A Year in Review

1

20 senior competitors traveled to Denver, Colorado in hopes of earning one of the five spots as National Beef Ambassador. Five people representing five different states brought together for their passion and love as beef-met as strangers and will leave as friends!

2

The power of a brand, loyalty to customers and the qualifications for grading CAB beef were all valuable lessons during our first trip as a National Beef Ambassador Team.

3

Genetics are key to the breeding of beef producers. Fore front thinking done on behalf of businesses such as Select Sires, there is the ability to continue producing quality, safe, wholesome, and nutritious beef.

4

Educating a variety of individuals at the Pennsylvania Farm Show proved to be enlightening and engaging. The beef industry is proud to use food byproducts such as distiller grains and chocolate meal as a part of a total mixed ration for cattle.

5

Sizzling Hot San Antonia and the NCBA Convention was a week long educational adventure. Learning from some of the top notch beef industry men and women, experiencing the trade show, and being able to share some of knowledge about the beef industry showcased our time in Texas-where everything is bigger and better!

6

A part of the New York City Half Marathon with the Pennsylvania and New York Beef Councils, I learned how busy and health conscious New York City residents are and was able to promote lean beef to the area runners as a great recover protein.

7

While in Denver, Colorado, we were able to tour one of the largest feedlot companies and packing plants owned by JBS and Five Rivers Feedlots. The efficiency and timing of every worker in the JBS harvesting facility was down to the minute, and yet so amazing to think the abundance of meat that this plant harvests, packs, and ships in a single day so that consumers around the world can eat.

8

Greely, Colorado is home to Greely Hat Works. This company sells cowboy hats all around the world and bases their business off of customer loyalty and trust-a similar theme to producers in the beef industry.

9

Through a grant awarded to the National Beef Ambassador Program, we had the privilege to attend the Spring Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C. Here we were able to meet key players in the beef industry allowing us to network and learn from them, as well as spend a day on Capitol Hill with our individual state representatives to discuss important beef industry issues.

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Cooking demonstrations were a big component of the Nashville cooking show. Here teammate Will and I prepare a fresh twist to a summer salad called Sugar Snap Pea and Sirloin Salad which included a lean cut of beef, barley rather than lettuce, and lemon peel for an added flavor. As a part of the Nashville Cooking Show, there were also interactive, hands-on stations that helped consumers better understand how to freeze beef, cut beef, season beef, and take the temperature of beef.

 

All in all this past year serving as a National Beef Ambassador has been filled with learning experiences, exciting travels, binding with individuals from various parts of the United States, and making memories that will last for a life time. Thank you to all those individuals who helped to make this past year a success!

For those contestants gearing up to travel to Denver next week, have fun! Meeting people from different backgrounds and learning about the beef industry from other advocates is a once in a lifetime opportunity. So above all the nerves, smile and showcase your inner personality, because it’s what makes YOU shine!

-Above all else, Beef It’s What’s For Dinner!

Demi

 

 

 

Stroganoff in a Flash!

 

Life always gets hectic after school begins. When I get home from class and meetings at night, the last thing I want to do is make dinner.

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I make some kind of casserole very frequently. They are easy and fast. Last week my mom gave me the recipe for Stroganoff casserole. It is very quick and tastes great.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tube of biscuits
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1-7 oz. Can of mushrooms
  • 1 cup of sour cream
  • Optional Cheese to sprinkle over the top

Directions:

Cook the ground beef to 160° F add the onion and cook until soft. Mix in the mushrooms and  sour cream. Open the can of biscuits.

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Place the individual biscuits into a greased 9×9″ dish. Place the beef mixture over the biscuits in the dish. Sprinkle cheese over the top. Bake at 350° for about 20 minutes, or until the cheese has melted.

I like to serve this with peas and a fresh garden salad. Bon Appétit!

Happy Labor Day!

Happy Labor Day everyone! I always think Labor Day marks the official end of summer. Labor Day is a good day to kick back and spend time with friends and family. Most years, my family and I would load up and head to the mountains. The weekend would be spent with family and friends at a remote cabin in the mountains. It was a nice mini vacation from the work of the farm before school started for my brother, mother, and I.

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The view wasn’t bad either!

