Katie’s Consumer Tips and Tricks!

Interacting with a consumer while competing at the 2013 National Beef Ambassador Competition!

Interacting with a consumer while competing at the 2013 National Beef Ambassador Competition!

Hopefully you have read Erin’s post yesterday about the PACT we all have as beef ambassadors! Today I’m going to tell you 3 tips and tricks to effectively sharing the “Beef Production Story” with consumers.

1) Be Approachable.

Whether I am standing in a booth at an expo or by a table at a grocery store, being approachable is my main goal. Always remember to smile and invite them to your table by saying something like “Hi there! Would you like to try a sample of delicious, nutritious beef today?”

2) LISTEN to the consumers concern and EDUCATE them on any misconceptions.

It is easy to get distracted by your surroundings when talking with a consumer, make sure to hold eye contact and engage in the conversation. Be open to their point of view but correct any misconceptions. For example if they said something like “I know grass-fed beef is healthier for me but it does not fit into my budget” you would respond with something similar to “Actually, grass-finished beef has many of the same health benefits as grain-finished beef. All cattle graze of grass for a majority of their lives, the only difference is how they are finished. No matter what you choose, you can be assured that all beef is safe, wholesome, and nutritious.”

3) Don’t let a consumer walk away empty handed.

Thanks to our beef producers, there are many educational resources to give to our consumers. Make sure to go over Beef Checkoff brochures relative to their questions as well as recipes for them to try. Never just hand a brochure out, if possible read through it with the consumer and answer any more questions they have. This will leave a positive, lasting impression on the consumer as well as equip them with the information they need to properly cook up some delicious, nutritious beef!

I have been very successful in sharing the “Beef Production Story” with the use of these simple tricks and I am certain that you will be too! Good luck to all of the 2014 National Beef Ambassador contestants!

See you in a few weeks!

Katie

Back Where I Come From ~ Life on the Lakeview Stock Farm

Up north in rural Sheldon, North Dakota, lies the Lakeview Stock Farm, family owned and operated for nearly four generations. Justin Bartholomay, an Animal Science undergrad at North Dakota State University, is the youngest manager of the operation. Justin, along with his grandpa, father, and uncle, raise 160 SimAngus cow/calf pairs and farm close to 1,800 acres of wheat, soybeans, and corn. Justin focuses on the livestock portion of the operation taking care of the cattle. The Bartholomay’s like to take pride in the management techniques that they utilize to properly maintain their cattle herd.

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Cows calve in late winter, early spring around March through May. Only the best bull calves remain as bulls, whereas the rest are castrated within the first few days of birth. Both cows and calves go through an extensive vaccination program to prevent any diseases or illness from occurring. During the end of May pairs are brought out to pasture where they graze till nearly the end of October. Also, replacement heifers are branded to properly identify the cattle, and sent to pasture as well. Bulls go out to pasture towards the end of June and are kept with the cows and heifers for the remainder of the grazing season.

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Throughout November and sometimes December, pairs are brought to graze harvested corn fields. This option creates a “win, win” for the Bartholomay operation. The corn left behind by the combine is utilized versus going to waste by being consumed by the cattle and in return allowing the calves to gain nicely before heading to the home quarter for wintering. During December, the pairs are all brought to the home operation where they are revaccinated, weaned, and fed separate diets. Cows are fed a ration consisting of corn silage, ground alfalfa hay, grass hay, and hay millet. Calves are fed corn silage, ground corn, and alfalfa hay. Calves are backgrounded for 60-90 days and then the majority are sold at the local sale barn. Replacement heifers are kept back, as well as the ten best steers to use for show at the county fair the following summer. After calves are sold, the cows once again are ready for calving and the cycle begins all over.Newborn Calf

Proper management is the best technique any rancher can use to sustain his cattle herd and as well his way of life. Every ranch is run a different way, and there is not one right way to properly raise a cow and her calf. As long as the resources are used to the best of their ability, any operation is doing a good job at utilizing the environment. Ranching may be a busy and labor intensive way of life, but for Justin it is one of the most enjoyable ways of life. Doing everything you possibly can to make a stable and healthy life for an animal is quite rewarding. Besides cattle, Justin also keeps busy managing a small flock of commercial-bred sheep. Being a senior in college, his next move is either grad school for animal breeding, or going back to the family farm to begin his own legacy.Jones Cows

Justin also enjoys taking photos of his operation and the wide open countryside. Any comments or questions can be directed towards Justin via e-mail at justin.d.bartholomay@my.ndsu.edu. He would love to hear from you and what your own story is all about, or to answer any questions consumers may have about the beef industry.Gunner & Cows

Beef, Brew, and Beautiful People

We ended this summer with a bang at the annual Phoenix Cooks event! Jacquelyn and I had the opportunity to work with the Arizona Beef Council and  the Arizona State Cowbelles as they cooked up some delicious tri-tip for event goers. Personally, this was one of my favorite events because we had two jobs: #1 Promote beef as part of a healthy diet #2 EAT AS MUCH FOOD AS POSSIBLE! As you can probably guess…this wasn’t hard to do. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, I’m sure a photo blog will tell the Phoenix Cooks story better than I can! So here goes…

Jacqueline and I with Lauren and Tiffany of the Arizona Beef Council!

