Beef Checkoff Hosts Future Food Leaders at Intern Leadership Summit

C. Phillips | December 10, 2018

New York Beef Council hosted the Intern Leadership Summit in Canandaigua N.Y. in October, attended by six college Dietetic Internship Programs, including Syracuse University, Buffalo State University, D’Youville College, University at Buffalo, The Sage Colleges, and Northwell Health. Each university nominated 3-6 interns to attend the Summit. The invite-by-nomination model focused beef checkoff resources on engaging the “cream-of-the-crop” interns who would benefit most from the experience.

Thirty-one attendees, including six program directors, 24 interns, and one RD media representative from the New York State Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (NYSAND), joined the 2-day immersion event.    

Day one explored beef production, with tours at a cow-calf farm at Glade Haven Herefords Farm and a feedlot at D & R Cattle. On day two at the New York Kitchen, the attendees received intensive media skill training on the new Mediterranean diet research, and cooked nutritious Mediterranean-inspired beef entrees. The interns also learned how to use Facebook Live in a social media workshop. Prior to the event, the interns prepared by reading the Mediterranean research and key beef nutrition highlights.   Ryan Goodman from NCBA and Jean O’Toole of NYBC facilitated the media training and Facebook Live workshop, respectively. Joan Ruskamp, Cattlemen’s Beef Board chair and a Nebraska producer, inspired all with an uplifting session on advocacy and leadership. Rich Brown, CBB member and NYBC Board chairman, engaged the attendees on the commitment of beef farmers.   

The outcomes demonstrated that the attendees gained valuable media skills and insight into beef nutrition and production. The favorable view of beef farm production improved by 38 percentage points. Those who would “recommend beef consumption 3 times per week or more” almost tripled (from 24 percent to 66 percent).   The Summit experience was also featured in NYSAND’s newsletter, sent to over 5000 New York RDs. It can be read at   

“My experience with the Beef Council was wonderful! I learned so much, and now I feel confident in educating my clients about beef nutrition,” commented an intern participant. Katie Manis, lecturer at Buffalo State University and participant, commented, “This experience allowed them to explore the beef industry, gain hands-on knowledge on how to deal with media – something they will come into contact with at some point in their career – and network with other programs.  It’s so wonderful to see the passion of your team rub off on the students.”   

The Summit served as a great opportunity for future RDs to develop valuable media skills to credibly relate new research to the public, along with culinary skills to teach healthy meals using beef. Cindy Chan Phillips, MBA, R.D., NYBC director of nutrition education, commented, “The Summit becomes an important personal growth journey for the future RDs. I am so happy the interns take time from their very hectic schedule and come together with farmers for one important goal – serving the consumers!”   

Phillips’ work with the NYBC is financially supported by the Kansas and Nebraska Beef Councils.  For more information on the event, contact Cindy Chan Phillips, R.D.,