The Great New York State Fair will celebrate New York State’s beef industry on Tuesday, August 29, with visitors encouraged to join in on several special activities planned for Beef Day. Fairgoers will have the opportunity to interact with producers of New York’s high-quality beef and to learn more about this important part of New York’s agricultural industry. Special events held throughout the day include burger cooking demonstrations with three New York restaurants, and a ‘Beef Trail’ map of the best beef spots to visit at The Fair, with an opportunity for fairgoers to earn a t-shirt prize.
State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “Beef Day at the Fair is an annual opportunity to celebrate the hard work of New York’s beef producers, who are a critical part of our agricultural industry here in New York State. I encourage fairgoers to stop by a burger cooking demonstration or follow the Beef Trail map to sample some delicious and unique Fair foods made with New York State beef while learning more about this great industry.”
Fair Director Sean Hennessey said, “Beef Day is a Fair staple, giving visitors the opportunity to meet with the farmers who produce some of the best offerings at our steakhouses, as well as to sample the many delicious Fair-favorite foods that are made with local beef. We invite fairgoers to take part in this great celebration of New York’s hardworking beef producers.”
Burger cooking demonstrations will be held by three restaurants that made it to the Top Four in the New York State Beef Council’s 2023 ‘Best New York Burger’ Competition. These include:
- 11:00 am: Ale & Angus Pub, Syracuse – winner of the 2023 Best New York Burger
- 12:30 pm: Rock Burger, Niagara Falls
- 5:00 pm: Ben’s Fresh, Port Jervis
Cooking demonstrations will take place in the Demo Kitchen at the Art & Home Center on the fairgrounds. Fairgoers will have the opportunity to watch and learn as the chefs prepare their delicious creations and will take home a recipe to try at home. This year, the chefs will be cooking up their local fan favorites and sharing what makes their burgers among the best in New York State.
Additionally, the New York Beef Council has created a new Beef Trail map to guide visitors to the best beef experiences and beefy dishes found at The Great New York State Fair. Visitors can pick up their Beef Trail map at the Beef Barn or the Demo Kitchen. Stops along the map include the Beef Cattle Barn and Show Ring, the Dairy Birthing Tent, the Demo Kitchen, Restaurant Row, and the Taste NY Marketplace. After visitors have stopped at three locations on their Trail map and snapped a photo at each, they can head back to the Beef Barn to receive a New York Beef Passport t-shirt.
Families are also invited to visit the Beef Barn to take part in fun and educational activities, like snapping a selfie with a cow; talking with a farmer and learning about their beef story; playing Guess the Weight of the Heifer; and more.
Additionally, the New York Beef Producers Association is hosting the Supreme Female Beef Cattle Show at 3:00 pm. In the Supreme Female Show, the top female heifer or cow/calf pair from each county fair across the state will all come for a one-day special show, where the ultimate Supreme Female title will be awarded. Fairgoers are invited to come and cheer on the top beef females from across the state!
Chrissy Claudio, Director of Producer Communication and Consumer Engagement at the New York Beef Council said, “Beef Day at the NY State Fair celebrates more than just a delectable delicacy; it honors the hard work of farmers, the heritage of agriculture, and the sizzling spirit of community. It's a day where the rich flavors of tradition meet the savoriness of innovation, reminding us that beef not only nourishes our bodies but also feeds our bonds with the land and each other.”
New York State has nearly 12,800 cattle farms with 1.4 million cattle and calves overall, including almost 110,000 beef cows supplying nutritious, wholesome beef to consumers. The beef industry is one of the top five agricultural sectors in New York, contributing to New York State’s economy by generating more than $298 million in sales annually. New York’s beef community is made up of hard-working and dedicated men and women, and 92% of beef farms in New York are family owned and operated. Beef is an excellent source of protein and supplies 10 essential nutrients including B-vitamins, zinc, and iron that support an active and healthy lifestyle. Thousands of people—from cattle producers and feed manufacturers to equipment dealers and food marketers—play a role in bringing beef from pasture to plate.
The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets works hard to promote New York’s beef industry and connect producers to new markets. Additionally, the Department supports beef producers across the state through a variety of programs, like the Farm-to-School program, which helps connect producers with local schools, and Nourish New York, which brings New York foods to those in need through New York’s network of emergency food providers.
Additionally, the beef industry is part of the NYS Grown & Certified program. 74 beef producers are now in the program, with 13 of those joining this year. NYS Grown & Certified promotes New York’s agricultural producers and growers who adhere to food safety and environmental sustainability standards. For beef, participants must be local producers and their herd must have spent at least 2/3 of their lifetime in New York State. To meet the program’s food safety standards, the producer must participate in a herd management program, such as the Beef Quality Assurance program or the New York State Cattle Health Assurance Program, and animals must be processed in a USDA-inspected plant and have official identification such as an RFID tag.
In addition, the producer must participate in the New York State Agricultural Environmental Management (AEM) program, administered by the Department of Agriculture and Markets, or be in compliance with Department of Environmental Conservation permits.
Beef Day is Day #7 of The Great New York State Fair continues through Labor Day, Monday, September 4. Tickets are on sale now at The Fair’s website.
The New York State Fairgrounds is a 375-acre exhibit and entertainment complex that operates all year. Audiences are encouraged to learn more about the Great New York State Fair online, and follow the fun on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Guests are invited to see photos from the Fair on Flickr.