At the cabin, we played countless board games, hiked for miles, and enjoyed everyone’s company. One thing was always the center of our pilgrimages to the cabin-the food! Each family that went would take turns cooking meals for everyone. Since the cabin lacked the amenities of indoor plumbing or electricity, cooking was always interesting. Grilling was always popular on Labor Day. vote

I love grilling, I think it really brings out the robust flavor profile of beef. Beef It’s What’s For Dinner has some great resources for cooking beef any way you could think of. Check out their grilling page for tips, tricks, and recipes to make any barbecue a success! My personal favorite meal on the grill is kabobs. I really love using the vegetables that are in season to pair with beef. Here’s a recipe for kabobs to kick off your Labor Day weekend:

Beef, Pepper, & Mushroom Kabobs

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INGREDIENTS:
1 pound beef Top Sirloin Steak boneless, cut 1-inch thick
1 large green, red or yellow bell pepper, cut into 1-1/4-inch pieces
12 large mushrooms
1 package (6.0 ounces) long grain and wild rice blend
1/4 teaspoon salt

SEASONING:
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon water
2 teaspoons Dijon-style mustard
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1/4 teaspoon pepper

DIRECTIONS

  1. Trim fat from beef steak; cut into 1-1/4-inch pieces. In large bowl, whisk together seasoning ingredients; add beef, bell pepper and mushrooms, tossing to coat. Alternately thread pieces of beef, bell pepper and mushrooms on each of four 12-inch metal skewers.
  2. Prepare rice according to package directions; keep warm.
  3. Meanwhile place kabobs on grid over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill kabobs, covered, 8 to 11 minutes (over medium heat on preheated gas grill, 9 to 11 minutes) for medium rare (145°F) to medium (160°F) doneness, turning occasionally; season with salt. Serve kabobs with rice.

Happy Meaty Monday!

Rachel Purdy
Princess Farmer

Freezing For Later

Another semester at the University of Wyoming begins today. As soon as classes begin free time becomes a rare commodity. This year I decided to finally “grow up” and get an apartment. I no longer have a veritable smorgasbord of food hot and ready to eat at the cafeteria. I enjoy cooking, however during the week I might not have much time to prepare delicious and nutritious meals. Preparing in advance helps with time management.

zucchiniIt saves money to buy beef in bulk and freeze it for later. I like to have large packages of ground beef and cook it before I freeze it.

Ground beef

Last night, I cooked a 2 pound package of ground beef so I have recipe ready ground beef in the freezer whenever I need it.IMG_9097I like to use plastic containers to freeze my beef in. Although you can use freezer bags as well. It is important to label the dates on the containers. Cooked beef can stay in a freezer for up to 3 or 4 months.

Freeze

 

Happy Meaty Monday!

Rachel Purdy
Princess Farmer

 

BEEF

Today marked the start of my senior year in college at The Ohio State University. As I prepared for what I hope is a fun-filled educational year, I began thinking how beef as a protein would empower me throughout my 15-week semester, long nights of homework, and early morning test days. In the spirit of school, I decided to create a poem using the word ‘beef’ and the essential products and nutrients that it provides us throughout our daily life, especially as another year of school lies ahead of us. Good luck to those getting back in the routine of listening in class and doing homework, and remember, you do not have to be a student to enjoy the numerous benefits of beef that it provides to you on a daily basis!

 

B- by-products from beef cattle allow 99% of the animal to be used. From automotive care, medical use, and sporting equipment, a by-product from the beef animal is sure to impact you in your daily life!

byproducts

Whether its an afternoon game of baseball, painting your fingernails before dinner, driving your car, or eating a gummy bear, beef is a by-product in all of these everyday items.

E- essential nutrients that your body needs to maintain health. Beef provides 10% of 10 essential nutrients, including zinc, iron, and protein, in less than 10% of the daily recommended caloric intake. Eating a three ounce serving of lean beef provides 25 grams (about half) of the daily value of protein we need to fuel our bodies.

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Beef is a great source of ten essential nutrients that help to keep you healthy and focused throughout your busy day.

E- energy! Start your morning off right by eating beef for breakfast to help power you through your day. B vitamins help maintain brain function and riboflavin helps convert food into fuel to help you stay awake and alert throughout both early morning classes and late night labs.

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Why drink several cups of coffee in the morning when eating beef for breakfast can replace your tired feeling and give you the needed nutrients and energy to get you through your day.

F- fuel for the finish. Whether it’s finishing up your seven page paper or studying for an exam, with beef, you will feel energized and your brain will still be sharp because beef contains beneficial vitamins and minerals to help fuel you throughout your entire day. Beef provides you with that late night “kick” to help you ace your paper and test!

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As an excellent source of protein, beef gives you the fuel you need to stay alert, awake, and on task even late at night!

 

Remember, with beef, all things are possible!

Happy Tuesday!

