Let’s Celebrate Ohio Beef!

Even through frigid temperatures and blizzard-like conditions, cattlemen and cattlewomen from across the state of Ohio were brought together on Saturday for the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association’s annual meeting and banquet. Producers and youth gathered together to celebrate Ohio’s beef industry and our accomplishments from the past year. Some of the top highlights of the evening were hearing remarks from NCBA president, Scott George, the announcements of the 2014 Commercial Cattlemen of the Year, Seedstock Producer of the Year and Young Cattlemen of the Year, and the installation of the new 2014 Ohio Beef Ambassador team.

Attendees enjoyed a delicious prime rib dinner!

Attendees enjoyed a delicious prime rib dinner!

Throughout the day, attendees took part in several meetings and group discussions.  In  “Around the Water Tank,” producers participated in sessions where they learned more about priority issues impacting Ohio’s beef community and what consumers are saying about beef. During the Ohio Cattlemen’s annual meeting, the Ohio Beef Council shared an update about the Ohio Beef Checkoff Referendum to keep producers aware of policy changes. The meeting also served as a celebration, where Ohio Cattlewomen recognized their 50th anniversary.

Eight young beef advocates competed in the Ohio Beef Ambassador contest

Eight beef advocates competed in the Ohio Beef Ambassador contest

Outside of the general meeting agenda, eight contestants competed in the Ohio Beef Ambassador contest. The contestants were tested on their knowledge of the beef industry and ability to communicate effectively with consumers through a media interview, issues response and consumer promotion. Kendra Gabriel, Demi Snider and Hallie Hiser were selected to serve on the 2014 Ohio Beef Ambassador team. Good luck to these young ladies in their coming year as they travel Ohio sharing their passion for the beef community!

Left to Right: Demi Snider, Hallie Hiser and Kendra Gabriel will serve on the 2014 Beef Ambassador Team

Left to Right: Demi Snider, Hallie Hiser and Kendra Gabriel will serve on the 2014 Ohio Beef Ambassador Team

The annual Cattlemen’s Association banquet is an event that I have been looking forward to all year. It is so inspiring to gather together with producers and industry leaders from your own state to see all that you have accomplished together. I am looking forward to the start of another wonderful year as a beef producer and can’t wait to see where 2014 takes us!

All for the love of beef,

Sierra Jepsen

Branded Beef

One of the coolest things about today’s beef market is that it’s so versatile, and there are so many options available to the consumer. From grain to grass-finished, and organic to natural, there are more choices than there ever have been. Last weekend, the National Beef Ambassadors traveled to Wooster, Ohio to the headquarters for a specialized market of branded beef called Certified Angus Beef. We spent Monday learning about the Certified Angus Brand and what “branded beef” really is. Personally, I learned a ton. First of all, CAB is a non-profit organization. That’s not to say that they’re not non-revenue, but they put 100% of their funds into education and research of their brand and the influence it has on consumers. I was surprised to find out that Certified Angus Beef doesn’t actually own any product. The only entities that belong to them are their facilities in Wooster and the registered trademark of the Certified Angus brand itself. This is known as intellectual property, and it allows them to invest almost all of their energies into keeping the legacy of their brand relevant and appealing to the consumer. We heard from representatives of several different facets of their business, including marketing, legal, human resources, and public relations. I found it really cool to see how each part of the company worked together for one very predominant goal: making their brand known to the consumer allowing it to represent a quality product.image
There are ten very explicit specifications which beef has to meet in order to be considered Certified Angus Beef:
1. Modest or higher marbling
2. Medium or fine marbling texture
3. Must qualify as “A” maturity (youngest classification of product)
4. 10- to 16-square-inch ribeye area
5. Less than 1,000-pound hot carcass weight
6. Less than 1 inch fat-thickness
7. Superior muscling (restricts influence of dairy cattle)
8. Practically free of capillary ruptures
9. No dark cutters (ensures the most visually appealing steak)
10. No neck hump exceeding 2 inches
Only one in four cattle that are considered for CAB actually meet the requirements. Those that don’t go into the program are simply sold as USDA prime or choice grade beef.
Certified Angus Beef is paid pennies on the dollar for every pound of CAB brand beef that is sold both to retail and then to the consumer (they get paid twice). One of the things that I found most interesting about the Certified Angus Beef business is that they track every single pound of CAB brand beef that is sold. Whether it be to retail, food service, or internationally, they have tabs on literally all of their branded beef. They even had scanned copies of menus from restaurants that sell CAB so they can see how it’s being marketed and make sure all of the information is correct.
We really enjoyed getting to tour the facilities of Certified Angus Beef and getting a peek into what they do on a day to day basis with their branded beef. Their business is just one example of the myriad of beef options available to today’s consumer. If you have a favorite brand, type, or even cut of beef, we’d love to hear about it! Leave a comment or contact us on our Facebook (National Beef Ambassadors) or Twitter (@nationalbeefambassador) accounts.
Thanks for continuing to follow us as we kick off the 2014 year with our CAB trip and our trip to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania for the Pennsylvania Farm Show!
Until next time,
Emma Morris

Farming- A Family Legacy

Even I managed to get some family time in at the convention! My brother and his teammates won the quiz bowl contest!

Even I managed to get some family time in at the convention! My brother and his teammates won the quiz bowl contest!

I don’t know about you, but after a long week at school I am definitely wishing I could go back to Tampa! The sunny weather of Florida was great, but my favorite part was attending the Cattlemen’s College. One of the best sessions I attended was titled “Preserving Family Relations on the Ranch,” a very relevant session when you consider that 97% of farms are family farms. Walking around the tradeshow the importance of families shined through pretty clearly- you didn’t have to look very far to find family members walking around together!

My siblings and I get into arguments just like other kids. But, at the end of the day we stand together to protect the legacy that our ancestors have created for us!

My siblings and I get into arguments just like other kids. But, at the end of the day we stand together to protect the legacy that our ancestors have created for us!

Don’t get me wrong- just because we value the importance of working together as a family doesn’t mean we work together on a daily basis without having conflict. I can’t even begin to count the number of times my sister and I have bickered while trying to get a task done on the farm. As the speaker in our session stated “Shared ownership of a yoyo is hard- it is even more difficult with a ranch”. Despite this difficulty, farmers and ranchers continue finding ways to successfully work together as a family. We recognize that through our hard work and quarrels comes an irreplaceable value of spending time with the ones we love, and I am grateful for this!

As you prepare to serve your family BEEF this week, remember that it is probably the product of an entire family’s efforts! I hope that whether you are a farmer or not, you are able to enjoy some quality time with your family!

Erin Morrison

Ambassador Team Attends Cattle Industry Convention

The 2012 National Beef Ambassador team – Rossie Blinson-North Carolina; John Weber-Minnesota; Arika Snyder-Pennsylvania; Kim Rounds-California and Emily Jack-Texas, were on hand for the the 2012 Cattle Industry Convention.

I visited with them when they were doing a series of media interviews and asked why they wanted to become ambassadors and what they’ve been up to so far.

Listen to some passionate advocates for beef here:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

You can find a lot of convention photos in my photo album: 2012 Cattle Industry Convention Photo Album