Beef Ambassador Travels – 70th Annual Alabama Cattleman’s Convention & Trade Show!

This past weekend I attended the 70th Annual Alabama Cattleman’s Convention and Trade Show in Birmingham, Alabama. Many meetings, speakers, and banquets took place to update and inform cattleman across the state of Alabama about the current events that are taking place within the beef community. In today’s blog, I want to highlight just a few of the exciting things that took place at the 2013 Alabama Cattleman’s Convention.

During the opening general board meeting, I was able to make a presentation focused on the National Beef Ambassador Program and the impact we have on consumers and producers whom we represent as their voice when interacting with thousands of people throughout our travels across the country.

To me, the most inspiring and exciting time during convention was a social and meeting to recognize the 60 years of the hard-working Alabama CattleWomen’s Association! I remember going to meetings since the age of 5 with my mom and sister and always looking up to the energetic and always involved CattleWomen. Now, I get to work with CattleWomen everyday through the National Beef Ambassador Program!  Alabama was fortunate enough to have ANCW President Mrs. Barbara Jackson at the meeting and I enjoyed talking to her about the history of the CattleWomen’s association and different issues within our beef community.

60 years of hard work was recognized at the Alabama CattleWomen's Meeting!

60 years of hard work was recognized at the Alabama CattleWomen’s Meeting!

Former Alabama CattleWomen President Mrs. Mona Plyler, myself, and ANCW President Mrs. Barbara Jackson.

Former Alabama CattleWomen President Mrs. Mona Plyler, myself, and ANCW President Mrs. Barbara Jackson.

Later that weekend, I was able to meet Dr. Temple Grandin and interact with her before she spoke on her improvements to the world of Animal Welfare. It truly is amazing to meet one person who has changed the world for the betterment of our beef community! Not only has she opened up opportunities for us as producers to do our job more effectively, she has helped many realize the importance of transparency in our daily farm life and the role it plays in creating demand for beef.

Dr. Temple Grandin and I at the 70th Alabama Cattlemen's Convention!

Dr. Temple Grandin and I at the 70th Alabama Cattlemen’s Convention!

The 70th Alabama Cattleman’s Convention was definitely a success! I know that I and many others are inspired to help continually improve the face of the beef community one step at a time. Be on the lookout in the coming weeks for interview links with BEEF enthusiasts from the southeast and elsewhere!!!

Committed until the end,

Chandler Mulvaney

Spring Break Comfort Food- With BEEF

pasta

Even though this week is known across the nation as Spring Break, here in Oregon, the weather didn’t exactly get the memo. So while I had hopes of spending time outside, enjoying the sunshine in shorts and a tank top, instead, I’m trudging through the wind and rain in a jacket and rain boots.

The bright side of the not so bright weather is it means warm comfort food.   One of my favorite meals during the cold weather is lasagna! Pair it with a fresh salad and some garlic bread and it’s sure to fill you up and please you’re taste buds!

Here’s a easy recipe for lasagna using BEEF:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/robin-miller/beef-and-cheese-lasagna-recipe/index.html

Week In Minnesota

Hey all! I’m super excited to share some pictures with you from my spring break back on the farm! I had a wonderful weekend caring for cattle and spending time with my family!

Here are some of the calves enjoying the sunshine! If you read my blog about the twin calves born on our farm you may recognize the white calf as Larry!

Here are some of the calves enjoying the sunshine! If you read my blog about the twin calves born on our farm you may recognize the white calf as Larry!

A lot of things have changed since I was home in January! One of the changes actually involves our twins! Shortly after Ken and Larry were born we had a cow lose her calf. As heartbreaking as it was to lose a calf, we did find a way to make the most of the situation. Ken and Larry’s mom had never raised a calf before, so we knew she would have a difficult time producing enough milk for both of them. We decided to have the mother who lost her calf adopt Ken so that they could both get plenty of milk as they started growing older! Both Ken and Larry are healthy and growing super fast!

