June 7, 2012

HARRISBURG – “The excellence of beef” is of high importance to producer and cattleman Curtis Koons of Mont Alto, PA. Koons says, “beef quality is a factor that is important in his 350-head cattle operation.” His recent connection with the PA Center for Beef Excellence (CBE) enabled him to process over 100 head of cattle with the use of its mobile handling equipment. He was very pleased to be provided with this opportunity. The use of the equipment impacts beef quality, improves animal health and promotes the message that Pennsylvania producers are taking measures to improve the methods used to produce a quality, safe product. This equipment is available for Pennsylvania’s producers looking for a way to improve their handling practices. According to Koons, the use of CBE’s portable equipment was a significant benefit to him both in efficiency and economically. He said, “it’s a valuable asset for producers.” 

CBE strives to work with industry partners to develop marketing opportunities for the Pennsylvania Beef Industry. Recently the market has been driven by the strong influence of export markets, cattle supply and consumer demand. Darwin Nissley, CBE president and feedyard operator noted, “the need to educate producers on the value these opportunities have created is readily apparent.” CBE is currently planning another program that will equip producers with the necessary tools to ensure they remain progressive in the industry. Look for more information to come. 

A major component of this program was recently featured during the Cumberland Valley High School A-Day. Partnering with the PA Beef Council, The PA Center for Beef Excellence was proud to be able to “beef” up the day with 400 fourth grade students. While at the booth, the students were given an RFID tag to hold while being scanned by the accompanying reader. They learned the importance of record keeping, proper nutrition and good herd health. They also learned about other products not typically associated with beef. The enthusiasm of the fourth grade participants matched the student leaders who were engaged in all aspects of the day. Cumberland Valley’s FFA chapter deserves congratulations for a job exceptionally well done. The group was well organized and their enthusiasm set the tone for a day of learning. The beef exhibit was happy to host not only the students, but also State Representative Glen Grell. xx

Working with industry partners to provide the safest, highest quality, most consumer friendly beef and beef products is the focus of CBE’s fifteen board members. Together they have numerous years of experience working in many segments of the industry. They are involved in many industry organizations and are instrumental in the success of many of the programs CBE is partnering in. 

CBE board director, Phil McMahon who also manages Erdenheim Farm in Lafayette Hill, PA, recently hosted a tour for CBE and a group of interested importers from the US Meat Export Federation (USMEF) office in Singapore. USMEF's interest is to put US Meat on the world's table. They represented the countries of Singapore, Indonesia, Phillipines, Thailand and Vietnam. 

USMEF was very interested in the beef and sheep facility of Erdenheim. Looking for quality and the need for an economically suited product, they see the US market as an opportunity for their respective companies. As importers they got a great view of the best management practices utilized by the Pennsylvania producers. 

Protecting and enhancing the freedom of producers to operate is also important to CBE. Working with state and national organizations to educate consumers and legislative representatives on the issues that affect cattlemen will not only preserve the future but will also allow for growth in the beef industry.  

The Center for Beef Excellence was established in 2007 to promote the beef industry through education, production efficiency, government and community relations, and economic development. Representing 28,000 beef producers in Pennsylvania with 1.61 million head of cattle, the industry generates over $2 billion in economic impact yearly in the Commonwealth. The Center for Beef Excellence is an equal opportunity provider. 

PICTURE CAPTIONS 

For “Tour” picture:

The Center for Beef Excellence hosted importers from the US Meat Export Federation (USMEF) office of Singapore. USMEF wants to put US Meat on the world's table. Phil McMahon (third from left), livestock manager at Erdenheim Farm and CBE Board Member, provided the tour of the Erdenheim operation to USMEF representatives from Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. 

For “Kids” picture:

Representative Glen Grell joined elementary students at the recent Cumberland Valley A day sponsored by the district’s FFA Chapter.  Grell is shown at the beef exhibit which was presented by the Center for Beef Excellence in partnership with the PA Beef Council. 

For “Equipment” picture:

Producers wishing to borrow this handling equipment from the Center for Beef Excellence to assist in processing cattle should contact Ann Nogan at (570) 687-3150. 

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