Black Jack’s winner of grass-fed burger contest

Wil Petty Staff Writer

September 29, 2013

The inaugural grass fed burger competition occurred Saturday, Sept. 21 at the Farmers’ Market in West Jefferson.

Over 100 people arrived, paying $5 a plate to sample the alternative style of beef from local chefs at Black Jack’s, Boondocks and Hotel Tavern. Black Jack’s received the most votes in the people’s choice contest.

“Along with Black Jack’s winning the vote count for best grass fed burger, there were multiple votes where people were enjoying all of the burgers,” said Scott Wohlfeld, organizer for the event.

Proceeds went to benefit the county’s Scout Explorer program, and funded the organization’s next event, which on Sept. 28 raised a teepee outside of the Museum of Ashe County History.

While people enjoyed the voting process, it also gave advocates of grass-fed beef the opportunity to promote awareness of an environmentally friendly form of beef. Grass-fed allows the cattle to spend their lives eating solely grass instead of other preservatives which fattens up the cattle.

“Besides the event providing people an affordable opportunity to taste a quality of a grass-fed burger, it also raised funds to educate people in practical, least-impact farming in the New River Valley,” Wohlfeld said.

The event cost $5 and provided consumers three different burgers to eat, totaling a half-pound of meat. The beef was bought from Grayson Natural Farms in Independence, Va.

Promoting a local source of beef, was also an important part of the event.

“We had a lot of conversation about the importance of grass-fed burgers,” Wohlfeld said. “It was a sociable event.”

Wohlfeld said the more conventional type of cattle farming, is also the friendliest form of cattle farming within the watershed.

The food was well prepared and well done, and noticing a difference in taste was not too drastic.

“As far as noticing the difference, the quantification I appreciated the most was that all three burgers were delicious,” Wohlfeld said.

Wohlfeld said there will be more events promoting grass-fed beef in the upcoming months.

“We put a lot of time into (this event) and we can do it in a more facilitated way, now that we have hosted the event once,” he said.