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Tyler McCann announcing the Beef Roundup
Tyler McCann, Wyoming Cowboy Cuts

A dedicated group of individuals saw their hard work come to fruition Saturday, August 29, as the first annual Rendezvous City Beef Roundup welcomed more than 100 people to the Central Wyoming College campus to visit with Wyoming meat producers.  Producers visited with consumers about the beef production process, the challenges and rewards of being a producer in Wyoming, and why there has recently been such a high demand for locally produced beef. 

CWC’s Mobile Meat Science Unit was on the premises with faculty to explain the new meat science program and plans for the future Rocky Mountain Complex for Ag and Equine Sciences.  A portion of the ticket price will support a new meat science scholarship at CWC. The culinary program students were busy grilling samples throughout the day of local beef from participating producers for the public to sample while they had the opportunity to listen to presentations from speakers such as Representative Tyler Lindholm on the new Herd Shares Act.

“It was certainly a team effort to bring this event to fruition,” Beth Monteiro, Executive Director of the CWC Foundation said.  “Tyler McCann and his family were the real drivers of the day’s success, but this couldn’t have been possible without the help of folks like Eric and Tara Carr, our CWC foodservice, the other folks who work at the Foundation and our wonderful faculty who spent the day sharing their excitement for their programs.”

A small committee of community members along with McCann and CWC worked to coordinate the event, aligning speakers, facilities, advertising, and more.

“This was two years in the making, and we think it will become a model for other states to follow,” Carr said. “We were excited to be a small part of the event. Wyoming is at the forefront of local food opportunities, and being a part of providing consumers with Wyoming beef is exciting. Thank you to Tyler McCann for the vision and CWC for the support.”

Following the presentations and booths, fifty VIP ticket holders participated in a Beef Challenge event where they were asked to rank ten producers’ steaks on several parameters including texture, smell, tenderness, and flavor with the winning producer, Wyoming Legacy Meats, receiving a custom buckle made by GIST and a belt made by B.J. Griffin Leather Design. Additional awards were sponsored by Murdoch’s Ranch and Home Supply.

Event organizer Tyler McCann was particularly pleased with the number of producers who contacted him and came to the event and is excited about the opportunity it provided to bring producers and consumers together.

We even had a producer from Nebraska who wanted to participate in the challenge event which we limited to just Wyoming producers this year. They still decided to attend and bought VIP tickets so they could see how they could have this kind of event in Nebraska to promote local beef. We had folks from Chesapeake, VA, Seattle, WA, and Wisconsin as well. Wyoming beef was on both coasts by Monday morning! ”

During the Beef Challenge, McCann began the event by thanking producers for their hard work, acknowledging that ranching is not an easy profession, and typically involves the entire family, with long hours spent making a living.

“I had an older producer and generational rancher say that he was just blown away and honored to have a roomful of people thanking him for producing beef for them,” McCann said. “I was shocked to see how serious people were about rating the steaks. People took so much care ranking them on the different categories and they had an extremely difficult time choosing their favorite.” 

Following the Beef Challenge, comment cards were distributed to everyone to garner feedback as to how the event could be improved upon for next year.

“They wanted to tour facilities, wanted more information about what they’re eating, and how it is processed,” McCann said.  “We had several people who said, ‘Please do this again next year!’ so we are already making plans to incorporate that feedback and those activities for 2021.”