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.
IMG_0056
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.

20170808_150425
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.

cow 1

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!

cow 2

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.

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!!

Our fine four-legged friends

By Caroline Jacobson
Northwest Field Representative

In my short tenure with NDFB, I’ve had a chance to explore country that I would have never been able or had reason to explore. In our great state, there exists quite a variety of farms and ranches. From humongous grain farms that have two combines parked in the shed, to the hobby ranch that has three cows in the backyard, I’ve found one common tie. And no, it is not the awesome Farm Bureau members who live there, but rather, their dogs.

After seeing them at 95 percent of the places I’ve visited, I don’t think I’m unique in my love for dogs. I’d be willing to bet many of you own them for this very reason, if not for the various other purposes they serve.

When trained well, they can be a useful tool. Maybe you utilize them to herd your livestock, or maybe you use them to alert you when visitors come in your yard. They might help you flush and retrieve birds in the fall, or just keep you company in the cab on those endless laps around the field. Whatever rationale a person uses to justify their four-legged friend, I think farm dogs are an integral part of any operation.

For some folks, a dog might not be a viable option, and that’s okay too. Personally, though, I feel very fortunate that I’ve had one around my whole life. I can’t imagine coming home and not seeing that tirelessly happy face and wet nose bounding right for me. I even went out to play a quick game of fetch prior to writing this, just for a little extra inspiration. Hopefully some of my corny ramblings rang true for you.

I look forward to meeting many more pups in my travels, and please, give Fido a scratch for me.

What does a 5th-grader think about ag?

Modern agriculture is a mystery to a lot of people.

Myths abound.

That’s why NDFB provides information about why farmers and ranchers do what they do for people who want to learn the truth.

It’s not easy. To be honest, sometimes it feels like the negative voices are louder and more convincing.

Then something like this comes across your desk; from a fifth-grade student mind you.

Ramsey - Molly Olson 2

And you do a happy dance. Then you have to share, because, well, doggone it, she’s in fifth grade. And she gets it!

What does agriculture mean to me?

By Molly Olson

Agriculture affects my life in a positive way. It makes my life better, and healthier. Agriculture provides me with food, drink, clothing along with other everyday uses. Some of the examples of food that I can get from agriculture are: meat from cows, pigs, lambs and chickens to name a few. Cows also provide me with milk to drink. Cows and pigs provide me with leather that can be made into gloves, shoes, belts, baseball mitts, footballs, basketballs, saddles, etc. We get cotton and wool for shirts, pants, socks, underwear, sheets for your bed and sweaters. Agriculture also provides fruit for us to eat. Agriculture is also important to insects and animals. Agriculture also uses and needs bees for pollination. Animals like deer can eat the corn as well as use it to hide in.

Agriculture plays a huge role to my state of North Dakota as well as many other states. My grandparents plant wheat, which is harvested to be made into flour, as well as durum which is used to make pasta. The flour is then used to make bread and cakes. They also plant hay crops to feed various livestock.

Agriculture creates a large amount of jobs; from the farmer/rancher who will need to hire people to help him/her, the equipment dealerships, to the diesel that the farmer will buy to run his/her equipment. The farmer/rancher will hire people to help plant and harvest the crops. The dealerships hire people to sell equipment, mechanics to fix the equipment and to the parts people. This helps the economy by providing the stores with food that is sold to you and me, the consumer. No matter what we choose to do with our lives, we would not be able to survive without agriculture.

Each and every day, each person on this earth has had to buy some product of agriculture to get them out the door for school or work. At breakfast this morning, all of my food came from some form of agriculture, along with the clothes that I have on, as well as our books, papers and pencils to use in school. As you can see, agriculture is extremely important to our survival.Ramsey - Molly Olson

Ramsey County Farm Bureau sponsored the “What does agriculture mean to me?” essay contest that produced this winning essay. The contest was open to all fifth and sixth grade students in Ramsey County. Molly won $50 from Ramsey County Farm Bureau for her efforts.

If there are more like Molly (and we’re pretty sure there are), the future of agriculture is in good hands.

Best Main Street sign EVER

Small town. Heart of the city. Classic cars. Hometown football. Friendly people. Dragging (or cruising) Main.

More often than not, when you hear the words “Main Street” you are whisked back to that time in your life when you were staking out your independence via four wheels and a carload of friends.

For most of us who grew up in small towns across North Dakota, Main Street (even though it might be an avenue) was where fond memories were made. In bigger cities, like Dickinson and Bismarck, cruising Main was what teenagers did on a Friday and Saturday night.

Sometimes, even when the town didn’t HAVE a street named “Main” they called it that anyway. And sometimes, Main Street wasn’t really a street. Which brings us to the purpose (if there is one) of this post.

NDFB’s Instagram account features a #Friday #mainstreet photo from places around the state. The photos always include the “Main” sign and some feature of that Main Street.

So without further ado, we share the best Main Street, North Dakota sign as seen through the NDFB lens (at least the places that have been visited by the NDFB lens) in the last eight months:

Best Main Street photo everThis is a real place in North Dakota. It isn’t identified on Google Maps as Main Street, but if you look at the satellite imagery, there it is. 47.414257, -99.628834

Follow us on Instagram and get your Friday dose of Main Street, North Dakota!

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.

ribbon

(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.