Baffled about beef?

By Alisha Nord, NDFB Southeast Field Representative

I love all things Angus! So any time I can help someone with their questions about beef, I’m more than happy to help!

Selecting the right meat at the counter isn’t always easy, and can sometime be frustrating. Don’t let this frustration turn you away from buying a great source of protein for you and your family.
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A couple tips to help you out:
– Look for marbling. These are the white flecks in the red meat. Marbling will melt during cooking to naturally flavor the meat.

Learn the cuts of meat. With a little studying, you’ll be able to learn the differences, making your meat buying experience much more enjoyable.

– Pick a new meat recipe every week. This will allow you more exposure at the meat case, cooking a new cut, and making meals easy!

Grilling
– Tenderloin roast, strip steak, sirloin steak, ground beef, back ribs, try-tip roast, tenderloin steak, t-bone steak, skirt steak

Roasting
– Top Round Roast, tai-tip roast, tenderloin roast, prime rib, english roast, strip roast, bone-in ribeye roast, church arm roast, bottom round roast

Sautéing
– Ground beef, sirloin steak, ribeye steak, tenderloin steak, t–bone, flat iron, filet mignon, hanger steak, ribeye filet

Baking
– Ground beef, ground chuck, ground round, ground sirloin

Braising
– Chuck roast, top round roast, brisket, beef for stew, back ribs, church flap, sirloin tip roast, shoulder clod roast, bottom round roast, rump roast, short ribs

A beautiful strip steak dinner
Doesn’t this look delicious? A beautiful strip steak dinner.

Trailer trip to Havana

By NDFB Director of Organizational Development, Joey Myers

Meetings are a part of my everyday life. Board meetings, committee meetings, staff meetings and county meetings. They all play an important part role in my job. Believe it or not, I love going to meetings, because I get to see my co-workers, state board members or our members, the farmers and ranchers.

This Tuesday was no different than the rest. I started out for our annual staff retreat up at the Coteau des Prairies Lodge by Havana, North Dakota. What a gorgeous place and the location can’t be beat. It is nestled on a hill overlooking God’s country.

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Looking east from the deck of Coteau des Prairies. Gorgeous view!

The only problem was it was a 5-hour drive from my house to get there.

When I looked up the location, I realized it was 15 miles from Bovagen (a cow embryo transfer facility). My boyfriend Scott flushes all his donor cows there and had mentioned the week before that he was thinking about bringing them all home for the winter.

So off to my meeting I go with a 24-foot aluminum trailer in tow. The funny part about showing up with a livestock trailer to one of our NDFB meetings? No one even thinks it is strange! In fact, my boss just asked what kind of animal I was pedaling that day. Earlier in the year, when I drove down to Sioux Falls for the Midwest Field Staff meeting, I put a show goat in the back of my pickup in a dog box.

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After the meeting concluded, I made the short drive down the road to Bovagen and I got all five of the donor cows (Dreamy, London, Steel Magnolia, Shania, and June) home safely and everyone is happy!

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Now off to the next meeting!

11 things I learned going to a PR Conference

Lisa Hauf
by Lisa Hauf, NDFB Director of Public Relations

My new position at NDFB as Director of Public Relations is a step I’m excited to be making. Part of any successful career is continuing to learn and I’m privileged to work for an organization that encourages growth and education.

Recently, I attended the PR Now & Next Conference in Chicago. I learned about public relation trends and even gained a few extra life lessons.

Chicago view

Here are some of the things I learned:

– Communication is ever changing. What we learn in one year or even in one month will change sooner than later. Read, engage and never stop learning.

– I knew more about Snapchat than most all other attendees (I’m still debating if this is a positive thing).

– Get to know people and connect with them. Building relationships is a must in any career.

– Take, at a minimum, the full dosage of Dramamine when you get motion sickness, are 19 weeks pregnant with nausea and are flying around storms.

– Pertaining to my point above: be sure to have a barf bag handy.

– Humor is a great mechanism to use when you find yourself awkwardly holding a used barf bag while the airplane taxis for 15 minutes and you are sitting next to a stranger.

– Greasy Chinese food will make you feel better. I promise.

ChineseFood

– Back to communications — Artificial intelligence is present and going to become more integrated into our daily lives.

– Technology changes rapidly and that means our jobs are changing rapidly. Don’t be afraid to learn and to transform with it, but always stay grounded to your beliefs.