Demi

The Value of an Internship

For many kids of all ages, the start of school has proceeded them or is just around the corner. Starting today, I am enjoying my last week of summer vacation; catching some sun doing outdoor projects and working with the show heifers before the county fair.

As a part of the requirements of many majors in college, summer internships fill the days of summer. Yesterday, I completed my first agricultural communication internship with the Ohio Beef Council. To say the very least, it was a very beneficial and rewarding experience. Looking back, I learned valuable tools and lessons that will help me and I continue through my senior year of schooling, as well as begin to look for a career within my field of interest.

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Ohio is a ‘two-hat’ state so our cattlemen’s and beef council office is under one roof. However my summer internship allowed me to be the public relations intern for the Ohio Beef Council.

I was lucky enough to obtain an internship within a sector of agriculture I am very passionate about. Taking an internship throughout ones time in school is very beneficial and provides great value. Throughout my internship I was able to better a handful of my skills such as photography, design work, and social media writing, all of which are big parts of my major.

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Learning to picture cattle and capture an array of sights during farm visits was a new and useful part of my summer internship.

I was also able to take this time during the summer to find the value in listening and watching others throughout the beef council office do their work. I learned that there is value is details. Sometimes as students we tend to focus on the bigger picture and forget the small details throughout a project or task that can allow us to excel and exceed in more ways. By listening and being given tasks that were new to me, I learned how to focus on the details of the task.

cooking demo

As a part of the Ohio State Fair, I was invited on behalf of the beef council to partner with my boss to give a beef cooking demonstration on stage. This is a great way to teach and interact with fair goers who wanted to learn a quick and easy 30-minute or less meal with beef.

I also learned the value in asking questions. There is never a question that is too dumb to ask because by asking questions I learned more.

The lessons and skills one learns throughout internships will always be a part of who they are and will be carried with them throughout the remainder of their professional career. Internships teach you the value of learning, questioning, listening, and details. Not every day of the internship may be packed full of fun task, but I learned that every given task is important and is what helps me as an individual climb the ladder to success.

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As a part of promotions and educations about the beef industry, all ages of consumers are talked to. It is important prior to attending an event to know whom the audience will be and center the beef messages around their questions. Most importantly, I learned to LISTEN to what consumers were asking me before I answered a question.

I challenge all college students to find value in taking an internship and learning along the way. You are never too old to learn or ask questions and there is value in listening and learning from others about an area or sector of an industry you may be passionate in.

 

-Demi-

 

Get Creative in the Kitchen!

We talk a lot about the “no recipe recipe.” This basically means you find a recipe to base your meal off of, to provide inspiration. After finding this recipe, you use whatever you want in it and make it your own. Everyone has different tastes, and the fun thing about cooking is that you can tailor to your own tastes! Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner makes some fabulous YouTube videos on this very concept. Check out these great videos:

Ultimately cooking is a great way to experiment with different flavors. Good luck!

Happy Meaty Monday!

Rachel Purdy
Princess Farmer

The Dinner Dilemma

We have all been there. It’s 6:00 p.m., you are hungry, and you have no idea what to make for dinner. Typically I encounter the dinner dilemma as I am at the grocery store roaming the aisles trying to decide what to eat. The interactive butcher counter can help solve this problem!

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The interactive butcher counter (found here) is a great resource!

My favorite tool is the guide me to the right cut feature. From here, you can enter different criteria to find the perfect cut for the occasion. specialI love I am on a college budget, so I selected an economical cut for the other criteria. I really like stir-frying beef. It is great because there are minimal dishes involved, and it is delicious!

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Seven results popped up! I picked top round steak, because it is one of the many lean cuts. After following the links, I found this fabulous recipe:

Steak USAEasy Asian Beef Stir-Fry
Total Recipe Time: 30 minutes
Makes 4 servings

1 pound beef Top Round or Top Sirloin Steak Boneless, cut 3/4 inch thick or Flank Steak
3/4 cup prepared stir-fry sauce
1 package (16 ounces) frozen Asian vegetable blend (such as broccoli, carrots and sugar snap peas)
1/4 cup water
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons sesame seeds (optional)
Cut beef steak lengthwise in half, then crosswise into 1/8-inch thick strips. Place beef and 1/4 cup stir-fry sauce in food-safe plastic bag; turn beef to coat. Close bag securely and marinate in refrigerator 30 minutes to 2 hours.
Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot; add vegetables and water. Cover and cook 7 to 8 minutes or until crisp-tender, stirring occasionally. Remove vegetables; keep warm.
Remove beef from marinade; discard marinade. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in same skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add 1/2 of beef and garlic; stir-fry 1 to 2 minutes or until outside surface of beef is no longer pink. (Do not overcook.) Remove from skillet. Repeat with remaining oil, beef and garlic.
Return vegetables and beef to skillet. Stir in remaining 1/2 cup stir-fry sauce; cook and stir 1 to 2 minutes or until heated through. Garnish with sesame seeds, if desired.

