpg “In our three days at the rally, we visited with bikers from 40 states and eight countries. What other promotion in the state allows you reach that many people from that many different areas of the country and the world? Most of the bikers who stopped at the saloon stayed for awhile to relax and visit, giving us the opportunity to share the positive messages about beef with the consumers,” Orsburn says.

The SDCWA and SDBIC offered bikers beef jerky, lip balm (a beef by-product) and toothpicks, as well as Beef Bucks and recipe books for those who could answer beef trivia questions correctly.

“This promotional event gave us a ton of exposure and the chance to visit with folks about beef, nutrition, food safety, preparation, recipes and industry issues. The response from the bikers was very positive. We had some questions about growth hormones in beef and the impact it has on consumers who eat beef. But, for the most part, a lot of the bikers are meat eaters and enjoyed the beef we served at the saloon. Many stopped back the last couple of years and made sure to swing by again this year just for the jerky and other goodies we pass out,” Orsburn adds.

Consumer promotions are just one of the ways beef checkoff dollars are used in the state and across the country.

“In general, I think consumer promotions are a great way to reach consumers and share our messages, especially at events like this one. These people come from all over the country and listen to our messages while enjoying beef in the middle of a hayfield in Western South Dakota! What a great setting to share our story! This is a prime location and a prime event,” Orsburn says.

This is just one of many unique ways to positively promote beef and take ownership of conversations we have about animal agriculture in the future. As consumers pay more in the grocery store for their food, we must continue to be diligent about boosting beef demand and educating consumers about how they can incorporate beef in their healthy diets while staying on budget.