– Professionals in the communication world have different opinions, ’cause let’s face it, communication in general is often about one’s opinion. But there were some common themes: stories and feelings. Keep those two words in mind when forming your opinion.

– Be prepared for weather delays when flying through Chicago — I repeat — be prepared for weather delays when flying through Chicago.

Getting to know…

Our newest employee, Amy Madsen, is the NDFB Administrative Specialist in the Bismarck office. She shares a little about herself in this week’s blog.

I was born and raised on a crop farm near Butte, North Dakota. Having the privilege of growing up on a farm is something I will always be grateful for, along with being exposed to my dad’s work ethic.  He would work from sun up to sun down most days. He went to mechanic school to learn how to repair his own equipment better, faster, easier.  He would even sprint from the shop to the Quonset to save time. Being around his attitude of working until the work is done made an impact in my own life both at home and at work. 

Later in my life, I spent some time living in Idaho in the Boise area where I gained some incredible experiences and friendships but missed my family and the quiet way of life in North Dakota. I ended up moving back to the farm about 13 years ago.

Not long after, I moved to Mandan where I began raising my amazing son Ryan. He is going into middle school next year and is growing quicker than I care to acknowledge. He is my favorite traveling partner when we take road trips that do not involve interstates, which is one of our favorite activities. We also like to go camping and pretty much anything that involves spending time outside in the summer months.

Amy and Ryan

We purchased a home in north Bismarck and moved in just a few days after starting my job with NDFB. Two new and exciting chapters in my life.  I’m extremely excited to be a part of the NDFB family and the support we provide to farmers and ranchers!

To read the official announcement about Amy joining the NDFB staff, click here.

Small town, big cow

By Pete Hanebutt, NDFB Director of Public Policy

One of the true joys of living in a small rural community is the opportunity to be involved with neighbors as part of annual town or community celebration. The Spirit of the West Festival in Golden Valley County and the Music Fest in Langdon are just a few examples of local and regional events, festivals and celebrations which take place throughout the year in many areas of our state.

Since moving to New Salem, I’ve become active in the community, particularly with our kids’ school events and in 4-H. Our little part of paradise holds annual and seasonal events where everyone is encouraged to participate, sharing their talents and skills. New Salem hosts the Morton County Fair, a Christmas festival, a community garage sale, and many other activities.

Our town has an obvious theme. Anyone who has ever passed exit 127 on I-94 has probably noticed Salem Sue, the worlds’ Largest Holstein Cow. She stands proudly on a prominent hill at the edge of town watching over the center of North Dakota’s dairy industry. The civic leaders erected Sue in 1974 to celebrate the community’s ties to the dairy industry. She has since become a world-recognized land mark. Recently, Sue loomed larger than life over one of our town’s most enjoyable festivals: The Cow Town Hoe Down.

One endearing part of the Hoe Down is the annual Tractor Trek, which offers area farmers and collectors an opportunity to show off their restored collectable tractors. It’s a reflection of our past, celebrates agriculture and allows for a little bragging and pride of ownership. Many area residents participate by driving ‘grandpa’s tractor’ from Almont to New Salem as a way of kicking-off Hoe Down festivities.

Pete and Parker
Pete and son Parker at the Tractor Trek

I had the honor of driving an Allis Chalmers D10 in this year’s Trek. My son, Parker, drove an AC D15. Both tractors are owned by local farmer Jim Bahm who graciously allowed us to relive good memories about my Dad and his AC D17.

Pete, dad and son with tractor
Pete, Parker and Pete’s dad

One of the last good pictures I have of Dad is of him holding a then-four-year old Parker on the old Allis. It’s amazing the memories that came flooding back into my mind on that 15-mile drive. I didn’t miss the thousands of hours raking hay on the D17, but the sore backside I enjoyed after the Trek certainly reminded me of those days. The Hoe Down and the Tractor Trek also remind me of a simpler time and a slower pace; of seeing all the things we’re driving by but missing in our hurried lives.

I hope this summer or fall you have the opportunity to get involved in your local community, take the time to embrace your heritage, and reminisce a bit. Life will resume at its ever-quickening pace soon enough. Enjoy today at least for a little while.