Here is Ken, the other twin! He has gotten so much bigger since the last time I saw him!

Here is Ken, the other twin! He has gotten so much bigger since the last time I saw him!

If you’re keeping track of how many calves have been born on our farm, we are now up to 22 (without about 20 more to come this year)! When I was home the number was 17, but I knew we had some cows getting close to having their calves! I spent the whole week waiting for those cows to give birth, but they didn’t! Of course, as soon as I returned to Purdue we had five more babies! It is pretty frustrating not to be around for this exciting time, but I’m happy that all of the calves are healthy!

I hope everyone has a wonderful week!

Until Next Time,
Erin

Beef On the Beach!

This past weekend I was able to travel to Seaside, Florida with my family to spend some time relaxing and enjoying the cool, calm, and relaxing features of the beach all the while promoting BEEF to people that happened to walk by. I made sure people knew that I was a BEEF lover by making BEEFY sand art and wearing my ‘Got Beef’ shirt. Both were great conversation starters about the benefits of Beef!

The beach is a great place to promote Beef! My crude sand art was not only fun and entertaining, but it also got the message of Beef to other families on the beach that day.

The beach is a great place to promote Beef! My crude sand art was not only fun and entertaining, but it also got the message of Beef to other families on the beach that day.

Even though I was at the beach this past weekend, my mind was still processing/working on trying to find a unique and effective new way to promote Beef. I thought to myself, ‘When it comes to cooking Beef, our product has great versatility, but how many people know that when it comes to promoting our product, WE also need to possess the quality of versatility!’

I challenge you to think outside of the common marketing and promotional methods to find an exciting way to bring about a positive and unseen perspective on Beef and its ability to be used anywhere, anytime. Wherever you may be, always be ready to ask the question, ‘Got Beef?’

Got Beef?!?

GOT BEEF?!?

Committed until the end,

Chandler Mulvaney

St. Patrick’s Day With BEEF!

March is my favorite month of the year, and there are a couple reasons why…

1. The weather starts to get warmer, and spring starts to arrive.

2. It’s my birthday month

3. I love holidays, and this year, March has both St. Patrick’s Day AND Easter.

 

With St. Patrick’s day  just a few days away, one of the first things you might think of when planning for St. Patrick’s day is what to make for dinner.  If you are a traditionalist, the first thing that probably comes to mind is corned beef and cabbage.

If you’re like me, your first response to this typical Irish dish is, “What in the world is that?!” beef-cabbage-ck-581690-l (1)

Corned beef is simply just salted beef; it first became popular among Irish immigrants in the United States in the 18th century.  During this time it was a cheaper substitute for bacon, which had traditionally accompanied the dish, but beef quickly became popular and has remained a favorite in modern times.

Today, although corned beef and cabbage is associated with Irish culture, native Irish folks rarely think of corned beef and cabbage as a dish representative of their culture. Although mainly served on St. Patrick ’s Day, this dish can be served any time of year, and is great served with a side of potatoes.

If you want to try incorporating corned beef and cabbage into your St. Patrick’s Day festivities this year, here’s a recipe to help get you started!

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/corned-beef-and-cabbage-i/

“Ranching Awesome”

“I’m just a cattle guy-I’ve got 20,000 pounds of cow feed-I’m, I’m, I’m watching-All the cows a munching-This is ranching awesome!”

      Talented farmers and ranchers have recognized the call to spread their message in new and exciting ways-YouTube videos! Thanks to modern technology, these posts have swept the nation, encouraging agriculturalists and informing consumers. I was amazed at the “Ranching Awesome” video Derek Klingenberg posted as a parody of the song “Thrift Shop”. Not only does it show a rancher’s daily routine and quality cuts of beef, but Mr. Klingenberg also incorporated the ideal of family ranching. Not to mention the humor of it all! Listen closely to the lyrics of this video and you’ll be sure to pick up an afternoon laugh!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MRXyqHMK4Tg

Follow Mr. Klingenberg on Twitter under the handle @KlingenbergFarm and be sure to look them up on Facebook. You can also follow their blog at http://klingenbergfarms.blogpost.com/.

