Posted: December 3, 2018

Penn State students enjoyed lamb entrees in dining halls.

Last week, Penn State University Dining Services hosted an American Lamb Day in two of its residential dining facilities as part of the American Lamb Board's strategy to attract younger consumers who are adventurous eaters.

Special serving stations were set up in dining halls that enticed Penn State students to try lamb meatballs, lamb shanks, and a lamb and pea curry entree. In addition, the American Lamb Board distributed "Feed Your Adventurous Side" prizes and recipes during lunch and dinner hours, providing the opportunity to interact and share information about American Lamb with college students.

Jonathan Campbell, Extension Meat Specialist and Assistant Professor in the Department of Animal Science said, "This was a great culinary experience and educational opportunity for our students. We are pleased that Dining Services worked with both stake holder groups like the American Lamb Board and media sources like Food Management on this venture to help promote 'Homegrown' lamb as a delicious and nutritious source of protein. It is unique opportunities such as this that make higher learning Institutions like Penn State so much more about classroom learning, but rather development of life skills for our students through experiential learning."

The university's foodservice program is well-known for its unique meals and quality. Earlier this year, it was a national award winner for its "Tastes of the Middle East" theme, which included lamb.

"Our students enjoy unique menus and finding out about ingredients like lamb," said Jamie Robinson, Assistant Residential Dining Coordinator for Penn State University. "There's an educational component as students learn about the American Lamb industry and sample some new and interesting dishes beyond the traditional dining hall foods."

To increase the effectiveness of the checkoff resources used for this event, trade and social media tactics were also employed. At the request of the American Lamb Board, the senior food editor of Food Management magazine visited campus during the Lamb Day to sample American Lamb dishes. This is the leading publication for college foodservice decision-makers.

American Lamb Day was promoted through Penn State's social media outlets, including Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat. In addition, film students at the university created a short video of the promotion.