Stop, Watch, and Listen

When it comes to being a part of the beef industry, there are multiple facets that one can be a part of; the beef producer, the advocate, and the shower. Most youth would agree that the best part of showing cattle is not the colorful rope halters or show sticks, the daily washing and blow drying, or the sparkles on the jeans as a part of the wardrobe, (although all fun pieces of showing) but the facet of showing the animal that so much time and dedication is put in to. There is no better feeling than walking into the ring and having your steer or heifer behave and do everything you have practiced at home; and taking home a ribbon, trophy, or banner always adds an extra sparkle and rewarding memory to the experience. However, there is more to beef cattle than just showing. One must take the time to watch and listen to effectively learn and improve upon their skills and tactics.

bling

Sparkles, fancy boots, and added color are just fun extras of showing cattle, the real fun is showing off the daily hard work once you walk into the show ring.

This past week and upcoming week are filled with days spent at the Ohio State Fair working a putt putt course that helps to give scholarships to college students, as well as watching beef cattle shows and talking to fair goers and youth about the beef industry.

As I walked into senior showmanship the other morning, I could not help but notice the array of younger kids standing ringside or sitting in the bleachers watching their older peers and the judge as they battled for the top showman position. I have learned throughout my years of showing that you can learn just as much outside the ring than you can standing in it.

From the point of view of looking at the situation of each individual showman from an outward appearance, you have the ability to watch others and nitpick on their showmanship tactics and skills and learn what you yourself should do or try to help make your show animal look better for the judge. By standing or sitting back, you also have the ability to see multiple showers and animals and watch and compare, as well as learn what the particular judge judging the show likes and does not like. It is important as you watch, listen, take notes, and learn to keep open perspective of how others show. All animals entering the show ring have different personalities and were raised in different environments, and the same goes for the showers. Some showman learned different tactics than others and while watching a show it is most important to simply study how other showman work around the space in the ring and keep their animal calm to show their best to the judge.

heifer in chute

Youth of the beef industry taking the time to attend a show clinic to learn some tips and tricks prior to showing their animals.

Taking the time to watch, at whatever age of shower, parent, or spectator you might be, allows you to BE THE JUDGE. This is one of the most important parts of watching a show. You have the ability to watch the same show as the judge and formulate your own reasons and opinions for placing the way you choose, and by doing this you learn what is most important to you while showing and then as a shower yourself you can start implementing that piece. It is also important to really take the time to listen to the judges’ reasons for placing the way he did because you learn what he is and is not looking for in the showers.

little girl

Youth of all ages can engage in shows and learn from watching others and listening to the judge give reasons for his placements. Taking the time to stop, watch, and listen can really pay off in the end!

The best way to learn is to watch and listen multiple times, as well as learn to be the judge yourself. It is amazing how much one can learn by taking the time to step away from the halter and take the time to stand ringside.

 

Happy Tuesday!

Demi

 

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

Why I am Crazy About Cattle

When you are overwhelmingly passionate about something it can sometimes be difficult to translate that passion into words. Here is my attempt to articulate my passion.
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My passion for the beef community started when I took my first breath. Growing up on a multi-generation ranch, work was not an option. Even before I could walk, I was riding in the feed truck with my dad. Jobs started at a young age, because we needed the help. Regardless of the size of the job, each was critical to the success of our family business.
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God gave me something very special when He gave me my passion. I am who I am today because of my involvement in the beef community. From caring for sick cattle, I learned compassion. From working alongside my relatives, I gained unbreakable bonds with my family. From watching my father work, I learned how to learn. From watching cattle die, I learned what death is. From taking instruction, I learned how to listen. From making mistakes on the ranch, I learned the importance of constructive criticism. From watching my father in business deals, I learned integrity. From old ranchers, I learned the importance of a firm handshake and confident eye contact. From persevering through the rough times, I gained character. From pulling baby calves in the middle of the night, I learned dedication.  From being surrounded by the breathtaking beauty of creation, I learned how big God is. All the good and bad times – they have helped cultivate me into who I am today.
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It breaks my heart to walk the halls with seniors in college who have absolutely no idea what they want to do in life. They wake up in the morning feeling complacent with no direction and no motivation, and go to sleep feeling hopeless and lost. I wish I knew how to gift or teach these people passion. I wish I could give them something that would spark in them a flame, something that would get them out of bed in the mornings, something that the very thought of not taking action would make them unbearably uncomfortable, but I can’t instill that. Each person must find that individually.
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I had every intention of giving you three simple bullet points about why I love beef, but my passion goes much deeper than a few bleak sentences; rather it is tied to every fiber of my being. So for me to put it into words is for me to truly reflect my innermost motivations.
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Moral of the Story: Yes, I consider myself very blessed to have an overwhelming passion for the beef community that motivates me to work very hard to make a positive difference every day. But whether you are passionate about helping people, organizing files, working with technology, or anything, find what gets you out of bed in the morning.