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Spring Break on the Farm

Hey All!

Like many college students I am just begining my spring break! After two tough months of classes and exams I will warmly welcome a break from studying. Many of my classmates are headed south for warmer weather and beaches. I get to do something even better, spend a week back in Minnesota helping out around the farm and getting cattle ready for our upcoming shows! I’ve only been home for two days, but I’ve already had some great times with my family. Throughout the week I’ll work to get some pictures and next Monday I will provide a full update on our cattle!

So whether you’re at work, school or on vacation I hope you enjoy your week and find time to incorporate some beef!

Until Next Time,
Erin

A Challenge for all Leaders: Old and New

Whether you have been advocating for a cause your whole life, or you have just recently found something you are passionate about, we can all learn from this lesson. Being an advocate, especially for agriculture, is much more than being able to share your beef production story, it’s about being a L.E.A.D.E.R. What does that stand for you may ask?

L: Listen to opposing views

It’s important to respect the views of those who oppose you. Without listening to what they have to say, how are you ever going to know what you need to share about your lifestyle?

E: Embrace challenges

When you are challenged in life, it is an opportunity to grow and become stronger. These times might be difficult but persevering is the key to success.

A: Acknowledge new ideas with merit

There is no such thing as a bad idea. All ideas can be discussed and amended until they are perfect. Listen to ideas from others, let them help you achieve your goal.

D: Dedicate yourself to positive solutions

Always having a positive attitude is not only good for you, but it is encouraging to others. When you are leading, you need to lead by example. Make sure you have the attitude that you would like your coworkers to have.

E: Encourage others

Encourage others to do their best at all times. Praise, encouragement, and believing in someone will have more of an impact on them rather than if you were to tear them down. Encourage, encourage, encourage….I cannot say it enough.

R: Respect diversity

We are all different and all of our ideas are valuable. You will be able to reach more people if you consider different backgrounds. Giving respect first will earn respect from others.

The National Beef Ambassadors work to become better leaders each day!

The National Beef Ambassadors work to become better leaders each day!

I encourage all of you to implement these leadership roles into your life and watch your advocating become more effective, all while making a difference for your cause.

How can you become a better leader? I would love to hear your thoughts!

~Katie

Beef Ambassador Spotlight – Alex Lucas

Happy Friday Beef Lovers! I am very excited to be starting a new blog series throughout the remainder of my term as a National Beef Ambassador themed, “Beef Ambassador Spotlight.” As a beef community we are all one-of-a-kind individuals that share a common passion through our love for beef! Whether it’s rounding up cows, promoting consumption of beef in the kitchen, or going into classrooms to educate the future of tomorrow about the truth of beef cows, we are all ambassadors in one way or another! Today, we have fellow beef ambassador Ms. Alex Lucas and her beef story! – Chandler

When most people think of Florida they tend to think of beaches and Disney – but Florida has a lot more than that to offer! When people hear that I am the beef ambassador from Florida, I usually hear a lot of disbelief through the commonly asked question, “there are cows in Florida?” Florida is home to some of the biggest cow-calf operations in the United States!

When Chandler approached me about writing for the National Beef Ambassador Blog, and told me to write about myself, I knew that was a lot to ask. How do I describe to people who I am and what the Florida Beef Community is like in such a simple way? I’ll start with the basics of me: I grew up in a small town in the heart of North Central Florida. My story is unique because unlike a lot of my beef ambassador counterparts, I wasn’t involved in the show world, I attended my county and state fairs but I was never in FFA or 4-H. I gained most of my experience from my family’s small operation that my dad started. My passion for the beef community really flourished when I became more involved in the chapter of the Cattlewomen’s Association at my college, the University of Florida. I am majoring in Animal Sciences with a specialization in Food Animals (and by that I mean beef) and I am heavily involved in Gator Collegiate CattleWomen.

