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OBC culinary studio to enhance impact of beef marketing efforts
Ohio Correspondent

MARYSVILLE, Ohio — Social media is changing how consumers learn many things in everyday life – and this includes food and cooking.
Consequently, the Ohio Beef Council (OBC) and the Beef Checkoff Program opted to embrace these changes and adapt to help consumers gain more confidence in handling and cooking with beef. Last year, OBC worked out an agreement with the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association and Ohio Cattlemen’s Foundation in the building that houses all three organizations to remodel the existing kitchen.
The result was the creation of a culinary studio and accompanying video production equipment to increase the impact of the Beef Checkoff’s marketing efforts.
“There’s lots of opportunities with our new culinary studio that the Ohio Beef Council created,” said Elizabeth Harsh, Executive Director of the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA). Harsh directs and coordinates all activities of the Ohio Beef Council and the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association. She is responsible for compliance with the Beef Checkoff Act & Order and for all OBC/OCA financial statements.
 “It’s really all about remodeling our kitchen to produce high quality videos featuring beef recipes,” Harsh said. “Consumers are all about being online and that’s where they learn the most about new ways to cook and prepare beef.
“With the need to produce more and more video it felt that the timing for this renovation was right, and now we have more seating to host larger events,” Harsh said.
 “It’s a home run to be able to have such a facility in-house and not have to go out and pay to rent facilities to perform video work. These costs can add up after a while. It’s so nice to have that here and be able to manage our own time and host folks and to make connections.
“The kitchen will be used by those in-house, as well as by interns to learn new skills,” Harsh said. “Ideally, we’ll use our influencers like our many beef bloggers. We have a number of beef bloggers who have been with us for a number of years. And, we’ll invite award-winning and acclaimed chefs from across the state to put their recipes to the test in our new kitchen.
 The multi-functional space is used as an in-house kitchen production studio for recipe development, video and social content creation, and educational demonstrations. OBC will partner with chefs, nutritionists, meat scientists and other professionals to bring the message and education of beef on the plate to consumers.
 “More broadly, in terms of different pathways we can go to catch the consumers’ attention, we’ll work hand in hand with OSU Extension, we’ll work with experts in Ohio wines where we’ll have a beef and wines pairing. May is ‘Beef Month’ so we’ll utilize some of the people who teach some of the barbeque science classes at various universities and have a fun time focusing on the tips and tricks to be an expert barbeque person.”
 Harsh said a nutrition educator is on staff to teach healthy ways of cooking with beef.
 “We’ll bring in dieticians and dietetic students to discuss the health benefits of beef and lead them to learn beef recipes, showing them how this can lead to a healthy lifestyle.”