10 Facts About Beef

Did You Know?

1. On every dollar, only 20 cents goes to the farmer!

2.  97% of Farms are Family Owned!

Monty Rey and my Dad

A Family Business

3.  The Average cow herd size in the U.S. is only 40 Cows!

4. The U.S. produces 20% of the world’s beef supply with only 7% of the cows!

5. There are half as many ranchers as there were 30 years ago, but they are feeding double the population!

6. The average age of farmers and ranchers is 65!

Lamb Family

7. Ranching and Farming isn’t a rich business – 75% of all U.S. Farms make less than $50,000 per year

8.  Beef Production accounts for only 2.8% of greenhouse gas emissions

9. A 3 ounce serving of beef provides 50% of your daily value of protein!

10. The cattle industry is rigorously monitored to make sure your product is the safest in the world!

The Herd enjoying the shade and pasture

Life on a Farm

Yesterday I brought a friend home for dinner and to help with chores while my brother is away for spring break. He has never lived or worked on a farm and has little experience with cattle but he was willing to learn. Here is what he had to say about life on a farm.

While cattle dogs can be great help, sometimes they can be a little difficult to handle.

While cattle dogs can be great help, sometimes they can be a little difficult to handle.

Farm work is a great way to stay active. Staying fit and healthy should be on everyone’s mind, but my friend found that working on a farm is much more interesting than spending time in a sweaty gym. Between hauling feed buckets, moving fifty pound feed bags and chasing an unruly calf across a field, working on a farm can build up quite a sweat.

Animals are unpredictable at best. While my friend was visiting, we discovered a calf needed to be treated for pinkeye, an infection of the eye that can lead to blindness if left untreated. Running the calf to the corral, however, proved to be easier said than done, with the calf darting away from the group and running away again and again. Dogs occasionally chasing cows further added to the chaotic situation.

Farmers are committed to care. Despite all the trouble the calf caused, we were committed to treating it – even if we all grumbled about how much trouble the calf was. The alternative to treatment simply was unacceptable. My friend discovered firsthand how caring for animals is a farmer’s first priority.

Pinkeye is a common ailment to calves that requires antibiotic treatment.

Pinkeye is a common ailment to calves that requires antibiotic treatment.

My biggest takeaway from the experience of having a friend visit was the lack of familiarity of what I would consider basic farm knowledge. Not to say my friend isn’t intelligent, he simply lacked experience. Knowing, for instance, that sheep shouldn’t be fed cattle mineral due to copper toxicity issues seems commonplace to someone who grew up on a farm, but is a simple mistake for someone who hasn’t.  But for all his inexperience, my friend was able to learn quickly. He understood, for instance, why antibiotics are necessary to treat conditions that are common for calves and has newfound understanding of the challenges of raising cattle without them.

Farmers are opening their barn doors to let people know how their food is raised.

Farmers are opening their barn doors to let people know how their food is raised.

If anything, my friend’s experience has shown me the importance of opening up the farm for interested people. Producers, be willing to show people around and even have them volunteer help with easy tasks if they so desire. Consumers, if knowing where your food comes from interests you, reach out to nearby farmers and ask to visit – you never know what opportunities may arise and the worst response is a no.

Life on a farm is full of surprises, but it shouldn’t be a mystery or fantasy of those who don’t personally reside on one.

Will Pohlman

Confidence Cooking with Beef

As a millennial, I am often faced with a feeling of being overwhelmed when I am in the meat isle at the grocery store. Not only is there an array of cuts of beef to choose from, the price can also cause “sticker shock” for a single college student looking to stay on a budget, but also include beef as a part of her daily protein. While in Denver, Colorado last week, we had the chance to become “chefs” in the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association kitchen and learn various ways to become confident cooking with beef. Below are five ways I learned how to become more confident cooking with beef that I believe all consumers can include into their confidence level with beef as a protein as well.

  1. Know your beef cuts    There are a handful of different ways to cook your beef and every cut has a recommended cooking method. Cuts that come from high mobility areas, such as the round, need to be marinated to get flavor into them and cooked on low heat for extended hours, versus cuts such as the chuck where mobility is minimum, cooking methods of high heat are best.
    beef_cuts%20(2)[1]

    Visit the interactive butcher counter at http://www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com/ to learn quick and simple recipes to try with all your favorite beef cuts!