God bless, folks!

 

Kalyn McKibben

Blonde Beef Babe

 

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

City Lessons

I have been loving life in Washington, D.C. this summer. I have met amazing people, seen phenomenal things, and learned a lot! Life is much different than I’m used to here. The population in the district (not counting the surrounding area) is more than the entire population of the state of Wyoming. Here are the biggest lessons I’ve learned:

  • Becoming disconnected from agriculture is really easy. It always shocked me when I would talk to people that had not idea where their food comes from. It was hard for me to realize how disconnected people can be from the food system while living so connected to agriculture at home. At the national zoo, they had cows and goats. I realized that for many kids (and maybe adults) those animals might be some of the only farm animals they have ever seen. Food is abundant at the grocery store. Not much thought is typically given to how that food gets to the store, or what the labels mean.

    It is easy to see why consumers get confused by labels and production practices.

    It is easy to see how consumers get confused by labels and production practices.

  • Rooftop gardens help, but they aren’t the ultimate solution. In many speeches and discussions, rooftop gardens have been brought up as a way to educate people about agriculture and where food comes from. Although they help start a conversation, I think that more work needs to be done. My building has a rooftop garden, and it is fun to see food growing.

    Rooftop

    My building’s rooftop garden.

  • Foodies are abundant! There are so many phenomenal restaurants here. The foodie movement is occurring!
    Yum!

    I have been enjoying all that D.C. has to offer, like this delicious Beef Barbacoa Burrito!

     

    Cities are a very different place than I am used to, but I have been thoroughly enjoying my time here! There are fabulous resources such as Facts About Beef available for consumers to learn more about beef.

Happy Meaty Monday!

Rachel Purdy
Princess Farmer

Don’t Break the Bank!

Up until this summer, I have never truly needed to cook for myself. I lived in student housing my first two years of college, and relied on the cafeteria to cook for me. This summer, I am living and working in Washington, D.C., so it was necessary for me to learn to shop for myself. Shopping for groceries, I have learned several lessons:

  • Plan Ahead. Set a budget before you go to the grocery store, and make a list. If I do not do those two things, I end up making several unplanned purchases.
Planning ahead saves time and money!

Planning ahead saves time and money!

  • Don’t shop on an empty stomach! If I shop without eating a meal beforehand, I end up buying a bunch of ready-made junk food instead of the groceries I went to the store to purchase.

Hungry

  • Do the math. Sometimes buying in bulk is a great way to save money! However, sometimes it costs the same or it might be more expensive. Be sure to compare the price per pound or ounce before picking a size.
It's important to look closer at the "deals."

It’s important to look closer at the “deals.”

  • Look at the nutrition label. A product might be cheap for a reason. It is important to look at the nutrition label to see how much nutrition the product provides, and at what cost. Beef for instance is very rich in protein, zinc, and iron. For only 8% of your daily calories, beef provides almost half of the daily value of protein.
Check out here

Check out this link for more information on beef nutrition.

  • Shop sales, and freeze for later. Especially with beef, you can freeze the product to extend the shelf life. The video below shows a great method for freezing ground beef for later.

If you do freeze beef for later, this chart shows how soon you should use that product by.

 

 

 

Freeze

 

What ways do you save money at the grocery store?

Happy Meaty Monday!

Rachel Purdy
Princess Farmer

Fighting for Freedom: Beef Edition

I hope everyone has recovered from a fun weekend of colorful fireworks, yummy hamburgers and family get-togethers. Independence Day is a wonderful reminder of the freedoms we enjoy as Americans, such as the right to bear arms, freedom of speech and freedom of religion. To maintain these freedoms, we are challenged to defend them.  In the same way, beef producers are faced with the challenge of defending their way of life every day.

