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.

BeefsBig10[1]

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!

finish

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

Beef Up Zucchini

Every fall, it seems like zucchini is always abundant from gardens. This recipe is a great way to beef up zucchini. Zucchini bread gets boring eventually.

Beef-Stuffed Zucchini Recipe

TOTAL TIME: Prep/Total Time: 30 min.
MAKES: 4 servings
zucchini
Ingredients
  • 4 medium zucchini
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup marinara or spaghetti sauce
  • 1 egg, beaten
  •  1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  •  1/4 teaspoon salt
  •  1/4 teaspoon pepper
  •  1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided
  • Additional marinara or spaghetti sauce
  1. Cut zucchini in half lengthwise; cut a thin slice from the bottom of each with a sharp knife to allow zucchini to sit flat. Scoop out pulp, leaving 1/4-in. shells.
  2. Place shells in an ungreased 3-qt. microwave-safe dish. Cover and microwave on high for 3 minutes or until crisp-tender; drain and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Remove from the heat; stir in the marinara sauce, egg, bread crumbs, salt, pepper and 1/2 cup cheese.
  4. Spoon about 1/4 cup into each shell. Microwave, uncovered, on high for 4 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Microwave 3-4 minutes longer or until a thermometer inserted into filling reads 160° and zucchini are tender. Serve with additional marinara sauce.

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.

sign

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.

shorthorns

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.

face

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

Show stock Lessons

When I was in 4-H, my parents always told me that showing livestock was a family affair. Although the animals were my project, working together as a family and receiving help from my parents throughout the summer show season was important.

While I was at the Ohio State Fair these past two weeks, I took a second to stop and look around at the families working together. I truly believe in the saying, “those that work together stay together.” Showing cattle was always more to me than just winning a purple ribbon or shiny trophy. Showing livestock teaches lifelong values and characteristics to the youth that they will always live by. Now that I am out of 4-H and have the chance to stand back and watch the up and coming generation of showman, I cannot help but reflect on the lessons showing livestock taught me, as well as watch these characteristics showcase in other youth.

  1. Hard work- the countless hours, days and night that are put forth to care for our livestock are unmeasurable. Eight a.m. show days come early in the morning when move in to the fair was finished up at midnight. Showing livestock teaches youth how to work hard with their project for success.

    drying

    Showing beef cattle requires youth to spend time in the barn washing and drying their animal. Patience, time, and practice are three motivational goals learned through working hard.

  2. Dedication- showing livestock requires dedication to not only feed and water the animals every day, but also work with and clean them daily. Livestock youth are dedicated to the well-being of their animals all hours of the day, in all types of weather.

    tying (2)

    Spending the time with ones project is important to teach it how to walk, set up, and get use to a change in surroundings. Youth must be dedicated to work with their project multiple days a week to get it ‘show ready.’

  3. Manners- Working together as a family taught me that “please” and “thank-you” go a long way. Although some days can be more stressful than others or the days that parents seem to be doing everything backwards from planned, being a part of the show stock industry teaches youth to thank their parents, siblings, other youth, 4-H and FFA advisors, and the judge for their help and hard work.
  4. Tears- Everyone always has the hope of walking out of the show ring being the champion, but like so many things, there can only be one winner. Showing livestock teaches youth how to win with dignity and loose with grace. More times than not tears have been shed because an animal misbehaved or I wanted to place higher in a class than I did, but through the tears, I learned to be grateful for what I did have and shake the hand of the winner.
  5. Love- showing livestock is about loving what you do and doing it because you love it. My last two years in 4-H, I found my happy place in the barn washing and blow-drying my projects. Spending so much time with the same animal allows you to learn their personality and become best friends. Showing livestock teaches you to not only love your animals, but love your family for being there with you every step of the way.

    spotlight

    Spending so much time with an animal throughout all weather conditions and throughout the highs and lows of every show allows you to become best friends. Learning the personality of your show animals and connecting with them in and outside of the ring can bring so much joy and happiness to youths’ life.

I could never express how truly grateful I am to have been given the opportunity to grow up on a farm and show livestock for numerous years. When I look back and reflect on the entirety of the years, the ribbons and banners won mean a lot, but the valuable lessons through experiences are treasures that have helped shape me into who I am today. I hope that as I begin to help the next generation of youth, as well as watch the youth working together with family and friends, they find value in the lessons showing their livestock will give, as I did throughout my years as a show stock kid.

Show cattle and smiles!
~Demi~

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!

special

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

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

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.

USDA-inspector[1]

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

 

Life Hacks: Beef Edition

Saving money is always a good thing! Here are some tips to save time and money.

  • Buy in bulk! I like to buy the bigger packages of hamburger or steaks because they are cheaper per pound.Steak USA
  • Separate and freeze! For steaks, wrap it in cling wrap as tight as possible. Then wrap it in butcher paper and label it with the date and what the package is. I like to put it into individual servings, because I am only cooking for myself. For ground beef, see the video below. 

     

  • During the week, I do not have a lot of time to prepare meals. I like to cook some ground beef and then freeze it. When I need some cooked ground beef for a recipe it is very simple to just pull it out of the freezer and microwave it and be ready to go.Steak USA
  • Plan your meals for the week. By getting organized, you can get the ingredients you need in one trip to the grocery store.

If you need some beef-spiration, check out this website!

Happy Meaty Monday!

Rachel Purdy
Princess Farmer