  2. Buy Family Packs/Let the freezer be your friend    Look in the meat case for family packs or bundles that include a variety of items at lower prices per pound. Family packs include different cuts that can please the taste buds of mom, dad, and kids at a more an affordable price. For packs that you cannot use all in one meal, put meat in a Ziploc bag and place it in the freezer. Beef is good up to three months in the freezer.

    steak in bag

    Separating steaks into individual freezer bags to store in the freezer ensures a safe product when you are ready to unthaw and cook it. Steaks can be in the freezer for up to 3 months-be sure to date your bag!

  3. Less is More    Millennials want simple and easy recipes they feel confident creating. Recipes with eight or less ingredients are more intriguing to the millennial audience because they do not look complicated and seem manageable in the kitchen.
  4. Stir-Fry is a go-to meal    Quick, easy, and fresh, stir-fry is great go-to 30 minute meal that is sure to please your taste buds. With Top Sirloin as a lean cut and including your personal favorite vegetables and sauce, you can mix and match making Asian or Italian stir-fries (just to name a few).

    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

    Stir-fry can consist on a variety of vegetables or fruits, pastas, and rice! For a quick meal that feeds a family of four and costs less than a large pizza, try some tonight!

  5. Let your meat rest    While meat is being heated and cooking, there are many proteins within the meat that because of the heat are swirling around. If you slice your meat open as soon as it comes off the heat source, all the juices inside the cut of meat will flow out and the meat will taste flavorful and be dry. Letting your meat rest at least five minutes after taking it off the heat source will allow the proteins to slow down inside the meat and the juices will also begin to soak up. Therefore, once you cut the meat open, the juices, flavor, and tenderness will stay in place and a much more flavorful, joyous eating experience will be had.

    resting steak

    Before you cut into your juicy steak, let the heated proteins inside cool down and rest to ensure your eating experience is flavorful and delicious.

With these five simple tips, you too can be more confident about the beef you cook!

Have a terrific Tuesday!
Demi

 

 

Expanding My Comfort Zone

Last week, our team travelled to my part of the country! We had the opportunity to really deepen our understanding of beef production by touring a feedlot and processing facility, along with meeting with several great organizations. While we were in Colorado, we also spent some time at the headquarters of the American National CattleWomen and NCBA. My favorite part of this day was spending time in the beef test kitchen where fabulous beef recipes are developed!

There is a lot of debate between grass-fed and grain-fed beef. We had the opportunity to sample both grass and grain fed beef side by side. In my honest opinion, I could tell a difference between the two types but I am indifferent. They are different, but I think that both kinds are delicious. It comes down to personal preferences and what you are used to. I grew up eating quite a bit of wild game, so I am used to the more “earthy” flavor of grass fed beef. I would encourage you to try both grain fed and grass fed beef side by side before making a decision as to what your personal preference is.

We tried ground beef and steaks of both kinds.

We tried ground beef and steaks of both grass and grain fed.

We also had the opportunity to put our thinking caps on and develop our own recipe! I do not claim to be a great cook, so this was a great learning opportunity! When I do cook, I am either meticulously following a recipe or I am cooking from a box. We were all given the ‪sirloin steaks and a kitchen full of potential ingredients and told to create a thirty minute meal for lunch. I felt like I was on the next episode of Chopped!

Help!

Having a plan before you begin cooking can help you have success in the kitchen!

It was a great lesson for me, that this is the dilemma that consumers face every time they walk into a grocery store. I felt overwhelmed with all of the ingredients and options that I could choose for my meal. I ended up making a dish I call Cowboy Mac & Cheese. It was a great opportunity for me to expand my cooking comfort zone.

Although it was overwhelming, I was able to create somethien!

Although it was overwhelming, I was able to create a meal without a recipe!

The biggest lesson I learned is that there is no harm in creating your own recipe, or modifying a recipe. The worst case scenario is that you will not like your creation, so you do not have to make it again! You never know, you might end up with something delicious that is a new favorite for you!

Happy Meaty Monday!