Jacquelyn and I with Lauren and Tiffany of the Arizona Beef Council!

Tri-tip marinated in an Alaskan beer with chimichurri on top :)

Tri-tip marinated in an Alaskan beer with chimichurri on top 🙂

Flemings chefs love beef too! We received multiple compliments on our beef including "It's better than Flemings!"

Flemings chefs love beef too! We received multiple compliments on our beef including “It’s better than Flemings!”

NCBA chef Shenoa French and myself at the Arizona Beef Council booth!

NCBA chef Shenoa French and myself at the Arizona Beef Council booth!

Waiting anxiously while a consumer tried the "Beef and Brew' marinade on tri-tip

Waiting anxiously while a consumer tried the “Beef and Brew’ marinade on tri-tip

We had the chance to meet current Arizona Beef Ambassador Tori Summey, can't wait to see her again in Arkansas!

We had the chance to meet current Arizona Beef Ambassador Tori Summey, can’t wait to see her again in Arkansas!

The whole "beef" gang!

The whole “beef” gang!

Cooling off in the Lazy Lagoon after a hard days work!

Cooling off in the Lazy Lagoon after a hard days work!

Saying goodbye to Phoenix!

Saying goodbye to Phoenix!

 

Clearly we had a great time promoting beef in Arizona! It was a great way to end our summer as well as get us excited for the 2014 National Beef Ambassador Competition at the end of the month in September!

 

Sin-steer-ly,

Katie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ask Abby~What animal welfare means on the Grisedale Ranch!

Meet Miss Abby Grisedale, a first year Ag Communications major at Oklahoma State University! This little lady grew up on a beautiful cattle ranch in the hills of Central California. I have had the opportunity to not only work with Abby as a past Junior Beef Ambassador but also help her family on their ranch. She is a intelligent, driven, fun-loving gal who is a wonderful advocate for the beef community! I’m so glad to have her as a guest blogger today as she shares with us what animal welfare means to her on her families ranch!

Abby served as Miss Glennville Rodeo being a voice for the sport of rodeo!

Abby served as Miss Glennville Rodeo being a voice for the sport of rodeo!

 

As a fifth generation rancher, I place great stock in following the tested and respected traditions used by the generations before me. One of the things that my father and grandfather worked hard to instill in me is the idea that our cows are our livelihood, and that we are theirs. This idea has laid a firm foundation in both my brothers and myself, leaving plenty of room to learn about the ever-changing dynamics of the world around us and the rock solid ideals of being a good steward and treating our animals with respect.

Animal well-being is a term used to describe the current state of the animal.  (J.C. Swanson, 2745, 1995) Often used as a synonym for animal welfare in describing the physical status of an animal, including their environment, care and health. In using the term ‘animal welfare’, one is referring to the long-term status of an animal. An issue referred to by Swanson is that the care and well being of animals is dynamic and constantly changing, hence cannot necessarily be contained within ‘animal welfare’. With that said, at the forefront of every cattleman’s mind is the well-being of their cattle.

As a teacher views her students, cultivating their mental productivity and nurturing them to reach their potential, ranchers work to do the same in their herds. In most cases, producing beef is not a hobby, but a livelihood; a source of income and a lifestyle. The sacrifices made to provide people with a safe, healthy and delicious source of nutrients dictates that ranchers don’t do it with a lack of emotion or dedication. No matter the time, weather or date, they’re always prepared to do whatever it takes to get the job done. They care deeply that their cattle are healthy and well treated. Humane animal treatment is more than an expectation set by society, ensuring that animals are treated with respect, but a code lived out by ranchers everywhere who know how important it is to raise beef in a humane and respectable manner.