Alex and her fellow Florida Gator Collegiate CattleWomen promoting Beef at a football game!

Me and my fellow Florida Gator Collegiate CattleWomen promoting Beef at a football game!

Being a Beef Ambassador is the experience of a lifetime. I cannot put in to words the gratitude I have for the men and women that make this possible not only for me, but for all of us. I have the best job in the world; I get to travel around the beautiful state of Florida and connect with consumers and make them realize where their food comes from, what agriculture is, and how they are affected in their daily lives by the beef community. I have had such an amazing time being able to communicate with people that are both very similar and completely different from me and making people realize that everyone in the world has a common bond: we all have common roots in agriculture. It is such a gratifying feeling walking away from a conversation with someone who took away a positive message about beef or learned something about the beef community. I cannot wait to continue to pursue my passion in the beef community and continue being an AgVocate!

Talking to Cattleman about the importance of promoting Beef!

Talking to Cattleman about the importance of promoting Beef!

The thing that I am most excited writing about is my experience being a member of the Beef Ambassador community. Even though most beef ambassadors don’t get to wear the big belt buckle like the Fab 5, we all are a part of the team and have the same goal: promoting beef and educating consumers about this community that we have such a strong passion for! For me, aside from being able to experience conversations with consumers and changing opinions on the way beef is perceived, the greatest part is the bond that I have formed with other ambassadors all over the country!

Some of the amazing Beef Ambassadors that are my closest friends!

Some of the amazing Beef Ambassadors that are my closest friends!

Anyone that attended the National Beef Ambassador Competition in Sacramento this year can tell you. After just hours, the 22 of us were best friends. We were locked in a room together for eight hours – so that might have forced us to talk, but we were all able to bond so quickly because we all knew that in some form we all were there for the same reason – we were all passionate about the beef community. I know that I have made some of the best memories with these ambassadors and we share our experiences and learn from each other on a daily basis and once all of us have completed our service we will still be able to connect in our professional lives. While in Tampa at NCBA, a few of us were able to see each other face to face again. Even though it had been five months, and we all live in different corners of the country, it was like nothing changed. I know for all of us that this has been a life changing experience. For me, I have been able to grow as a person and an advocate of this great community. Like the rest of the ambassadors, I look forward to what lies ahead.

My great friend and National Beef Ambassador Katie Stroud!

My great friend and National Beef Ambassador Katie Stroud!

Alex Lucas

What the BEEF Community Has Taught Me

Sports, theater, student council: these are typical hobbies and activities of the average teenager.  Being involved in the beef community and showing steers for the last 6 years at as many 137shows per year as I can, I often find myself explaining what I’m doing to people who didn’t even know showing cattle was a hobby any teenager had. Because it’s a much less common pastime, most people don’t know the benefits of raising and showing cattle that go beyond the show ring.

Working on a farm, ranch, or being involved in any part of agriculture first and foremost takes passion and dedication. With animals relying on you, sleeping in or taking a holiday off is not an option.

But it’s all worth it when your hours of work all pay off, whether that is winning a showmanship class as a result of  your hours of practice, or just raising this year’s calves to the best of your ability.
The lessons learned from experiences in the beef and agricultural communities aren’t restricted to things that are useful to learn if you were planning on ranching for your livelihood; instead, they are virtues that build character and help you all of your life, no matter what you are doing.
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Something the beef community has taught me is that if you love what you’re doing, then it doesn’t feel like work. This simple lesson is something I will keep with me as I pursue a college degree and later a career.  My dream job is one that I am passionate enough about so that I’m excited to go to work each and every day.

I’m so grateful that I grew up in agriculture and had the key traits of dedication, passion, and hardwork instilled in me all of my life.  I can’t wait to take what the ag community has taught me and use to serve and promote the Beef community.