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When it comes to our food supply, our desire for information is insatiable. As consumers, we want to know that our steak was happy and healthy when it was alive. No one understands the importance of that better than the beef producers themselves.

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Now more than ever, we are demanding transparency from agriculture producers. If those who produce the safe, wholesome and nutritious beef our families enjoy do not speak up, people who have no understanding of the business or animal welfare aspects of their operations will speak up for them. Producers cannot afford for their words or production practices to be misconstrued in anyway.

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There are many voices in the conversation about meat and food production. Our challenge as consumers is to tune out the “white noise “, or uneducated chatter, created by people who do not understand the logistics and fundamentals of beef production and animal welfare. To accomplish this requires us to research. Our fast-paced, constantly-connected society is guilty of being gullible. Our easily-convinced, drama-seeking nature is aligned to follow the societal norm, even when the information is false.

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Moral of the story: The beef producer’s number one concern is their cattle. Ranchers have a responsibility to do what reflects the best for the well-being of their animals. And in order to achieve that, they must maintain their freedom to produce healthy cattle.

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In order to meet the demand for transparency and protect their freedom to produce safe, wholesome and nutritious beef, producers must also do everything possible to tell their story. With the same token, consumers have the responsibility to research beyond the tabloid headlines and discover the truth about their food. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask! 🙂

#MeetYourMeat

 

God bless, folks!

Kalyn McKibben

Blonde Beef Babe

 

God Bless America

Nothing says Happy Fourth of July quite like a barbecue complete with family, friends, beef, sweet corn, and watermelon. Although I am having the time of my life at my internship this summer, I am a little bit bummed that I am missing the small town celebrations for the Fourth of July. Steak USAIn the rural community I am from, the Fourth of July is always a big celebration. The farmers and ranchers typically take the day off (after taking care of their cattle of course!). Family and friends get together to enjoy the fireworks and fellowship. It really is a fun time. Here are some fun recipes and dishes with a patriotic spin to enjoy at a Fourth of July barbecue.

  • July 4th Kabobs Recipe: This is a fun recipe because it includes red, white, and blue! I also love how quick the kabobs are ready. I like mushrooms and avocados on my kabobs, so experiment with your favorite vegetables to find a combination that you love.

    Yum!

    Kabobs are a refreshing and fun dish to prepare and enjoy.

  • Patriotic Beef Pinwheels: Pinwheels are one of my favorite appetizers. This recipe provides a unique blend of flavors in just four ingredients!

    Additional bonus: Fun patriotic colors!

    Additional bonus: Fun patriotic colors!

  • Burgers: They are always a favorite! If you want to add a patriotic flare, use a star shaped cookie cutter to make fun shapes.

    A fun twist on a favorite!

    A fun twist on a favorite!

  • Patriotic Taco Salad: Food doesn’t have to be boring, make it festive!

    Ready in just 30 minutes!

    Ready in just 30 minutes!

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Remember, ground beef needs to be cooked to 160, and steaks and roasts need to reach at least 145.

Although barbecues can be a lot of fun, be sure to take precautions to ensure the food is kept at a safe temperature.

Patriotic food can be really fun! I hope everyone has a safe and fun Fourth of July. As always, thank you so much to the brave men and women in uniform that keep our great country free. God bless America.

Rachel Purdy
Princess Farmer

Beyond Beef: Part 3

Today is the final part of the beyond beef series I have done the past few weeks. Steak does not have to take hours to perfect. Sometimes, you might want an Instagram worthy meal to show off to your friends. This recipe is perfect for that!

Succulent Filet in a Field of Greens

Yum!

Yum!

Total Recipe Time: 20 to 25 minutes
Makes 4 servings
INGREDIENTS

  • 4 beef Tenderloin Steaks, cut 1 inch thick
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 teaspoons minced garlic, divided
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 3 cups assorted wild mushrooms (such as cremini, oyster, shiitake, enoki and morel)
  • 2 cups red and/or yellow cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 2 tablespoons champagne or white wine vinaigrette
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup mixed baby salad greens

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Add mushrooms and 1 teaspoon garlic; cook and stir 2 to 4 minutes or until mushrooms are tender and browned. Remove to medium bowl; cool slightly.
  2. Meanwhile, combine remaining 2 teaspoons garlic and thyme. Press evenly onto beef steaks. Place steaks in same skillet over medium heat; cook 10 to 13 minutes for medium rare (145°F) to medium (160°F) doneness, turning occasionally. Remove to platter.