Life lessons learned in the barn

By Joey Myers, NDFB Director of Organizational Development

It is officially county fair season and the North Dakota State Fair is around the corner. This is a fun time of year for both my family and NDFB member-families. I love seeing pictures of people with their kids and animals!

 Many life lessons are learned in the barn. Children are given the responsibility to take care of their show animals all summer long, leaving an impression on them for a lifetime. The children are getting up early every morning to feed their animals, wash their animals, walk their animals and feed them again every evening. While others are at the lake or pool, some children are at home making sure their animals stay cool in the hot summer temperatures.

4-H pigWinning and losing is a lesson taught to children at every age when showing animals, but with victory and defeat comes the lesson that hard work does pay off in the end. Through the wins and losses, the children learn the importance of respect. They respect their animals while taking care of them and they learn the value of respect for everyone, such as judges, 4-H officials, ring help, and other people involved at county fairs.

Friendships are also a key in showing livestock. I’ve gotten to know many people across the United States because of my livestock showing. Later in life, job opportunities might come available to those who made friendships in the livestock arena. People in the livestock industry are second to none — they are hardworking, passionate and genuine people. Why wouldn’t we want our kids around those kinds of people? S state fair

Last but not least is the family aspect of showing. With a world that is fast-paced and technology driven, it is fun to slow things down and spend time in the barn as a family. The nights get late, the work gets tiresome, the road is sometimes long when traveling to shows, but when it’s all said and done, these are the best memories our kids will have!!

Getting to know you…

Joey Myers is NDFB’s Director of Organizational Development. She oversees NDFB’s field staff and works with NDFB’s Promotion and Education Committee and Young Farmers and Ranchers Committee. She shares a little about herself on the My NDFB Life blog this week!

I grew up on a cattle ranch outside of Velva, North Dakota. A strong passion for animal agriculture was formed at a young age for me. My sister and I started showing livestock through 4-H and FFA. Though my mom would have loved for me to show horses — I grew to love showing pigs.

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(Pictured above: Like mom, like daughter. Joey’s mini-me, Dyllyn wins a ribbon showing her pig.)

Summer is an exciting time for my family.  This summer, my six-year-old daughter will be showing her fourth set of pigs! She started showing at the age of three and has become quite the showman over the years. Not only will she have pigs this summer, but goats, a ton of baby calves and even a horse named Pig. I believe raising kids on the farm is the absolute biggest blessing.

After completing my four-year degree at North Dakota State University, I moved to Iowa to sell livestock feed. My time in Iowa was educational and fun, but after a few years I moved back to North Dakota to be closer to family.

Fargo has been my home for many years and it has been a memorable experience. But ever since I moved away from my home ranch, I longed to go back. Now I have that opportunity and I will be moving back to central North Dakota this summer.

My love for agriculture never seems to end. Every night, we sit at our table and discuss what type of foods we are eating and what farmer produced it for us. It is important our youth know where their food comes from. That’s one reason I love my job at NDFB. I get to teach kids how farmers and ranchers put food on their tables.

The ability to educate the world about the nutritional foods farmers and ranchers provide should be a part of our everyday lives. I’m excited to have the opportunity to advocate for agriculture. 

 

 

If you give a Farm Bureau staffer a ladder…

You know that kid’s book,  “If you give a mouse a cookie.” It spawned a bunch of other books like “If you give a moose a muffin.” And “If you give a dog a donut.”

Well, I’m here to tell you, those critters have nothing on Farm Bureau’s creative staff.

If a Farm Bureau staffer, (namely Val Gordon, who has a wonderfully creative decorating side to her) sees a ladder in a second-hand store) she might think it would make a great coat rack for the Bismarck office.

But the ladder needs hardware on which to hang said coats. And a trip to a nearby hobby store produces no definitive results. So the ladder leans against a wall in the “media” room for a couple of months until another Farm Bureau staffer (namely Pete Hanebutt) takes it upon himself to move the project forward and purchase various hooks and knobs  to hang the coats on the ladder that needs to be hung on the wall.

He then brings his sons in on a weekend and assembles the hardware on the ladder and hangs the ladder on the wall.

(To the delight of the other two staffers in the Bismarck office, Lisa Hauf, and me, and everyone who stops in our office.)

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It is as much a conversation piece as a highly functional coat/hat rack.

I dare not imagine what they could do with a piece of machinery!!!

See what each member of the NDFB staff does for the organization at this link: Meet the NDFB Staff.