Source: Niman Ranch
Close your eyes and imagine looking out over hundreds of acres of South Dakota grassland on a sunny, late spring evening. It’s 80°F with a light breeze and the sky is filled with big, puffy clouds. You hear conversation and laughter while the people around you enjoy a delicious dinner featuring some of the best food you can imagine. This evening is part of an event known as the Beef Education Summit or Beef Summit for short. Niman Ranch has hosted this event for six years – with a purpose of bringing people together to build community and learn how Niman Ranch partners with independent family ranchers to raise cattle differently.
This year, for the first time, we hosted the Beef Summit in South Dakota. Our guests and team arrived in Sioux Falls on Monday, and we had the pleasure of gathering for dinner on the opening night where we announced our new partnership to bring Certified Angus Beef® Grass-fed by Niman Ranch to the market. Attendees caught up with friends old and new and started the night with beautifully crafted appetizers featuring Niman Ranch Grass-Fed beef and Iberian Duroc pork. The main dish featured Niman Ranch Certified Angus Beef® Grass-Fed Strip Steaks.
Tuesday morning started with an early trip to South Dakota State University with education sessions and a butchery demo. We heard from some incredible speakers including our own John Tarpoff, Jr. and John Tarpoff, Sr. alongside our partners at Certified Angus Beef® and professors from South Dakota State University. We wrapped up our visit to SDSU with Niman Ranch Grass-fed Fearless Franks and Grass-fed Pulled Beef for lunch.
Guests hopped back on the bus and our next stop was the Ranch Tour. One of the unique elements of Niman Ranch is that we partner with independent family ranchers who open their ranches to share their stories, why they farm and why they believe in the Niman Ranch way. At the Krause Family Ranch, attendees split into groups and rotated through five stations that took us around the ranch. Topics included Animal Handling, Preventive Health, Nutrition & Feed, Genetics, and Live Animal Assessment and as always, no questions were off limits.
Our last stop for the day was dinner on the ranch where Rob and Becky Krause graciously opened their beautiful home, allowing us to share a meal together. Chef Peter Rosenberg from Certified Angus Beef® and Riley Krause grilled Niman Ranch Grass-Fed Ribeye Steaks on a one-of-a-kind custom grill. We served these alongside some of the most delicious comfort foods you can find in South Dakota. The evening ended with breathtaking views of the sunset, many laughs, and new friends – and a bit of a revolution. During the return trip to the hotel our guests unexpectedly started a donation challenge and Baldor Specialty Foods pledged to generously match the donation to the Niman Ranch Next Generation Fund.
We ended our time together Wednesday morning with more education sessions before our guests departed. What a whirlwind three days!
We owe a special thank you to our Niman Ranch team members, our customers, our partners at Certified Angus Beef®, our hosts at South Dakota State University, and, of course, the Krause Family for making this year’s Beef Education Summit possible. We couldn’t have done it without you!