Rachel Purdy
Princess Farmer

4 Things A Rancher Has in Common With A Hat Maker

This past week my team mates and I had the opportunity to visit a very talented hatter while training in Colorado. While touring the hat-making facilities, I was incredibly amazed at how much effort is put into each aspect of making the perfect felt hat. As we walked through each detailed portion of the hat-making process, I couldn’t help but notice how closely, what seemed like, two completely different businesses mirrored each other in their main goals. When it comes down to it, both beef producers and hat makers have the main goal of customer satisfaction. Following, are four distinct details I found astoundingly similar in both professions.

greeley hat works

  1. Customer satisfaction is a main priority. 
    Just like hat makers, beef producers aim to please their customers. Remember, beef producers are also beef consumers. We want to make sure we are doing everything possible to ensure our supporters are getting the most out of their beef-eating experience.

These are examples of the countless crown styles customers have to choose from when designing a custom hat. Similarly, beef consumers get to choose their beef preferences.

 

  1. Things change but things stay the same.
    Technologies change, preferences change, and generations change. But at the end of the day, the goal of the beef producer and hat maker is to produce a high quality product in such a way that meets the demands of customers, while remaining true to their driving values.

The “newer” hat steamer pictured is from the 1940s. The machine replaced its early 1900s predecessor. Sometimes old doesn’t always mean ineffective.

 

  1. Everyone has unique taste preferences.
    People have the option to personalize their custom hat. They can request bonded edges, a unique color, a special ribbon, a specific crown style, a desired brim length, etc. Similarly, beef eaters have tons of options. Grass-fed, grain-finished, organic, natural, conventional, rare, medium, well, tenderloin, ribeye, brisket, and the options go on and on… and on. People have the opportunity to mix and match beef cuts, degrees of doneness and raising methods… Perfect!

    Pictured, the hat maker is inserting a personalized hat band. In the same way, consumers have the power to personalize their beef-eating experience.

  1. Presentation is key.
    People often develop opinions of something new very quickly. First impressions and presentation are critical. Just like showroom appearances, beef advocates need to be prepared to depict the most accurate, honest, positive story to consumers.

Be honest. Have integrity. Be positive.

 

 

God bless, folks!

 

Kalyn McKibben

Blonde Beef Babe 

5 People You Didn’t Know Owned Cattle

Take a moment, close your eyes, and conjure an image of what you think a rancher looks like.  Think about the sex of your character, their stature, the way they talk, the clothes they wear and what they are doing.  If I had to guess, this is something along the line of what you pictured:

Cowboy-Photo-43706-Edit-Edit

The person you are thinking of is most likely male, wears Wrangler Jeans, Chaps and scuffed up boots.  He sits upon his horse, lasso in hand, wearing a dirty button up shirt and dusty hat.  This man might have a fashionable handlebar mustache and probably talks with a southern accent.  He might “guffaw” and spit, too.

Now, let’s try another exercise.  Out of the pictures below, can you pick out the rancher?

 

image1 (1)                  68419_10200092288693881_344431614_n

                         995934_10201629771245546_771858826_n

10570336_790664574300755_4714862430614487389_n                              IMG_0235

You probably picked out the dashing fellow in the lower left.  While Mr. Dean Fish is a terrific friend of mine and even better cattleman, he is not the winner in this contest.  All the photos above are cattlemen and women.  We like to travel, explore and have fun just as much as anyone!

  • TL: Rachel visiting France on her study abroad trip
  • TR: Alicia having trouble pinning the flowers on her prom date
  • Middle: Kalyn and her family enjoying a cruise
  • BL: Dean Fish at a Cattlemen’s Conference
  • BR: Will spending time in Ghana

Appearances can be deceiving, and beef cattle producers seem to be masters of disguise!  It is important to remember they are no different than you and I.  They have families, get nervous over school dances, worry about bills, enjoy vacations and most importantly take part in community activities.  They are not only men, but we have a growing population of women ranchers, as well as youth!

From the Heart of Beef,

Alicia

 

 

 

Learning from the Curtis

The Curtis is in downtown Denver, CO

The Curtis is in downtown Denver, CO

The team recently stayed at the eclectic Curtis hotel in Denver, Colorado where every floor has a different theme, the elevator talked, and games from a bygone decade scatter the lobby. Although the hotel was definitely a unique experience, I think that beef consumers and producers can both learn a few things from the Curtis.

Pieces of a Whole

Every floor at the Curtis was themed differently. For example, I stayed on the “Fun and Games Floor” where Rubik’s cubes and other game-inspired art decorated the walls. What does this have to do with beef? The beef industry is segmented into different phases of production such as cow-calf producer, stocker and feedlot and although these phases are often drastically different than others, they are still a part of the overarching beef industry and must work together. So as cattle go from phase to phase, or floor to floor, it’s important to keep the big picture, or hotel, in mind.

