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Oregon Tour Offers Japanese Media Team Firsthand Look at U.S. Beef Industry

A team of food magazine editors from Japan interviews Executive Chef Matt Christianson of the Urban Farmer restaurant in Portland, Oregon

A team of food magazine editors from Japan interviews Executive Chef Matt Christianson of the Urban Farmer restaurant in Portland, Oregon

A team of editors and photographers from leading Japanese food and lifestyle magazines traveled to Oregon for a U.S. beef industry tour. The team’s visit was made possible through support from the Beef Checkoff Program and the Oregon Beef Council (OBC).

The group included representatives of GLOW, Tokyo Calendar and dancyu magazines, who were accompanied by Tazuko Hijikata, USMEF-Tokyo senior manager of consumer affairs. Their stops in Oregon included a wide range of retail outlets and restaurants that feature U.S. beef. This included a “back of the house” tour of the Urban Farmer restaurant in Portland, where the team interviewed Executive Chef Matt Christianson. He was OBC’s 2013 Chef of the Year and recently represented OBC at Feast Portland, a culinary event conducted by Bon Appétit magazine. Christianson also took the group through the restaurant’s dry-aged beef room and arranged photo opportunities of several plated beef dishes.

Another highlight was a tour of the Durgan Ranch near Paulina, Oregon, where ranching techniques were demonstrated and the group enjoyed a branding day beef cookout featuring slow-cooked prime rib.

The team enjoys a cookout with Oregon Beef Council CEO Will Wise (far left) and Rebecca Snook (second from left) of Durgan Ranch

The team enjoys a cookout with Oregon Beef Council CEO Will Wise (far left) and Rebecca Snook (second from left) of Durgan Ranch

“The Oregon Beef Council was proud to play a supporting role in bringing the media team to the U.S. and helping set up this tour,” said Will Wise, OBC chief executive officer. “USMEF does an outstanding job with these activities, which pay great dividends for cattle producers. Promoting U.S. beef in Japan through these prominent magazines is such a great opportunity, and we were pleased to help USMEF achieve this goal.”

OBC Chair Sharon Livingston, a cow-calf producer from Long Creek, Oregon, said she and her fellow producers appreciate the exceptional returns delivered by beef exports to Japan.

“One of the great benefits of hosting this media team is that producers can see their checkoff dollars in action, reaching a very important international audience,” Livingston said.

Wise shared details from the media team’s visit in the OBC’s newsletter and featured it in a Sept. 23 presentation to the Oregon Board of Agriculture, which advises the Oregon Department of Agriculture on key agricultural issues and advocates for the state’s agriculture industry.

Before returning to Japan, media team members visited USMEF headquarters in Denver where they received additional information about the U.S. beef industry and an overview of USMEF marketing programs. The group also toured a number of Denver-area retail outlets and restaurants.