While the kids were busy getting ready with their back-to-school countdown, Mom spent her last few days of summer doing what I love the most [when it comes to work]: representing the Michigan Beef Industry Commission [MBIC] at Michigan International Speedway [MIS]. You heard that right! I brought the beef message to Nascar fans in Michigan!
A Quick Recap of MIS Weekend
For those of you who are new to the Michigan International Speedway [me included!], let me give you some background. MIS is a car racing track in Brooklyn, Michigan [about 1 hour and 30 minutes from Detroit] and is home to the Nascar Cup Series FireKeepers Casino 400 Race. The MBIC was a sponsor/partner of the event this year and had a variety of opportunities to interact with and bring beef top of mind for Nascar fans. Our team participated in cooking demos all 3 race days, as well as had an interactive presence at the fan plaza right outside the track entrance. Weeks of planning and prep paid off, as not only did fans get to have a sample or two of beef, they were left feeling good about the choices of beef they make and new recipe ideas for their families.
While I’m usually the cook at home, I left that part up to the experts, George Quackenbush, the MBIC’s executive director, and Chef Gerry Atherton, a fan and friend of Michigan beef. I spent most of my time in the fan plaza, interacting with fans and sharing a variety of beef resources. This also gave me some 1:1 time with my coworker Jacquie and few special guests, beef producers right from our great state. I love getting a chance to hear our producers interacting with consumers not only to witness their passion for their livelihood in action, but to get a chance to share more of what I do behind the scenes on their behalf. My position is solely funded by these individuals, and I couldn’t be more grateful to share the beef message I believe in at events like MIS.
What MIS Weekend Taught Me About Nascar
Nascar fans LOVE beef. Seriously. But they might not always know the best way to prepare it. The resource to fly off our table the fastest was a beef cuts chart that guided fans to Chuck Knows Beef. Chuck Knows Beef is the only all-knowing beef expert powered by Google Artificial Intelligence. He has the know-how of a rancher, the skills of a chef … and the sense of humor of, well … a dad. Chuck Knows Beef can answer questions about everything from cuts, to cooking, to recipes. Chuck provides an easy and natural way for shoppers to select the right cut and learn the right way to cook it. Chuck Knows Beef is available on Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, but you can meet him right now on your mobile device or desktop by visiting ChuckKnowsBeef.com.
Along with fact sheets, recipes, and Chuck Knows Beef, I mentioned we also participated in some cooking demonstrations where fans were able to sample some recipes! Chef Gerry prepared two recipes from Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner, Roast Beef & Veggie Wraps and Caribbean Beef Burgers with Mango Salsa.
What MIS Weekend Reminded Me About Myself
I can’t say this enough: I love my job. I’ve echoed that in many posts on this blog and I’ll be the first to tell an acquaintance I work on behalf of Michigan beef farmers and ranchers. I believe in EVERYTHING the industry is doing from a food safety, product quality, animal care, and nutrition research side of things, so much so that when you get me out in public talking about WHAT and WHO I work for, I’m ready with a handout or resource in no time.
Not only does beef taste great, but the people behind the scenes making it possible for me to feed my family such a nutritious and delicious product are some the best people I’ve gotten to know. The industry feels like home away from home, and that’s why I don’t blink an eye when I have to say bye to my little ones for a few days.
So what’s next? I’m jazzed to start doing more in-person events with producers and consumers, but before the wheels get turning, I have to survive the first week of school! I’m 4 days in, and often wonder how I’m going to continue this run for an entire year. But as my boss George reminds me often, we need to walk before we run. So if you’re a busy parent like me, let’s remind each other of that as we start juggling work, school, and LIFE!