Life’s a Picnic

July is National Picnic Month!picnic_scene I love eating outside, it is such a great way to enjoy the wonderful summertime weather. Here are some beefy recipes to provide inspiration for your picnic!

  • Roast Beef Tea Sandwiches: These are so fun and easy to make. You can experiment with different fruits or vegetables in them too. Some ideas are: cucumber, baby spinach leaves, tomato, red onion, pear, or apples.Steak USA
  • Mediterranean Beef and Veggie Wraps: In about 10 minutes you’ve got an easy, portable wrap made with common ingredients and fresh vegetables. Perfect to pack in your picnic basket!Steak USA
  • Beef and Cheese Roll-Ups: These wraps tend to be less messy than sandwiches. Steak USA
  • Beef and Broccoli Wrap: This recipe is also great for picnics. The broccoli slaw helps incorporate vegetables into the meal too.Steak USA
  • Vietnamese Beef and Vegetable Spring Rolls: Spring rolls are new to the picnic table, but if you make them at home and bring to your picnic they are a fun change of pace.Steak USA

Picnics are a fun way to make eating a meal an experience. I still remember fondly a picnic that I ate with my host family in France last summer. It is such a fun eating experience to sit on the blanket and watch the world around you. Food, friends, and location make a meal memorable. It’s also a fun date!

Happy Meaty Monday!

Rachel Purdy
Princess Farmer

Beef All Around the World

Did you know that U.S. beef is being exported to countries around the world because of it’s commitment to quality and safety?  U.S. Beef is in hot demand and helps to add over $300 per head in value to that carcass!  In fact, in 2014 alone, exports set a value record of $7.13 Billion.


So where is all the delicious beef product headed?  Well, Japan is our number one consumer, followed Mexico, Canada, the Middle East, China and South Korea.  Just last year, exports to Japan were valued at $1.58 billion with Japan having lifted its cattle age limit from 21 months to 30 months old.  Each of these markets has their own concerns and demands, and we are careful to help create a product to not only meet and exceed domestic demands, but foreign, as well!


U.S. Beef making a splash in Japanese Markets!


You might be wondering why we don’t keep this beef to ourselves and not drive up the price in our own domestic markets, but I am pleased to tell you the majority of our exports are actually organ meats or other products U.S. consumers don’t want.  Instead of throwing these away, we now can make a profit off of them and help to keep muscle meat prices lower, and most importantly, increase our sustainability!  Over 90% of the liver, heart and kidney by-products of beef harvest are sent to the Middle East, Mexico and South America.  Egypt is our #1 consumer of liver, in fact, they take nearly all of it!  Stomach and intestine products make their way to Mexico and Southeast Asia to be cooked in traditional meals such as menudo.  Rib Fingers and Hanging Tenders, both products the U.S. consumer does not desire on a large scale, are in high demand in Northeast Asia, along with short ribs.


Oven Roasted U.S. Beef Liver. Find the recipe here :


Exports are a valuable part of American beef production, and are continuing to show their usefulness.  It is also a source of pride for not only me, but for all U.S. Beef producers, that our product is demanded across the far reaches of the globe due to the standards we pride ourselves on!  If you desire to find out more, visit!


From the Heart of Beef,


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.


    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.


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

Feeding A Global Consumer

In the United States, we do not consume a lot of tongue, liver, tripe (along with other cuts of beef). So what happens to these cuts when the animal is processed? Thanks to a global economy, we are able to ship these cuts to parts of the world that demand these products. This past week, the beef ambassador team was at the Cattle Industry Convention in San Antonio, Texas. While we were there, we were able to learn more about hot topics in the beef community (like exports!). Here are the biggest things I learned:

Beef produced in the United States may find its way to a dinner plate across the world!

Beef produced in the United States may find its way to a dinner plate across the world.

  • 95% of the world’s population lives outside of the United States.
  • The hide is the most valuable export product. Although a lot of the hides do end up coming back to the United States in the form of leather products (like Italian leather shoes).

