Foster Farms has introduced Great Bites mini chicken cheeseburgers. These bite-sized, full flavor snacks or mini-meals are available in the freezer aisle of grocery stores nationwide.

Great Bites bridge several current food trends, the company notes: Americans increasingly depend on chicken as a naturally lean, wholesome protein source, and consumers continue to seek out restaurant-inspired snack foods. Foster Farms Great Bites provide hungry families an accessible, full-flavored snack or mini meal item without the hassle of going out. Even more, now that one-third of the population tends to eat several mini-meals throughout the day rather than three "square" meals per day, Great Bites paired with a salad or veggies makes for a satisfying lunch, dinner or late night meal.

"Overwhelmingly, consumers told us that they were in search of healthier afternoon snack options that had substance to them," said Jennifer Corsiglia-Keim, marketing manager for Foster Farms. "With Great Bites, we ended up creating a filling snack or mini-meal that appeals to just about everyone. The wholesome protein fuels energy and helps curb what we call the '3 o'cluck slump.' Moms tell us that their kids love Great Bites because they're fun to eat and taste good, and, moms like them as a quick on-the-go snack for themselves, or something savory to enjoy on their downtime."

Great Bites feature flame broiled chicken and come in two varieties: All-American Cheeseburger with tangy BBQ sauce, real smoky bacon and cheddar cheese; and the Santa Fe Cheeseburger with real creamy pepper jack cheese and chipotle sauce.

Source: Foster Farms

Oklahoma Beef Council announces endowment of Temple Grandin professorship at OSU

The Oklahoma Beef Council announced a $250,000 gift to Oklahoma State University’s newly created endowed professorship in honor of animal scientist and autistic expert Dr. Temple Grandin whose life story, put to film, recently won seven Emmy’s.

Heather Buckmaster, Oklahoma Beef Council executive director, made the announcement during a Sept. 15 special seminar featuring Grandin, which was held in OSU’s Gallagher-Iba Arena. More than 3000 people attended the seminar.

“Funding the Temple Grandin Endowed Professorship in Animal Behavior and Well-Being is important to the cattle industry because the resulting research and education will help further our understanding of animal behavior and animal care. There is a direct link between improved animal care, performance, beef quality and ultimately beef demand.” Buckmaster said. “It’s a win for the producer and the consumer.”

The Temple Grandin Endowed Professorship in Animal Behavior and Well-Being will be housed in OSU’s department of animal science. The department is part of the university’s Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, comprised of the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources and two state agencies: the Oklahoma Agricultural Experiment Station system and the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service.

“Her life story has inspired many in terms of her ability to overcome obstacles,” said Ron Kensinger, head of the department of animal science. “Her career-long accomplishments are a perfect illustration of how fundamental research may one day lead to tremendous practical advances. We are privileged to have friends who recognize the value of naming an endowed professorship in animal behavior and well-being in Dr. Grandin’s honor.”

The purpose of creating this endowed professorship is to enhance the research and teaching in the discipline of animal behavior and well-being, which is important to the general public, Kensinger said.

The research and teaching completed by the scientist in this position will complement existing programs in OSU’s department of animal science on animal health, animal management, immunology and how animals interact with humankind. This will ensure that OSU can educate the next generation of scientists to proliferate the work that Grandin initiated.

“Dr. Temple Grandin is a special person to the cattle industry because she has greatly expanded our knowledge and understanding of animal behavior, which has translated to huge strides in animal care and handling on farm and in packing plants. Currently, fifty percent of the cattle processed in the United States today are through systems created by Dr. Temple Grandin. She has pushed us as an industry while helping to inspire trust in our systems.” Buckmaster said.

Source: Oklahoma Beef Council

Veal pushing to take over Columbus Day

A new promotion funded by the Beef Checkoff is trying to make veal the official dish of Columbus Day, much like turkey has Thanksgiving. The goal of the promotional effort is to motivate home cooks to prepare veal on this Italian-themed holiday.

“Columbus Day is a time to celebrate Italian heritage, and serving Italian food is a great way to enjoy the holiday,” said Ray Krones, chairman of the Joint Veal Committee. “We are trying to start a new trend, by encouraging consumers to celebrate Columbus Day with a home-cooked meal for friends and family, featuring Italian favorites such as Veal Parmigiana, Veal Saltimbocca and Veal Piccata,” says Krones.

To generate awareness for this idea, humorous TV spots will air in top markets. The ads feature a couple in the kitchen cooking and arguing about which veal dish is the best choice for Columbus Day. Consumers are asked to visit, vote for their favorite Italian veal dish, and enter to win a Perillo Trip for Two to Italy.

The website will also feature several easy-to-prepare recipes featuring classic Italian dishes, and step-by-step videos to help home cooks create an Italian masterpiece. The initiative will be supported in 2,744 grocery stores, with feature ads and recipe labels that also include a marketing partner, Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Downloadable ad slicks and other marketing support are available to retailers.

Source: Beef Checkoff Program

Sysco adds Larry Glasscock to board of directors

Sysco Corp. announced today that Larry C. Glasscock has been appointed to the company's board of directors effective immediately, expanding the size of the board to 12 members. He will be in the classification of directors which will stand for re-election at the November 2012 Annual Meeting of Stockholders and will serve on the board's compensation, corporate governance and nominating, and corporate sustainability committees.

Glasscock, 62, is the former chairman of the board of WellPoint Inc., one of the largest health benefits companies in the United States. He also served as WellPoint's president and CEO; chairman, president and CEO of Anthem, Inc.; COO of CareFirst Inc.; president and CEO of Group Hospitalization and Medical Services Inc.; president of First American Bank N.A.; and president and CEO of Essex Holdings Inc.

Manny Fernandez, Sysco's chairman of the board, said, "We are very pleased to welcome Larry to our board. The extensive leadership and corporate strategy expertise he has amassed over the past 30 years, along with his experience in utilizing technology to improve productivity, will be extremely valuable to Sysco."

Source: Sysco Corp.