This recipe only takes 30 minutes! So once you pick up the ingredients at the store, you can have a home cooked meal in no time at all.

Happy Meaty Monday!

Rachel Purdy
Princess Farmer

Spice It Up!

One of my favorite dinners to make is quesadillas. They are very easy and delicious. Plus, who needs an excuse to eat guacamole?

Here is a recipe from Beef It’s What’s For Dinner:

Crazy Quesadillas

Steak USA
Total Recipe Time: 25 to 30 minutes

This recipe makes 4 servings.

1 pound Ground Beef (90% to 95% lean)
1 jar (16 ounces) prepared salsa with black beans and corn
1-1/2 cups shredded spicy Mexican cheese blend or shredded Cheddar-Jack cheese with jalapeño peppers
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
4 large flour tortillas (10-inch diameter)
Chopped fresh cilantro
Heat oven to 350°F. Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Add Ground Beef; cook 8 to 10 minutes, breaking into 3/4-inch crumbles and stirring occasionally. Pour off drippings.
Reserve 1/2 cup salsa. Add remaining salsa, cheese and 1/4 cup cilantro to beef; mix well. Spoon 1/4 of beef mixture onto half of each tortilla. Fold tortillas in half to close. Place on baking sheet.
Bake in 350°F oven 10 to 11 minutes or until filling is heated through and edges of tortillas are lightly browned and crisp. Sprinkle with cilantro, as desired; serve with reserved salsa.

I like to add extras into the quesadillas like tomatoes, refried beans, onion, or green chiles to spice things up. Quesadillas are a quick and delicious meal for people on the go!

Happy Meaty Monday!

Rachel Purdy
Princess Farmer

Where your Meat Comes From

The bovine timeline, from the time an animal is conceived until it ends up on your plate takes a total of approximately two years. The final step of the timeline is the packing plant/distributor.

There are many different shapes and sizes of packing plants across America. Some process between 20-30 animals per day, while others process thousands of animals per day. In either case however, packing plants are inspected by the United States government where both sanitation and attention to details are the number one priorities. Employees are well-trained and understand the importance of keeping the facilities safe for all workers while making sure the products are safe and wholesome.

It is important that the cattle have minimum stress through the process of the packing plant. From unloading off the trailer with ramps for easier walking, into pens that have watering tanks and sprinklers to help cool the cattle, into a Temple Grandin style walking coral, the cattle are moved in a low stress and low noise environment.

Through the Temple Grandin livestock handling facility design, cattle corrals in packing plants are made as winding from the pen to the harvesting facilities. Through the designs, Dr. Grandin also has researched and stated in the layout rules that the holding pen must be level, cattle must walk through the ramp single file, and the animal must be able to see two-three animals ahead of it while walking through the chute before it curves.

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Through research and the study of animal behaviors, Temple Grandin designed a curvature type walking chute that the animals proceed through as they enter the harvesting facilities. This allows for a minimum stress movement pattern for the animals.

The research done by Dr. Grandin has indicated that these methods are the most human and allow minimum stress on the animals and therefore are implicated at packing facilities.

Packing facilities are also sanitized every day and regularly inspected by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to ensure clean and sanitized work areas and employees. As a part of the packing plant, the meat is also inspected by the USDA to ensure a safe, quality, and wholesome product before it enters a grocery store.

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A USDA inspector looks at the quality grade of meat and labels it as she sees fit prior to the meat entering the foodservice chain.

Throughout the entire bovine timeline, sanitation, health, and treating the animals humanely are all top priorities of beef producers and meat packers. All sectors want to ensure a safe, wholesome, and nutritious product is produced for both their tables and other consumers. Knowing that in the year 2050, 18 billion people in this world will need to eat falls in the hands of all livestock and crop producers, therefore, they do their job diligently and respectfully to maintain the health and safety of their animals that are being raised so others can eat.

lifecycle

The beef lifecycle takes approximately two years from conception of the animal until it ends up on your plate. During every step and process of the lifecycle, beef farmers and producers are determined to produce a safe, quality, and wholesome product on four feet and on the dinner table!

 

Have a great day,
Demi