    Be sure to take the temperature of your steak to ensure you cook it to the desired doneness!

    Be sure to take the temperature of your steak to ensure you cook it to the desired doneness!

  3. Add tomatoes, salad greens and vinaigrette to mushrooms; toss lightly to coat.
  4. Season steaks with salt and pepper, as desired. Serve with salad.

My favorite feature of this recipe is that it is ready in under 30 minutes. The dishes for this recipe are also minimal, since the same skillet is used for the mushrooms and the beef. Tenderloin is my favorite cut of beef, so this recipe is one of my favorites. This recipe also enhances the umami flavor by pairing mushrooms and tomatoes with beef. The umami taste is described as meaty, savory and delicious. Although this recipe is so simple, it does not taste or look like a quick meal. It is a high quality eating experience.

Happy Meaty Monday!

Rachel Purdy
Princess Farmer

Life Lessons from Dad

This upcoming Sunday is a day that we will honor our fathers for the courageous acts they have fulfilled, the lessons they have taught us as their children, and most importantly the love they have provided throughout every year of our lives growing up. I feel very lucky and honored to have been blessed with such a wonderful dad; the head of the household, the partner to my mother for 27 years, and most importantly a man that has taught me countless lessons throughout the numerous activities including cattle shows, cross country and track meets, driving the tractors, becoming a college student, and learning how to stand for my values. In honor of the man that I have always looked up to as my “Prince” and the man that has taught me valuable life lessons, I wanted to share a few of them with my readers today.

1. Hard work is the foundation to success

Spud

Showing cattle has always been a big passion of mine, but without the Sundays putting the fan cage up in the barn or the weeknights having my dad act as the showmanship judge helping me practice before the fair, I would not have enjoyed, nor had the success I have had showing. This picture showcases a favorite memory of mine the year before I was in 4-H. My dad left work to watch me show my brothers dairy beef feeder “Spud” in peewee showmanship. He always told me that if I wanted to do well showing and prove to myself that I could do something I had to put in the dedication and hard work prior to the event.

2. In order to do your best in something you have to enjoy yourself or it isn’t worth it

Bluffton

As a collegiate runner my freshman year in college, my dad was my biggest supporter and ‘sideline coach’. Running was something that we bonded over ever since I started competing in 5th grade. There were many weekends that we spent running workouts together on the track in high school and my freshman year in college. As a collegiate runner, there were some meets that I remember getting down on myself because I did not compete the best that I had hoped I would. I always remember a part of the ‘pep talks’ he gave to me before a race including “you have a gift and a talent to run and if you do not enjoy yourself while competing than the activity is not worth it anymore.” He always made me realize that you have to enjoy life because we only get to live one.

3. Make the most of every situation because there is always something to learn

KHS

After finishing a cross country or track race I would always find my dad to recap the race and talk about what I should do better for the next competition. The end of both my junior and senior year of track however I broke my foot and was beyond disappointed I could not compete to the best of my ability in the conference and distract meets. In all situations, both the good and the bad, my dad tells me to look for the positive because God has a reason. From the two times breaking my foot I remember dad telling me to be grateful I will come off of this injury stronger and be able to still walk, run, and compete because not everyone has that ability.

4. Winners never quit and quitters never win

Expo

Showing livestock is the basis of this quote. Showman know the joys of winning and how hard it is to accept defeat. My dad has always been a firm believer in never quitting something I have started. He always reminded me that whether I won or lost in the show ring, on the cross country course, or on the track, I must congratulate my competitors and offer a “job well done”.

5. Everything happens for a reason

tractor pull

I am so grateful for the relationship my dad and I have. He has taught me countless lessons and reminded me to always have a smile on my face. Growing up running and showing cattle were my two main activities and through both of them he gave countless hours of support and guidance and continues to remind me to trust in The Lords plan because he has a reason for the paths we walk on.

I wanted to use this blog to not only honor my dad, but allow others to possibly learn from the lessons he has taught me throughout different events in my life. To all the fathers, Happy Father’ Day and to my wonderful, loving dad, thank you for all you have done and I Love You!

~Demi~