At the request of Golden State Foods, Texas A&M Department of Animal Science and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Hosted a specialized Beef 101 program for members of the McDonald’s Corporation and their beef suppliers on August 15-17. Dr. Wayne Morgan, President of Protein Products for Golden State Foods collaborated with Dr. Davey Griffin, professor and Extension Meat Specialist to coordinate the event with a schedule designed to help participants get a snapshot of the beef industry from start to finish.
Participants began the program at the TAMU Beef Center with presentations by Dr. Jason Cleere, associate professor and Extension Beef Cattle Specialist, focused on learning more about the cattle industry. After the presentations, they moved to the holding pens to evaluate both fed steers and cull cows. The animals evaluated would serve as examples of both types of raw materials used in McDonald’s products.
Following the afternoon activities, the group was treated to dinner by the Texas Beef Council. Russell Woodward, Senior Manager of Marketing at Texas Beef Council along with Jerry McPherson and Robert Hale prepared Chateau sirloin and sides for the evening meal. Afterward, Russell led a discussion on Texas Beef Council’s role in the beef industry. The evening ended with a round-table discussion on the day’s activities.
The second day of the program began with a discussion and demonstration on beef slaughter and processing led by Ray Riley, Manager of the Rosenthal Meat Science and Technology Center. Following the presentation, the group watched as the animals from the day before were processed.
The remainder of the day centered around beef grading, anatomy and processing. Dr. Davey Griffin led participants through discussions on beef grading and anatomy. After lunch, participants broke up into groups and spent the afternoon grading carcasses, then fabricating them into boneless, closely trimmed subprimals and component parts.
After a long afternoon of hands-on activities, the group was transported to “The Veranda” for an evening meal featuring our famous Texas Aggie Prime Rib, then a followup discussion of the day’s activities. Dr. Cliff Lamb, Head, Department of Animal Science and Dr. Tom Hairgrove aided the discussions when live animal practices were the topic.
The third day featured a morning of evaluation of the data generated from the previous afternoon’s fabrication activity, followed by an opportunity to see how accurate their live estimates were when the steer and cow carcasses from the animals harvested were rolled out and evaluated. Afterward, Dr. Morgan led a discussion summarizing the workshop and answering any follow-up questions. Participants indicated the program was worthwhile and helped them get a better picture of the beef industry.