In the same sense, the different floors can be analogous to the choices consumers have in the meat case. Although traditional, grass-finished, organic, non-hormone treated and branded beef are all distinctly different from one another, they still comprise pieces of the whole beef industry and should be viewed as such.

Every floor at the Curtis is themed differently - like this dun dun dunnn!! themed floor.

Every floor at the Curtis is themed differently – like this dun dun dunnn!! themed floor.

Speaking Out

The elevator at the Curtis announces a particular floor’s theme. While a talking elevator is startling at first, it shows the importance to speaking out and knowing what to expect. Beef producers need to speak out about their operation and announce to interested consumers what exactly farmers do so their questions can be answered. At the same time, consumers need to speak out to producers about their questions and concerns so the farmer can know what the consumer expects.

Old Doesn’t Mean Outdated

Rock'Em Sock'Em Robots were in the lobby of the Curtis for guests to play with.

Rock’Em Sock’Em Robots were in the lobby of the Curtis for guests to play with.

The lobby of the Curtis had games such as Rock’em Sock’em Robots and Monopoly to play with and a lava lamp in the corner. While it was fun to play with these games for the first time in a long time, I think these olden games prove that age doesn’t correlate with obsolete. Many production practices in beef are old, to say the least, but still work remarkably well. Not to say new practices shouldn’t be explored, but progress for the sake of progress doesn’t always result in improvement. Whether that’s new by-products or rations for feedlots or new choices in the beef case, new shouldn’t be equated with superiority, but rather simply another choice.

It might seem counterintuitive, but there is a lot beef producers and beef consumers can learn from the Curtis hotel.

Will Pohlman

“Running with Beef” in NYC

New York City as a huge metropolitan area has a tendency to drawl large numbers of crowds for events such as the NYC half marathon. Many New York natives believe ground turkey is better for you than ground beef. When comparing 95% lean ground turkey to 95% lean ground beef (comparing apples to apples…in the ‘Big Apple’) lean ground beef wins being more nutrient dense, having more vitamins the body needs to sustain its health, and lean ground beef also has less overall calories.

NYCbeef

Contrary to mosts belief, ground beef tops the health charts over ground turkey in many nutritional areas, some primary ones being overall calorie intake and protein

During my time in “The Big Apple” I had the opportunity to interact and engage in conversation with approximately 20,000 half marathon runners. Using check-off dollars to engage in conversations with consumers from the northeast part of the nation is important as beef production numbers are not as large as what they are in western region states.

As a part of the NYC Health and Fitness Expo in such a health conscious city, is was very beneficial to promote beef as a protein to runners, especially as an excellent recovery protein with needed vitamins and nutrients such as zinc, iron, and B vitamins. During long distant races, beef is an excellent protein for the #fuelforthefinish. Beef is a nutrient rich protein that gives runners the energy they need to not only sustain them throughout miles of a race, but it also is a great recovery protein for the fact that it has the needed vitamins and nutrients one’s body needs to reenergize and help with recovering muscles.

NYC1

Let #teambeef be your protein to power YOU through the finish!

Educating and having hands-on interactive beef incentive recipes is important as we continue to reach a vast number of consumers as athletes stressing the quality of health beef provides before, during, and after the race. At the beef booth, we promoted runners making their own chilly spice mix to partner with one pound of ground beef. Not only was this a simple and fun interactive spice mix, the promotion of cooking it with beef in the crockpot the night before the race sparked many runners interests as they were excited to know there was a recipe with beef that they could eat and not have to spend time preparing it after running 13.1 miles.

NYC3

The Chili Spice Bar allowed runners and family members to engage in a hands-on interactive activity as well as engage in “beefy” conversations

Spending the past three days in New York City interacting with city-goers and athletes was very eye-opening and interactive. It is important as beef producers we take the time to promote our protein to athletes and consumers in northeastern states who can benefit from eating the “world’s most efficient multi-vitamin.”

All for the love of beef in NYC!
Demi

 

It’s a Small World

I have been feeling reminiscent about the study abroad to France I participated in last summer. I thought I would share some of the biggest things I learned:

  • Cattlemen care about their animals worldwide! As part of the experience, we had the opportunity to tour a variety of agricultural operations in France. When we toured cattle operations, the biggest aspect I noticed was that the cattle are happy! We strive to keep our animals happy and healthy worldwide.