The downfall of our society today is that animals are viewed as people, with human emotions, and a need for the same rights that we have. In my animal science class at Oklahoma State University, we discussed ‘anthropomorphism’, which is applying human emotions to an animal. This ideal is a leading factor in misinformation and misguided concern in animal activist and the public as a whole. Animals deserve respect and treatment that encourages growth and good health, but we have to be careful that we don’t apply emotions that they don’t have.  Their well-being requires physical care, in feeding, vaccinating and protecting them from animals and weather, and some amount of mental care in that they should be kept calm and not stressed to avoid sickness.

Knowing all of that, why is animal well-being important? Is it because we, as an industry want to take care of our animals? Absolutely! Is there more to caring for our animals than just taking care of them? Yes. As beef producers and members of the agriculture industry, beyond caring for our animals, we must advocate for the beef industry and the people who work so hard to keep it’s wheels turning. Our duty is to ensure the safety of the beef industry’s future and the longevity of the agriculture industry as a whole, and part of that is defending our practices against organizations like the HSUS and PETA, as their prerogative is to completely eradicate animal agriculture. No longer is it enough to simply produce animals, but it is a challenge and necessity in today’s age to promote the new practices and innovations we are putting into play in order to produce a safe, healthy and humanely raised product that we can be proud of putting on the market.

 

Awesome Abby, thanks for sharing with us!

 

Sin-steer-ly,

Katie

Hot BEEF Sundaes~A neat treat for your BEEF loving family!

My siblings and I on our farm!

My siblings and I on our farm!

Hi my name is John Morrison, I am currently a junior Minnesota Beef Ambassador. I live on my family’s farm just outside of the small town of Belle Plaine. On our farm we have a shorthorn cow calf operation where we also have a few home raised steers. I am in going to be a freshman at Belle Plaine High School this fall, where I am involved in many activities including FFA, band, cross country, basketball, and golf. I am also involved in 4-H where I participate in many activities. One of the main activities I do is show my shorthorn beef cattle.

Last week with my family and my shorthorn cattle I attended the Shorthorn Junior Nationals in Des Moines, Iowa. At the junior nationals there are many activities for the juniors to participate in. Some of the activities include showmanship, quiz bowl, speech, salesmanship, mentor apprentice, and beef cookout. All of the juniors are encouraged to participate in many activities and to step outside of their comfort zone by trying activities that they may not normally do. Some of the activities I did include showmanship, quiz bowl, mentor apprentice and beef cookout. One of my favorite activities that I did was beef cookout! It was the first time I had done beef cookout.  In the cookout you make a dish containing a form of beef, then you must present your food and recipe with a fun theme. After that you have to answer various questions about beef and the dish that you prepared.

My team presenting our Hot Beef Sundaes to the judges! We decided to do our presentation as if we work for a diner and this is our new item.

My team presenting our Hot Beef Sundaes to the judges! We decided to do our presentation as if we work for a diner and this is our new item.

My  group made hot beef sundaes! I believe that this event is very important for juniors to help with their knowledge of beef, because that is the product we produce. Before I finish my blog let me give you this delicious recipe!

  • First roast beef sirloin tips with peas and any other vegetables you desire until the meat can be pulled apart with a fork
  • When the roast is ready make some mashed potatoes
  • Layer the potatoes, beef  and vegetables in your preferred serving dish (we used sundae glasses)
  • Enjoy!

The Skinny on Fat

Did you know the steak you are enjoying in 2013 is completely different from the one you would have eaten in 1963? It’s true! American beef is leaner than ever before! In fact, most of America’s favorite cuts such as the Sirloin, T-bone, Brisket, and Tenderloin contain less than 10 grams of fat.

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Fat content has been reduced by 35% through genetics and carefully balanced feed rations. What is left is the marbling, or intra-muscular fat, which is monounsaturated fat….the same heart-healthy kind found in olive oil! America’s farmers and ranchers continue to devote their time and energy everyday towards producing a safe, wholesome, and nutritious product for YOU! This ensures that you are getting the nutrients needed to maintain a healthy lifestyle all the while enjoying that delicious beef flavor we all love! Research shows that eating 3oz of lean beef 3-4 times a week as part of a healthy diet can lower your cholesterol levels and reduce your risk of heart disease. That’s one powerful protein!

Visit www.beefnutrition.org to find more information on why including beef in your diet is a smart decision for your long-term health!

Here’s to healthy bodies fueled by beef,

Katie Stroud

AGvocating on Marco Island

Today we are on sunny Marco Island for the annual Florida Cattlemen’s Convention! We had an awesome workshop earlier with the Junior Florida Cattlemen’s Association on how to be a great AGvocate! We wouldn’t want you to miss out on all the fun so here are the key take a ways from today!

KEY #1) Know your audiences
KEY #2) Keep It Simple
KEY #3) Choose your words wisely
KEY #4) Be YOU!

