Each year the New York Beef Council (NYBC) presents one deserving advocate the title of Beef Promoter of the Year. At this year’s New York Beef Producers’ Association Annual Meeting Steve Olson, of Hidden Canyon Farm, located in Lyons, NY was selected.
Steve Olson is owner operator of Hidden Canyon Farm with his wife Sue. Steve has a long and diverse track record of advocating for the beef industry. Being raised on a livestock farm in Upstate New York was just the beginning of Steve’s long career in the agricultural field. He began his career with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in 1977 as an Agricultural Commodity Grader (Meat) in Iowa and later in New York City before eventually becoming a Livestock and Meat Marketing Specialist at the USDA headquarters in Washington, DC.
During his career working with the USDA Steve’s developed expertise included work in the development of meat purchase specifications for use by the Department of Defense, National School Lunch Program, State and local Governments, food service and retail industry. His primary task was to maintain the Institutional Meat Purchase Specifications. He also participated in the development of the new NAMP Meat Buyer’s Guide and the Uniform Retail Meat Identity Standards.
Since retiring NYBC has called on Steve to share his expertise of beef both on and off the farm. The Olson’s farm, has been host of consumer tours and one-on-one influencer experiences. While leading farm tours attendees quickly feel Steve’s passion for farm life and everything it includes. Steve and Sue adamantly follow the mantra that their animals should be treated with the respect they deserve while at the farm and their animals’ comfort with them, and all people, allows visitors up-close- and- personal interaction with cattle. David Dial a social influencer who manages Spiced Blog, had the opportunity to do a one-on-one tour of Hidden Canyon Farm in 2018 and while sharing the experience with his followers it was clear that feeding a cow a cob of corn was one of the highlights of his trip.
Equally as important is Steve’s ability to educate consumers and influencers on beef cuts and share his wealth of knowledge from his former role working with USDA. Steve has been a part of multiple NYBC events and teaches beef butchery lessons to social influencers, as well as, culinary students and instructors. In the spring of 2018 Steve travelled to Hoboken, NJ to assist NYBC is teaching 12 social influencers about beef processing and cutting. Steve’s unique background of government and farming allowed him to bring a unique perspective to the tour.
When asked how the Meat Retreat event made them think differently about beef one blogger highlighted, “Steve made the comment about how much farmers respect cattle for providing us with food, he went on to say that it's not a disservice to butcher the meat, but rather a disservice to the cattle if we do a poor job butchering the meat. That comment really stuck with me.” Steve’s enthusiasm is contagious and always makes for an entertaining and positive learning experience no matter the audience.
Steve is a positive role model and advocate of our industry and unselfishly assists NYBC in the promotion of the industry with influencers 3-4 times removed from the life he lives and thrives. Congratulations Steve!