    Maine Anjou

    The Maine Anjou breed is very popular globally. We were able to tour the birthplace of the breed.

  • Production systems are very different: in the United States, we are very land abundant. That is not the case in France.
  • Consumers have questions and concerns about food everywhere (and that’s okay!). Consumer education is critical everywhere. One of the farms we visited was set up so consumers could come and watch the cheese being made. Transparency in agriculture is an issue that producers are working to fix all around the world.

    Camembert cheese making

    This farm was set up so consumers could watch the Camembert cheese being made.

  • Some things are shockingly familiar: I anticipated everything to be vastly different in France. Although there definitely were differences, I was more surprised at the similarities.

    John Deere

    Several of the farms we visited used John Deere equipment (and other familiar brands).

  • Sustainability is a concern. A lot of the land in that part of the world has been used for the production of food much longer than the time the United States has even been a country. A common theme in the conversations we had with farmers is about the sustainability and their future plans for their operations.
  • Opinions about food vary around the world, and that’s okay! I stayed with a host family, and one night we had escargot for dinner. While we were eating, we were discussing some of the obscure foods we have eaten before. I brought up Rocky Mountain oysters and my host family thought that sounded disgusting.

    Escargot

    I’m pretty sure if you cook anything in enough garlic and butter it will taste great!

  • Ag pride is worldwide! Agriculturalists around the world are proud to produce safe, nutritious food. Agriculture is hard work everywhere, and people work hard to produce the food that goes on the table.

No matter the size of the farm, the kind of farm, or even where it is…agriculturalists are working to provide a high quality product for consumers around the world. I think we tend to lose sight of the big picture, we are all working together for a common mission: to provide the world with a Safe, savory, and nutritious product.

Worldwide

One common bond people across the world share: everybody has to eat

As a side note, if you ever have the opportunity to travel to another country, do it! Travel is a fabulous way to expand your view of the world and learn more about yourself in the process.

Happy Meaty Monday!

Rachel Purdy
Princess Farmer

What 150 Calorie Snacks Look Like

 

Life has a way of becoming stressful and busy. If you are like me, you may tend to turn to food in hopes to curb that stress. When those stressful times strike, be mindful that some snacks may offer more benefits than others.

One serving of beef jerky offers 31.5g of protein and only 1.5g fat. Following are examples of what 150 calories looks like for other snacks.

Beef Jerky 

1.5 ounces

1.5g Fat

31.5g Protein

 

 

 

 

Rolo Candies: Minis 

8.91 pieces

7g Fat

1.4g Protein

 

 

 

Skittles: Desserts 

36.5 candies

1.6g Fat

0g Protein

 

 

 

M&M Candies: Peanut 

11.36 pieces

6.7g Fat

2.3g Protein

 

 

 

 

 

Trolli Peachies 

7 pieces

0g Fat

2.3g Protein

 

 

 

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups: Original 

1.4 cups

9.1g Fat

3.5g Protein

 

 

 

Little Debbie Snack: Honey Bun 

.42 of a bun

8.4g Fat

1.7g Protein

 

 

 

Kit Kat Bars: Minis 

7.25 pieces

7.75g Fat

2g Protein

 

 

 

Little Debbie Snacks: Donut Sticks 

.83 of one

8.3g Fat

.83g Protein

 

 

 

Otis Spunkmeyer Muffin: Banana Nut 

.33 muffin

7.4g Fat

2g Protein

 

 

 

Slim Fast Meal Replacement Bar: Chocolate Almond 

.75 bar

6g Fat

7.5g Protein

 

 

 

Cheezits: Original 

27 crackers

8g Fat

3g Protein

 

 

 

Doritos: Nacho Cheese 

11 chips

8g Fat

2g Protein

 

 

 

Chex Mix Muddy Buddies: Peanut Butter and Chocolate 

20 crackers

5g Fat

2.5g Protein

 

 

DSC_0176

Smucker’s Uncrustable Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich 

.47 sandwiches

8g Fat

4.7g Protein

 

 

Moral of the story: when you reach for a snack, try to avoid empty calories that will encourage your stress instead of squash it. Consider BEEF as a healthier alternative that will help curb mindless snacking and help you manage your stressful lifestyle.

 

God bless, folks!

 

Kalyn McKibben

Blonde Beef Babe