    Even if your shoes were imported, they may have been produced using leather raised in the U.S.!

    Even if your shoes were imported, they may have been manufactured using leather from cattle raised in the U.S.

  • Egypt purchases most of the beef liver exported from the United States. Livers are mainly sold for pet food manufacturing here.
  • Every country demands different cuts of beef. For example, in Hong Kong and China intestines and short plates are demanded, while Peru demands a lot of beef heart. It varies country by country.

    Heart doesn't look too bad when it's cooked!

    Heart doesn’t look too bad when it’s cooked!

  • We gain $300 per head from exports.
  • Compared to the rest of the world the United States eats A LOT of ground beef! Every day 100 million servings of ground beef are consumed in the United States alone.

    That's a lot of ground beef being eaten! For ideas on cooking ground beef, check out this website.

    For ideas on cooking ground beef, check out this website.

  • The United States produces a product that is very different than the rest of the world. Grass fed beef is all that a lot of global consumers have access to. The United States’ main product is grain finished beef. You can learn more about the difference here.Beef

Global trade is fascinating to me. For example, one meal can have avocados from Mexico, lemons from Chile, and beef from your neighbor down the road.

Happy Meaty Monday!

Rachel Purdy
Princess Farmer

#SuperBeef: More Than Just Meat

foot·ball ˈ(fo͝otˌbôl): noun, a form of team game played in North America with an oval ball on a field marked out as a gridiron.


superbowl xlix

Football is often thought of as an American tradition. Whether it be the dream of a young child to someday be a Heisman Trophy recipient, a cookout to celebrate a Friday-night victory, or a Sunday afternoon watch party, football brings families together. In addition to the countless super duper yummy beef dishes enjoyed during football parties, footballs are made from leather; leather provided by cattle.

1. One cow hide produces about ten footballs. 120 footballs are used in the Super Bowl Championship football game.


Think how different our entertainment arena would be without football! Just remember: cattle provide more than a delicious protein source. They provide many by-products that we use everyday, such as cosmetics, leather and tires.


2. Chili, burger sliders, sloppy joes, and mini burritos are quick and easy options for party nibblings. 

beef enchilada dip

How will you be incorporating beef into your Super Bowl entertaining? I will be making Beef Enchilada Dip. This recipe takes less than fifteen minutes and is very simple to put together when pressured for time. Find the recipe here!


3.151.6 million people are expected to watch a portion, if not all, of the Super Bowl XLIX Championship football game.


That is a lot of families and close friends that may not have gotten to fellowship together without football. Thank you, cows!


4. The famous game will be broadcast in 232 different countries and territories.

Because the Super Bowl is enjoyed by so many around the world, beef plays a vital role in global entertainment and millions of pricesless memories made.


5. $400 million are added to the local economy because of this football game.

ram commercial

In addition to beef exports, domestic beef sales and cattle by-product utilization, the indirect economic benefits supported by the beef community are awesome!


So, while you are enjoying the big game, don’t forget to thank the ranchers who help provide the main contributor to the sport of football. And remember, if it wasn’t for cattle our whole world of sports would not be the same.

P.S. Are you incorporating beef into your Super Bowl experience? If so, we want to know about it! Be sure to include #SuperBeef with all of your beef pictures, tweets and status updates.

God bless, folks!

Kalyn McKibben

Blonde Beef Babe


9 Quick 2014 Beef Facts That May Surprise You


1.The average beef producer age is 58.3 years old. This growing age reflects the importance of encouraging younger generations to get involved in the ranching tradition.


Meet Mr. Dan Adcock. This young man comes from a long line of ranching tradition. Him and his 11 brothers and sisters all pursued lives in the cattle business. #itsafamilything



2.The 2014 U.S. cowherd was 95 million head, down 3% from 2012.


The dwindling cow herd encourages industry members to develop innovative ways to do more with the resources we have available.


3. The top five beef producing states are 1) Texas 2) Nebraska 3) Kansas 4) California and 5) Oklahoma. 

oklahoma beef council

I sure am proud be an Okie!


