Governor Kevin Stitt to Eat First "Oklahoma Certified" Steak at OCBA Kick-Off EventThu, 04 Feb 2021 09:37:14 CST
AFR/OFU Cooperative will host the Oklahoma Certified Beef Association (OCBA) Kick-Off Event Feb. 4. The event will feature Oklahoma Certified steaks, the first Oklahoma Certified Beef products to ever be served in a restaurant. Gov. Stitt will be served first, marking his steak Oklahoma Certified Steak No. 1.
Through OCBA, the state’s cattle producers can verify their beef products as “Oklahoma certified.” To earn the distinction, beef cattle must be bred, born, raised and processed within Oklahoma state borders. The creation of OCBA is timely, following pandemic-related meat shortages in grocery stores and the subsequent increase in local and direct-to-consumer beef products. Through OCBA labeling, consumers can shop for products that are made for Oklahomans, by Oklahomans.
Associate Farm Director, KC Sheperd Spoke with AFR/OFU President, Scott Blubaugh about the big event, "Tonight we are going to have the governor, the LT. Governor, the Secretary of Agriculture, Blayne Arthur, the Chairman of the Senate Ag Committed, Casey Murdock, and the chairman of the house ag Committee Dell Kerbs, at the restaurant of the Devon Tower, and we're going to serve the very first Oklahoma Certified Beef Ribeye Steak to kickoff this really great program."
Blubaugh said this is the first official big kickoff for this program. Through OCBA, the state’s cattle producers can verify their quality beef products as “Oklahoma certified.” To earn the distinction, ranchers must prove their animals are bred, born, raised and processed within Oklahoma state borders through an affidavit-based, third-party verification system. Once verified, the certified beef products can be marketed to consumers with the official OCBA seal.
“OCBA is a great opportunity to connect directly with consumers looking to purchase beef from local ranches,” said Blubaugh. “As an organization, we’re excited to offer another way for AFR/OFU members and Oklahoma ranchers at large to market high-quality Oklahoma beef. Blubaugh added "Its going to be a great economic driver for small rural communities, in mom and pop processing plants throughout the state. We are seeing a rebirth of that industry in Oklahoma. Several new plants have already gone on-line and several more will be going on-line soon. For every one of those retail beef dollars that we can keep in the state of Oklahoma, in our rural communities, is a win for our farmers, ranchers, and our community as an economic driving base, and our consumers as well."
Through pandemic-related meat shortages, the demand for local and direct market beef soared in 2020. That demand is expected to maintain in 2021. Due to the demand surge, many Oklahoma ranches either jumped in to direct marketing for the first time or have been looking for ways to expand. The OCBA seal is a great way for both new and established businesses to distinguish Oklahoma certified products from other ranches that may purchase animals from out-of-state. Blubaugh says consumers want to know where their food comes from, "This is just another way of being able to do that, so we just think its a win/win for everybody. There are no losers in this program. We're just super excited that the Governor is going to come and eat the very first steak with us."
To hear KC's complete conversation with Scott Blubaugh, click or tap below:
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