Discover the Power of Protein in the Land of Lean Beef!

The Power of Protein is all about experiencing the body benefits of eating beef and building lean muscle as you train for running, cycling, triathlon or other athletic events -- or just in living a healthy, active lifestyle.

If you are a beef eater and an athlete (weekend warriors welcome!), join Team ZIP (Zinc/Iron/Protein) to "Live the Brand" and demonstrate the "Power of Protein in the Land of Lean Beef."

For more information, contact Daren Williams at

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Team ZIP Runs the Boston Marathon!


Team ZIP was present in full force at the Boston Marathon, April 19-21, demonstrating the Power of Protein to runners and spectators from all over the world. Three members of Team ZIP ran in the world's oldest annual marathon, including NCBA Executive Committee member Ford Drummond, a 3rd generation cow/calf and stocker operator of Drummond Ranch in Pawhuska, Okla. (pictured at left after the run holding his finisher's medal!).

Also running for team ZIP with steak-adorned jerseys were Michelle Baade, Colo. (sister-in-law of Kristy Lage, American National CattleWomen president-elect); and Lucinda Harnish, Penn. (daughter of Clayton Harnish, veal representative to the Federation of State Beef Councils in Pennsylvania).

“The marathon was fun and challenging as always, but Team ZIP (Zinc, Iron, Protein) received a lot of positive feedback from spectators and words of encouragement along the way. Other runners complimented me on the jersey and my husband, Brad, also wore a Team ZIP jersey as he cycled along the course, providing some additional exposure for our beef nutrition message,” says Harnish. “I look forward to wearing my ZIP jersey again this summer at other running events to help promote beef.”

Beyond featuring three runners in the race, Team ZIP members (including staff from the Northeast Beef Promotion Initiative, New York Beef Industry Council, and Pennsylvania Beef Council) worked the beef booth at the John Hancock Sports and Fitness Expo throughout the entire weekend, serving up samples of beef to hungry runners and talking up the benefits of lean beef in a healthy diet.

The Northeast Beef Promotion Initiative (NEBPI) worked with the checkoff-funded Beef and Veal Culinary Center to demonstrate Roast Beef & Veggie Wraps, a lean, portable and easy recipe, serving just over 7,000 samples to marathon runners. Through partners Johnnie’s Foodmaster (who donated 200 pounds of Certified Angus Beef roast beef), Dole, Harbar Foods and Richelieu Foods, all wrap ingredients were donated.

“Our efforts to spread the message about the benefits of lean beef really hit home with this active consumer audience,” says Emilie Miller, Director of Retail & Foodservice Relations for the NEBPI. “We heard comments such as ‘I was a vegetarian – up until an hour ago!’, ‘You just saved a runner’s body.’ and ‘I learned so much and feel much more confident about eating beef.’ Dedication begins on the farm with our producers and this spring in Boston, beef crossed the finish line a winner.”

Pictures of Team ZIP in Action!

Jean O'Toole (far left) and Kara Behlke (far right) of the New York Beef Industry Council flank former American marathon record holder Bill Rodgers and Emilie Miller of the Northeast Beef Promotion Initiative.

Runners sample lean beef at the Sports and Fitness Expo.

Team ZIP members join Beef Ambassadors in staffing the booth at the Sports and Fitness Expo.

Ford Drummond flexes his lean beef muscles and shows his
Team ZIP pride!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Boilermaker Fever has started in Utica!

by Jean O'Toole, New York Beef Industry Council

The mercury is starting to inch its way up the thermometer and runners are springing into action! Boilermaker meetings are being conducted and the sneaker stores have stocked their shelves with brand name shoes, socks and running gear!

I attended a Boilermaker meeting last week along with 30 other hopeful runners. I say hopeful, because the Boilermaker has the mystique of enticing first time runners and retired runners out of retirement, to join in on the fun and magic that only a community like Utica can offer.

The veteran runners get into the action this time of year to boast the number of times they have run the race. And local communities along the route start planning their "block parties," which are four cheering sections with bands, banners, cow bells and whistles to help runners "get through" their part of the course. The winning block party wins a party!

But the Boilermaker's mystique doesn't end with the runners or the spectators. The most incredible part of every Boilermaker are the volunteers! There are 6,500 volunteers. And if that isn't enough...there is a WAITING LIST to boot! The volunteers are amazing people that attend to every aspect of the race. Talk about dedication! They may not run the event, but they ensure that the runners that do race, run it effortlessly!

This year's Boilermaker is #31! What started 31 years ago with 800 runners has evolved into a race second to none with over 12,000 runners in 2007 and more expected this year.

I ran the Boilermaker 12 years ago in 1996, my first and only time. I admit I was enticed by the spirit of the race and was brought to tears during the race many times by the overwhelming camaraderie of runners, volunteers and spectators, encouraging wheelchair participants as they struggled up the Valley View Hill (the one challenging hill) and the kind words of volunteers as they handed you water, "you can do have made it this far...go for it."

My goal wasn't time, my goal was to finish, to complete the 9.3, which I did in 1:37:30. I ran with a friend, who at mile 6 was ready to quit. I ran backwards encouraging her to continue and stayed with her until mile 9 when I told her, "I have to sprint to the finish (its the only way to go, and it was easy due to the fact it was down hill!). I will meet you there!"

I have to say, it was one of the greatest accomplishments in all my athletic endeavors. I have not run it since...until this year! I'm ready to run, ready to share the spirit of Utica with colleagues, friends and family, and ready to share "The Power of Protein"with Utica and 12,000 other runners from across the country.

The New York Beef Industry Council is the headquarters for "Team ZIP" for the 31st Annual Utica Boilermaker! It's no secret we are looking for 250 runners to lace up their running shoes, and proudly wear their Team ZIP jersey to demonstrate the "Power of Protein." I encourage you to check out our website for updates about the race, where to go, what to see, how to get to Utica and where you can hang up your running shoes before the big race!

I also encourage you to check out the Boilermaker website at On the site you can see the race course, check out the elevation and SIGN UP! Early Bird sign up deadline is JUNE 11, 2008, final sign up deadline is JUNE 30th! You can sign up for the 15k, the 5k or the 5k walk and be part of Team ZIP! Do it today and let me know at so that I can formally welcome you to the team and direct you to the final destination...the finish line!

And, lastly I encourage you to check out our local newspaper, there are two recent articles "Boilermaker could regain biggest 15K title" and "Boilermaker spices up lineup." There was also an article about the Boilermaker on about last year's race, just type in "Boilermaker 15k road race."

Today is Tuesday, April 8th. On Sunday I ran 5.5 miles. It was a great run considering it was on a treadmill and watching Food Network! It may be warm enough for some Utican's to run outside, as for me, the mercury needs to inch up a little further to entice me outside!

Keep running or start now (it's not too late*), there are less than 14 weeks to go!

Jean O'Toole

*click here for a 10-week novice 15K training schedule.