Chefs and purchasing managers from some of Jordan’s finest hotels and restaurants recently traveled to the United States to participate in a hands-on tour designed to educate them on how high-quality U.S. beef is produced from farm to fork. Funding for the group’s activities was provided by the Beef Checkoff Program.
After arriving in Omaha, Nebraska, the delegation toured two feedlots before making a stop at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL). There the trade team met with Dr. Chris Calkins of the UNL Animal Science Department for a question-and-answer session on beef research and production methodology. The next day the team visited Greater Omaha Packing and had an opportunity to observe the plant’s halal slaughtering processes for beef destined for Jordan and other markets requiring halal certification.
The tour then moved to the towns of Amherst and Seward, Nebraska, to visit two additional feedlots and observe a calf sale at a local auction market. The team then traveled to a cow/calf operation owned by Brian and Ann Marie Bosshamer. A barbecue lunch was provided at the Bosshamer ranch, with Chef Kamal Khateeb of the Four Seasons in Amman helping prepare the meal. Several beef cuts from Greater Omaha Packing were featured, including the top butt, top blade, shoulder clod and tenderloin.
On the final day of the tour, the delegation visited a cow/calf operation owned by Neil and Suzanne Jorgenson near Callaway, Nebraska. There the team learned about the Jorgenson’s Angus cattle herd and visited the famed “Woodward Soddy,” an original sod house that stands with other historic buildings on the property, including a museum featuring dozens of farm antiques. Participants also learned about breeding and calving seasons and proper animal handling practices.
“The chefs were surprised at how gentle our cattle are and impressed with the quality care they receive,” said Neil Jorgenson. “I think that they went away with a very positive impression of Nebraska beef and how it is produced. We really enjoyed the opportunity to promote the quality of our cattle and U.S. beef to international customers.”
Feedback from the Jordanian trade delegation was extremely positive, with trade team members commenting that the tour provided them an in-depth educational experience that they will be able to put to work back in their high-end kitchens at home. Many remarked at how efficient, clean and impressive U.S. systems and facilities are. Others noted how they appreciated the opportunity to learn more about cattle feeding practices and the halal certification process.
“The Jordanian market is an important component of USMEF’s beef export strategy in the Middle East,” said John Brook, USMEF regional director for Europe, Russia and the Middle East. “Giving chefs from high-end restaurants this type of education and experience helps them to understand the superior quality and versatility of our product and helps U.S. beef land front-and-center on menus in Jordan and throughout the Middle East region.”