4. More than 5.6 billion pounds of U.S. beef were exported in 2014.

Consumers all over the world demand American beef because they are confident we can produce safe, wholesome and nutritious protein.


5. Top U.S. beef export markets include Canada, Japan, Mexico, South Korea and Hong Kong.

Globally, we offer consumers options. From grass finished to grain finished, we offer it all.


6. 25.8 billion pounds of U.S. beef were produced in 2014.

That’s a lot of beef!


7. 25.5 billion pounds of U.S. beef were consumed in 2014.

Family Enjoying A Barbeque

Nothing brings families and friends together like a delicious cooked-to-perfection steak. Yum!


8. The average U.S. beef herd size is 40 head.

woman beef production

Contrary to what many may think, cow herds are often smaller scale and operated by families.


9. Cattle receipts added $44 billion to the economy in 2014.


The beef industry supports more than just families. It supports international trade and rural America.

For more interesting beef industry facts, feel free to visit!


God bless, folks!


Kalyn McKibben

Blonde Beef Babe


10 Lessons I Learned as a National Beef Ambassador

I think it goes without question that my year as a National Beef Ambassador changed my life. Don’t believe me? A quick peek at my social media pages will help you see how much of a priority beef has truly become in my world. From simply  growing up on an Angus cattle farm in central Ohio, to having an immeasurable love and appreciation for beef cattle production all around the globe, it’s safe to say that beef production will forever intrigue me. Although I plan to never stop learning about the beef community, this year has certainly taught me a few valuable lessons. Here are the top ten things that I have learned from my year as a National Beef Ambassador.

10. Blue Cheese is delicious; especially on top of a steak!

Telling our beef story at the National Cattlemen's Convention in Nashville.

Telling our beef story at the National Cattlemen’s Convention in Nashville.

9. The beef community doesn’t need advocates, it needs story tellers.

8. Asking a person what  questions they have will get you twice as far as telling them the answer to a question you assume they have.

7. Delaware Valley College is actually no where near Delaware… it’s in Pennsylvania.

6. It is 100% possible for college students to enjoy beef on a budget.

5. Blogging was surprisingly awesome! I’m excited to say I never missed a single entry.

4. Airplanes and airports generate some of the most interesting conversations about beef; talk about a “captive” audience!

Promoting East Coast beef production at the Pennsylvania Farm Show

Promoting East Coast beef production at the Pennsylvania Farm Show.

3. It doesn’t matter what “kind” of beef a producer decides to raise, whether it is conventional, organic, natural, grass-finished or grain-finished. Beef is beef, and all areas of the beef community should support and praise one another for providing such a wholesome and delicious product to a variety of consumer groups.

2. The young people in today’s industry are going to continue to make progressive and innovative changes to the beef community and agriculture, as a whole. I am so impressed by the ambitions and goals that today’s young agriculturalists have set for themselves, and I look forward to crossing paths with them again one day.


A selfie taken by the 2014 team on our final day as National Beef Ambassadors.

A selfie taken by the 2014 team on our final day as National Beef Ambassadors.

And #1…
1. No matter where life takes me, I will always be devoted to, and connected with, the beef community.

The experiences, lessons, and memories from this past year will continue to drive my passion for the beef community. While I close this chapter of my journey, I can’t wait to see what my next beefy adventure will entail!

Thanks for tuning in!

All For the Love of Beef,
Sierra Jepsen

Norwegian Agriculture

Last week, I had the opportunity to travel to Norway with my grandparents and aunt. While it was a leisurely trip (a graduation present from my grandparents), I couldn’t help but notice all the agriculture that was around us throughout our journey. I was very curious as to what Norway’s leading agricultural commodities were, so when I got home I did some research. Norway isn’t known for its agricultural production–in all honestly, Norway is mainly known for being cold and for the fjords (which are outstandingly awesome), but they do have some interesting production methods.

