Celebrity chef tours South Dakota to promote U.S. beef in Japan

by | Aug 7, 2023 | 5 Ag Stories, News

Japanese celebrity chef and social media influencer Rika Yukimasa recently spent a week traveling South Dakota with the U.S. Meat Export Federation and the South Dakota Beef Council, visiting ranches, restaurants, and butcher shops. The trip was the latest effort of the American Beef Journey campaign in Japan to tell the story of U.S. beef production. U.S. beef features prominently in chef Rika’s recipes, so Yukimasa said it’s important to her to share the story of U.S. ranch families.

“With the story, we can start to tell how cattle are taken care of,” Yukimasa said. “It’s not that all the producers are trying to just make money or business- it’s that they’re trying to take care of the whole system, including the soil, grass, water, and so that they can produce something better for the future. So, I would like to be in the position to tell the story for them.”

One of the ranches she visited was the Cammack Ranch in Union Center, South Dakota. Reed Cammack said it’s a rare but important opportunity to speak directly to Japanese consumers.

“I think it’s important to tell our story, whether it’s, you know, somebody from Minneapolis or somebody from Tokyo like we have here today,” Cammack said. “You know, there’s a lot of misconceptions about animal agriculture nation, or worldwide really. And the meat export deal is a huge part of the overall beef industry in the U.S., and just letting them come on to put boots on the ground, shoes on the ground, see that his is native range. You know, we’ve got 100 plus species of native range that is still intact because we’re raising cattle on it and has not been put to plow. And it is you know, its nature continuing its lifecycle and its ecosystem and a healthy, sustainable way.”

For more information, visit usmef.org.