SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The New York Beef Council and Beef Producers Association kicked off Nation Beef Month with the announcement of a new program promoting the beef industry across the state.

At an event at Dinosaur Bar-B-Que in Syracuse on Tuesday, May 2, the group announced the new New York Beef Passport program, which is an app you can download to your phone and use at participating restaurants when you buy beef.

“Beef month becomes more and more important as people become more removed from farms and the farmers producing their food. This month gives us a great opportunity to celebrate beef and its great attributes, but to also thank and recognize the farmers working hard to produce this protein for so many families,” said Ashley Russell, Executive Director of the New York Beef Council.

The New York Beef Passport gives consumers the opportunity to explore the best beef dishes in New York State, support local businesses and beef producers and win exciting, themed prizes when they buy beef at participating restaurants.

The New York State Agricultural Commissioner was at today’s event and said the pandemic showed him how important it is to support local farms.

“I think New Yorkers got a glimpse of why it’s so important that in New York we have a strong agricultural community so we don’t have to depend on another country, another region for food if we go through another tough time. let’s make sure we support that food shed, support our local producers,” said New York State Agricultural Commissioner, Richard Ball.

The New York Beef Passport provides opportunities for beef lovers to taste some of the best beef dishes from participating restaurants throughout New York State and earn prizes ranging from beef-themed collectible t-shirts to a grand prize $250 Beef Bundle Give-A-Way.

The program encourages visitors to travel and explore all regions of New York while supporting local restaurants and small businesses. Participants will have the opportunity to try new flavors and explore different cooking styles from juicy steaks to mouth-watering burgers.

This year there are 20 restaurants participating including six locations in New York including Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, Limp Lizard Lounge Bar & Grill and both locations of the Woodland Farm Brewery. The New York Beef Passport is free and you can register on a digital device.

Consumers can collect digital stamps at each participating restaurant to be eligible for prizes and receive exclusive digital passport offers.

The beef industry generates almost 300 million dollars in sales annually for New York State.