Norwegian Red Cow

Horned Telemark Cow

Fjords of Norway

Agriculture in Norway only accounts for 3% of the annual Gross Domestic Production, and only 2% of the land there is cultivated as farmland (roughly 2,000,000 acres) due to the cold climate and rocky, mountainous terrain. The leading crops in Norway are barley, wheat, oats, and potatoes.  A survey conducted in 2000 showed that there were 2.5 million sheep, 998,000 cattle, and 768,000 hogs in the nation. Over 95% of the farms in Norway are less than 125 acres in size including pastures and meadows. Hiring help is very difficult, mostly because laborers see no long term advantages to working on farms, so many farming families pursue other occupations, such as ones in forestry and fishing.  Two breeds of cattle originated in Norway: Norwegian Red and Telemark. Norwegian Red cattle are used for dairy, and are desirable for their wide range of health and fertility traits. Telemark cattle are also primarily a milking breed, but do not grow to be very large. Though Norway does produce some agricultural products domestically, a majority of their food and ag commodity sources are imported.

I had such a great time in Norway and loved learning about their agricultural production methods. While it’s a beautiful country, I am glad to be home to our ranch in California.


Have a great week!



Meals For Monday: World Cup Style!

The World Cup came to an exciting conclusion yesterday as Germany defeated Argentina 1-0 in their second overtime. These teams have played extremely well throughout the tournament and are extremely deserving of celebration; why not do it with beef? Here is a simple recipe to try tonight for dinner that will really score with your family!
Screen Shot 2014-07-14 at 8.35.24 AM
Argentina Beef Empanadas

1 lb lean (at least 80%) ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 can (14 1/2 oz) diced tomatoes with mild green chiles, well drained
1 box Pillsbury™ refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese (2 oz)
1 egg, beaten

Heat oven to 400°F. In 12-inch skillet, cook beef and onion over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until beef is thoroughly cooked; drain. Stir in chili powder, salt and tomatoes. Remove from heat.

On ungreased large cookie sheet, unroll pie crusts. Spoon about 2 cups beef mixture onto half of each crust, spreading to within 1/2 inch of edge. Top each with 1/4 cup cheese.

Brush edge of each crust with beaten egg. Fold untopped half of each crust over filling; press edge with fork to seal. Cut slits in several places in top of each; brush with beaten egg.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cut into wedges to serve.

All for the Love of Beef,
Sierra Jepsen

Beef Fuels Boston!

The past four days have been a whirlwind! Our National Beef Ambassador team paired up with the Pennsylvania Beef Council to promote beef to runners, nutritionists, and supporters at the 118th Boston Marathon.

We spent three days promoting beef while at the marathon convention.

We spent three days promoting beef while at the marathon convention.

Prior to arriving in Boston, I expected the main demographic of consumers to be vegetarian or vegan; little did I know how well beef was supported by these elite athletes! Just by having a presence at the marathon convention and passing out recipes and beef snack sticks, we received so much support and gratitude from runners, saying that they love beef and wouldn’t be able to perform without it. It was great hearing the stories of how some runners had once been vegetarian or vegan, however, returned to eating beef and other meat proteins once they realized how much their body and performance truly relied on it.

Jay, from Australia, used to be Iron deficient until he added more beef to his diet.

Jay, from Australia, used to be Iron deficient until he added more beef to his diet.

I was shocked at the number of international attendees who came to run in the Boston Marathon and was so excited to speak about beef with several runners from Australia, Italy, Russia and Europe. After three 10-hour days surrounded by over 110,000 people, the convention came to a close and it was time to focus our attention towards the actual race.

Boston runs on beef!

Boston runs on beef!

This morning, our team had the exciting opportunity to cheer on the runners at the finish line. We held signs supporting Team Beef and cheered on the elite runners and paraplegic competitors as they made their way down the final stretch.

It was so inspiring to hear the accounts and stories of all the competitors at the marathon on why they chose to run, how they prepared, and what their main motivation had been throughout those months. Congratulations to all those who ran in the Boston Marathon this year. Remember, there is no better way to refuel after the race than by eating a big, juicy steak!

All for the Love of Beef,
Sierra Jepsen