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Beef Night At The Races

sign-close-up.jpg Funded by the beef checkoff, the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Auxiliary (SDCA) hosted the 6th Annual Beef Night at the Races at Huset’s Speedway in Brandon, SD on Memorial Day, May 30. Despite the rain and wind that created a wild thunderstorm across the state, the event was a true success. Mark Tassler, a radio personality with promotional partner KXRB radio and a racing announcer at Huset’s Speedway, has been promoting beef throughout May Beef Month. During the racing season, Tassler talks to race fans and radio listeners about beef. Additionally, a beef billboard on the track, and beef ads in the racing program, entice racing fans to cheer for beef. The month-long event culminates at Beef Night at the Races on Memorial Day, where SDCA members, including myself, passed out more than $1,500 in free track burgers, along with a 50-50 drawing for $100 Beef Bucks.

more-stickers.jpg As race attendees took their seats at the track, we passed out beef stickers to the fans and encouraged them to get their free burgers at the concession stand. Through one-on-one conversations, we were able to talk about May Beef Month, Beef Night at the Races, and our hopes that they will grill up beef all summer long. We answered questions about nutrition, beef cooking methods and favorite recipes. I simply love getting out and visiting with folks about America’s favorite protein, and Beef Night is a great opportunity to do just that!

promoting-beef.jpg Pictured here at the beef booth is Mark Tassler; Calli Pritchard, former South Dakota Beef Ambassador and current member of the National Beef Speakers Bureau; Courtney Nolz, former South Dakota Junior Beef Ambassador; and myself. Together, we helped pass out the beef tickets and share the positive story about beef as a part of a healthy, well-balanced diet.

interviews.jpg After the invocation and National Anthem, sang by agriculture’s very own Jim Wooster, Pritchard and I were interviewed, where we had the opportunity to talk about the zinc, iron and protein found in beef, the threat of animal rights activists, rising food prices and ways to enjoy steak through summer grilling. Because of the rain, SDCA will get to host a second night at the races, so beef will get double the exposure with racing fans — a consumer group that hopefully has a new-found enthusiasm for beef after events like this one!

Promoting beef doesn’t have to be tough, and it doesn’t take a special event like this one to get the job done. I offer some advice in my latest column, featured in the June issue of BEEF magazine. I hope you'll take a minute to read it, "Beef Producers Must Promote To Consumers." Another great read on using social media to share the agriculture story is "Social Media Can Be For You, Too," written by Jamie May, BEEF senior associate editor.

Let's work together to boost beef demand, boast about beef's nutritional profile and inspire our consumers to enjoy our great product! Get involved and share your stories. And, remember that May Beef Month is followed by June Dairy Month, so raise your glass to our cattle industry colleagues and celebrate with nutrient-dense milk, cream, cheese, yogurt and ice cream! What's your favorite way to promote agriculture?