Raise your voice, be creative, and share your ideas!

If you keep these key points in mind you will for sure be successful when talking with others! Now go share your beef story with others….GO GO GO! 🙂

~Katie

From “I Told You So” to “Lessons Learned”

As I sat down at my computer this morning, coffee in hand, I wondered what I should blog about today. After taking a few minutes to browse trending topics on social media, I saw a reoccurring theme….”My Beef with Carrie Underwood.”  Those five words were everywhere. My agriculture friends had shared it, my city friends had shared it, everyone had shared it. As I opened the blog post I soon realized that my good friend and past National Beef Ambassador, Malorie Bankhead, had written it! 

Malorie and I first became acquainted in September of 2010 when we both attended the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Legislative Conference in Washington DC. I was there with my family representing the Fall River-Big Valley Cattlemen’s Association while Malorie was with the 2010 National Beef Ambassador Team. I remember our walk to the Capitol when I first asked her this question “What in the world are you doing in that bright red shirt?” She straightened up, smiled, and proudly said “I’m a member of the National Beef Ambassador Team.” After chatting about the program over the next few days, it didn’t take me long to know that I wanted to be just like her. Malorie’s passion for the beef industry is contagious and she has this special way of making you believe that you can change the world, and after her blog on Monday….it is undoubtedly true.

Taking that step to write an opinion piece was brave. She was confident, she was bold, she went out on a limb, and guess what? It paid off. Carrie Underwood, yes….the Carrie Underwood, read Malorie’s blog! Her blog was also shared over 10,000 times on Facebook with over 110,ooo views. This opened up the door for conversation! It is possible, people.  

No, there were not any pictures in today’s blog. Pictures are used to grab peoples attention. I believe the simple fact that Malorie Bankhead, from middle of nowhere California, made Carrie Underwood think twice about who she supports is attention-grabbing enough.

What is even greater is that it doesn’t end here. YOU can make your voice be heard. Have an opinion about something? Write about it. Thanks to social media, the sky is no longer the limit! Just remember that when you speak up you need to be a L.E.A.D.E.R.:

L: Listen to opposing views

E: Embrace challenges

A: Acknowledge new ideas with merit

D: Dedicate yourself to positive solutions

E: Encourage others

R: Respect diversity

You can still be proud of your heritage, bold in your actions, and confident in your beliefs all while being respectful.

Just in case you missed them, here are Malorie’s blogs written this week: “My Beef with Carrie Underwood” and her follow up blog “Mending Fences”

http://malthebeefgal.wordpress.com/2013/04/22/my-beef-with-carrie-underwood/

http://malthebeefgal.wordpress.com/2013/04/24/mending-fences/

Keep up the good work, Mal!

The Sweet Sound of Social Media

This weekend has been an exciting experience for the National Beef Ambassador Team while we have been promoting beef at the Boston Marathon Sports & Fitness Expo. As one of the only booths not selling workout wear, we have been creative in ways to catch the attention of runners and spectators alike. My favorite give away we have is a crowd favorite and can be heard throughout the entire expo center, can you guess what it is? Cowbelles! Red ones that say “I Heart Beef” of course. You won’t find them for less than $5 anywhere else but at the BEEF booth they are free! All you have to do is tweet using our hash tag #fuelupwithbeef or “like” the PA Beef Council Facebook page. Simple as that! Not only is this a great way to make give a ways fun, but consumers can get access to recipes and many other beef promotion pages through the Facebook page. If you search #fuelupwithbeef on Twitter, you will see first hand the success we had at this expo. The feed is filled with comments from consumers on why they love beef and how much they enjoyed our booth! We can use this information to decide what to continue next year, such great feedback! For all of those beef advocates out there, I encourage you to create your own hash tag at your next event! It’s something we can all benefit from!

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-Katie

Stories of Calving Season

As you all know this weekend was Easter, so I got to spend a few days at home! Frosty Acres Ranch is busy in the middle of calving season which means there are lots of good stories to tell. I got to witness first hand just how much ranchers care for their livestock when a gate was left open. Several of our cows got out on the highway and this cow decided that the blacktop was a good place to have her calf! While it’s not the most ideal spot to calve, we made it work by staying by her side until she had her baby.

I know that my family ranch, and the way we care for our livestock, is no different from the 97% of farms and ranches that are family owned. Bottom line is that America’s farmers and ranchers are hard working people who are dedicated to their land, their animals, and to providing the world with safe, wholesome, and nutritious beef.

 

The new momma tends to her calf.

 

To learn more about ranching families in your area visit www.factsaboutbeef.com