August 9, 2016
Syracuse, NY

Celebrate Beef Day at the Great New York State Fair with Cook-Offs, Contests and Kids Activities

Celebrate Beef Day at the Great New York State Fair with Cook-Offs, Contests and Kids Activities

Featuring the Annual Media Grill-Off, “Create the Perfect Burger” Contest, and Activities in the Beef Barn

New This Year: New York Beef Council and “Shake it Up” Partner to Donate the Proceeds of 300 Hot Beef Sundaes to the Food Bank of CNY

Dozens of amateur chefs and grill masters will descend upon the Great New York State Fair’s Chevy Court and the New York Beef Council will kick off a “Beef Day Donation” to celebrate the State Fair’s official Beef Day, Tuesday, August 30, Acting Fair Director Troy Waffner announced today.  Beef Day provides an opportunity for fairgoers to interact first-hand with the State’s high-quality producers and learn more about this growing industry.  Last year, nearly 60,000 people attended Beef Day.

“There’s always a great excitement on Beef Day at the Fair, and the annual cook-off contests get the crowds cheering for their favorite chefs,” said Acting Director Troy Waffner. “Beyond the competitions, Beef Day gives fairgoers of all ages the chance to learn more about beef farming from the producers themselves.”

“Because of specialty days at the Fair such as this, fairgoers have a real opportunity to learn more about where there food comes from and better understand the importance of the local beef industry to New York State’s agricultural economy as a whole,” said Commissioner Ball. “I look forward to celebrating Beef Day at the Great New York State Fair with the many cattle farmers from across the state and encourage all fairgoers to take part in the day’s activities.  There’s something for everyone.”

New this year, the New York Beef Council will partner with the Tadros Family’s “Shake it Up” Booth – “Home of the Hot Beef Sundae”  to help combat hunger in New York State.  The groups will donate the proceeds of 300 Hot Beef Sundaes, equivalent to $1,500, to the Food Bank of CNY.

State Agriculture Commissioner Ball will kick off the day’s festivities by reading a proclamation commemorating 21 successful years of showcasing New York State’s beef industry at the Great New York State Fair. 

Following the reading of the proclamation, defending champions 93Q will return to defend their title as the “Branding Iron Chef” during the 21st Annual Media grill-off.  Grilling gets underway at 10 a.m. under the Chevy Court Pavilion. At its start in 1996, this event was a one-man broadcast but today, personalities from television and radio programs from the Syracuse area are challenged to create a burger masterpiece in one hour.

The second cook-off of the day will also be held at the Chevy Court Pavilion at 12:30 p.m.  The 10th Annual “Create the Perfect Burger” contest will debut 11 New York Future Farmers of America chapters in their own “Iron Chef Style” competition.  The teams will compete for bragging rights and the chance to win $875 in prizes for their chapters.

Fairgoers are also encouraged to visit the Beef Barn, where kids will have the opportunity to participate in fun, educational activities.  The Beef Cut Puzzle will help attendees learn about where their food comes from, while the Face of Farming Quiz and Did You Know Scavenger Hunt will provide interactive opportunities for kids to learn more about cattle farming and producers in New York State.

New York Beef Council Director of Public Relations and Promotions Jean O’Toole said, “Beef Day is a celebration of our New York beef producers and is a day that will focus on educating consumers about beef from farm to fork.  There will be many interactive opportunities for attendees to ask questions about cattle and in turn they will learn and hear the passion these farmers have in what they do. It’s a can't miss opportunity to find out who raises your food.”

Phil Keppler, owner operator of SK Hereford’s in Medina and co-emcee of Beef Day activitiessaid, “Beef Day is a great opportunity to interact with our consumers and let them know how our product is produced, and learn about their questions and concerns. We in the beef industry have a great message and I am proud to articulate what we are about.”

In June, the New York Beef Council hosted several “Farm to Fork” tours as an important opportunity to connect industry influencers with producers.  Dozens of representatives from the retail food and restaurant industries, as well as culinary instructors and dieticians from across the state attended the tours where they learned about the growing beef industry in New York State, the high quality animal and land care practices New York farmers use, and the numerous health benefits beef provides.

The New York State Fair, operated by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, runs from August 25 to September 5, 2016.  The Fair's mission, reflected in its theme, "Find Your GREAT!," is to showcase the best of New York agriculture while providing top-quality entertainment.

The 375-acre New York State Fairgrounds is undergoing the most significant transformation since it first opened its gates in 1890. The $50 million plan, announced by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, revitalizes the grounds in many ways, improving the quality of the fairgoer’s experience and providing greater economic benefits for the region. Improvements include the dramatic new Main Gate— the arches of which recall the carriage gate that greeted fairgoers in 1900, a larger, 15-acre Wade Shows Midway that will hold more rides than ever, and the brand new 315-site Empire RV Park with underground water, sewer and electrical service. The plan will better position the New York State Fairgrounds as a premier year-round, multi-use facility that can attract more events and visitors from across the nation.  More information on the renderings can be viewed on the Flickr Account  here.

In addition to the annual New York State Fair, the Fairgrounds host dozens of agricultural events throughout the year, including some of the Northeast’s most prestigious horse and livestock shows. A year-round schedule of events is available on the Fair’s website.  Find The Great New York State Fair on Facebook, follow @NYSFair on Twitter, and enjoy photos from the Fair at Flickr. Also, New Yorkers are invited to send their ideas for the Great New York State Fair at [email protected].