The Kansas Beef Endurance Team recently geared up to compete at the Kansas City Health and Fitness Expo, where beef lovers, cattle producers and running enthusiasts join together to share one common message: lean beef is a healthy part of a well-balanced diet, and that’s a fact! A few noteworthy additions to the Kansas Beef Endurance Team were Dane Rauschenberg, an author, motivational speaker and ultra-marathoner; Heidi Wells, the Kansas and Missouri Beef Council’s staff dietician; and Deena Robinson, director for consumer information and coordinator for the beef team. I had the opportunity to visit with these folks who are proud to be putting checkoff dollars to use in order to boost beef demand and spread the positive message about America’s favorite protein.
“The Kansas Beef Endurance Team promotes lean beef as part of a healthy diet by sharing lean beef information in community presentations, social media and in general conversations with family and friends,” explains Robinson. “The team members have shared with me that they hear many “Go Beef” cheers from spectators as they compete in events in their team jerseys. The jerseys are great conversation starters for sharing the lean beef message.”
Wells recapped the weekend events and shared how checkoff efforts are playing a big role in beef’s acceptance among the nation’s athletes.
In conjunction with the event, Rauschenberg, who earned renown by completing 52 marathons in 52 weeks, also spoke to the runners, and included several healthy lean beef messages in his presentation. Another feature of this promotional event was a beef producer who had a question-and-answer session with the athletes. Wells said the beef and running connection is a natural place for the beef checkoff program to focus its promotional efforts.
“I grew up on a backgrounding operation, so I’m personally invested in this industry," notes Wells. "I have discovered that many athletes feel like they can’t lose weight by eating beef. I have seen a lot of folks jump on the vegetarian bandwagon, and now even more are jumping back off. With the vegan and vegetarian lifestyles, there are more injuries and weaknesses for athletes. Runners naturally run low on iron because of their endurance workouts, and you can’t find iron in a better package than when it’s through lean beef. The trend is turning; people want beef.”
Wells says these promotional efforts are beneficial to producers because of their long-lasting impacts on the beef industry.
“Athletes are a group that our producers need to be focusing on with our beef checkoff dollars,” says Wells. “Often, these athletes are also leaders in their communities. Many are doctors and nurses who will pass along those positive beef messages to their patients just from seeing us at the booth or in the race.”
For more information on how to get involved, check out http://powerofprotein.blogspot.com. I'm a proud member of Team ZIP, and I think you should be, too! If you are, share your experiences in the comments section below. I would love to hear about your racing adventures and your efforts to promote beef and live a healthy lifestyle.