MEAT+POULTRY - October 2015 - (Page 96)

M E AT- M I N D E D Bo's penchant for protein Yes, we know that Bo Jackson knows football and baseball, thanks to Nike's entertaining advertising campaign in 1989 and 1990. Jackson, who starred as a running back for the Oakland Raiders and an outfielder for the Kansas City Royals in the 1980s and 1990s, was hailed as the "Greatest Athlete of All Time" by ESPN. But did you know that Bo knows beef, pork and poultry, too? Vincent Edward "Bo" Jackson is currently CEO of VEJ Holdings. Through its burgeoning food division, "The quality of a product will sell itself 10 times more than it would by having a broken-down jock's name behind it like Bo Jackson." 96 MEAT+ POULTRY | 10.15 | www.meatpoultry.com Bo's 34 Signature Foods, the company is partnering with several protein providers to exclusively market a variety of products. In June, VEJ Holdings teamed with beef supplier Two Rivers to launch Bo Jackson's 34 Reserve, a line featuring ribeyes, striploins, tenderloins and sirloin. In May, Jackson launched an initiative with ground beef purveyor Schweid & Sons to offer Bo's Burgers. Jackson also has deals with Smithfield Foods and Sanderson Farms to market pork and poultry products. Jackson doesn't own and operate a processing plant and admits he doesn't know processing like processors do. But before he teams with a company like Two Rivers, Bo does his due diligence. He studies the company and its nuances like a football playbook. The last thing Jackson wants is for someone to eat a steak with his name on it and not like it. "God forbid that," he says. "In this industry and every business entity I'm involved in, it's all about quality." When Jackson talks about "quality" - an overused word in the food industry if there is one - he does so with a sense of urgency; it is not just a buzzword to him. "The quality of a product will sell itself 10 times more than it would by having a broken-down jock's name behind it like Bo Jackson," he says. Speaking of his name, when Jackson goes on sales calls, he tells potential customers not to purchase his products because of his name. "Let your palate make that decision for you," he tells them. "I can sit here and talk about how good the proteins are from Two Rivers until I'm blue in the face. That's why I tell people: Let's go grill a steak, and I'll let you see the difference." Jackson does not put his name on products just to make a buck; he is scrupulous in his selection. "If you knew the amount of items that people have asked me to put my name behind, it would blow you away," he says. Many people may not know it, but Bo was a foodie long before he was a jock. When he was a kid, he studied his mother Florence's cooking methods willingly and intently as she prepared family meals for her 10 children. "The first thing I learned to cook in my cast-iron skillet was buttermilk cornbread," he says. The best chef Jackson ever met was his mother, who raised her children as a single mother. "When I go out to eat, I compare that food to the food my mom cooked when I was kid," Jackson says. He was a foodie, but he was also a firecracker. While growing up in Bessemer, Ala., Jackson had http://www.meatpoultry.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of MEAT+POULTRY - October 2015

MEAT+POULTRY - October 2015
TABLE OF CONTENTS
COMMENTARY - Barbecue royalty
BUSINESS NOTES - JENNIE-O POISED FOR BEEF BATTLE
CARGILL TO SELL TEXAS PLANT
INDIANA PACKERS TO EXPAND PORK PLANT
TYSON FRESH MEATS TO ADD JOBS IN COUNCIL BLUFFS
TYSON DEFENDS ANIMAL WELFARE PRACTICES
DUBRETON TO BOOST CRATE-FREE PRODUCTION
NATHAN’S FAMOUS LAUNCHES TENDER OFFER
WASHINGTON - Analyzing antibiotics
COVER STORY - BEYOND BACON
PLANT TOUR - Bacon beginnings
BACON PROCESSING - Butcher appeal
PACKAGING SOLUTIONS - On 'board'
Bacon meets HPP
RECALLING KATRINA - PART 2: TIME HEALS
POST-KATRINA - Meat markets make their mark
AT INTRALOX - Employees stepped up in the face of disaster
ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL - Decade of Drama
FOOD SAFETY - Controlling contaminants
INGREDIENT ISSUES - Lasting longer, safely
SANITATION TIPS - Personal protective equipment
SMALL BUSINESS MATTERS - Growth pains in the Plains
MEAT-MINDED - Bo's penchant for protein
CONFERENCE PREVIEW - Positive outlook
LABOR - Understanding equal employment
SHOWCASE
NAMES IN THE NEWS
CLASSIFIEDS
ADVERTISERS
THE INSIDER

MEAT+POULTRY - October 2015

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