“Rail to Retail” was the theme of the checkoff’s Northeast Beef Promotion Initiative (NEBPI) 2012 Beef Boot Camp. The 1 1/2-day conference was held May 8-9 in Tunkhannock and Wyalusing, PA.

A total of 13 retail meat buyers, managers and directors were present for the event. Retailers came from Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania and represented a total of 84 retail locations throughout the Northeast region.

Boot Camp started out with a morning tour of the Cargill Regional Beef plant in Wyalusing. With the majority of attending retailers having little to no experience in a large beef processing facility, the tour of the Cargill Regional Beef provided them with an opportunity to see a modern-day beef processing plant and view first-hand just how many beef safety protocols and interventions are in place to ensure product and worker safety.

During the afternoon portion of the conference, attendees learned about consumer trends, watched a cutting demonstration of new merchandising opportunities from the beef loin and sirloin, heard about the results of the 2011 Northeast Consumer Beef Index, and received information about beef and veal merchandising opportunities.

The panel of speakers included Bridget Bingham, Pennsylvania Beef Council; Kari Underly, Range, Inc.; Wendy Neuman, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association; and Carrie Bomgardner, Streetmarc Advertising and Marketing.

The beef checkoff’s NEBPI partnered with Volk Enterprises and Streetmarc Advertising and Marketing to conduct the event.