Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The 30-day Challenge

I’ve been a little absent from this blog lately – I did a great job capturing my trip to Israel this April – and am thankful to have the blog to go back and visit.  But then May hit.  I turned 40. Resigned from a 15-year stint at American Angus Association. Listed my house. And moved to Illinois to start the next chapter.  And with that new chapter came a lot of newness:  commute, job, renovated farm house, state fair and a crazy life, including Stan and Holly.  But I’ll catch you all up on that later.

The 30-day challenge is posed by my friend and one of the greatest writers I know, Holly Spangler.  Each November, she blogs daily with a theme in mind, and encourages others to do so too.  Holly is a great writer and captures rural Illinois and farm life for so many readers in the Prairie Farmer, and she has inspired me to take this as a way to get back to my “Thoughts on Life” blog.

So, for 30 days, starting Nov. 1, I’ll be recounting my Ranch Life Memories – a blog that discusses growing up on cow-calf operations in Nebraska – both in the Sandhills and in the Panhandle.  Yes, those were the “good ole days” and it will be nice to take a walk down memory lane during one of my favorite months of the year.

Please come back to visit, and  I’ll try to enlighten you a little how I got my start in the beef industry  running around barefoot in the corrals and wrangling cats and cows.  This is going to be fun!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Eat Beef: Convert a Vegetarian

Thank you social media for informing me that it is indeed World Vegetarian Day.  I won’t be celebrating this event, and if you want to, I hope you enjoy it to the fullest.  But the thought of it, triggered my memory to about 10 days ago when I helped the DeKalb-Kane Cattlemen’s Association distribute steak samples at the finish line of the Fox Valley marathon, half marathon and 20-mile race.  Justin Martz and I, along with other volunteers stood at the finish line for nearly five hours, shouting the following as we handed out bite-size samples of fresh off the charcoal grill top sirloin:

 “Zinc, iron, protein, B-12!”

“Refuel and rebuild muscle with beef!”

“Try one of beef’s 29 lean cuts!”

We answered questions about places to buy beef, how to prepare beef, and why the protein in beef is so important to athletes like those we were talking to.

More than once, we heard runners say that they had waited the entire race for their steak sample, or they remembered last year getting to the finish to eat beef or this was their favorite race because they knew there was steak at the finish line.

And more than once we heard the following while bite-size morsels were devoured:

“Oh, I’m a vegetarian, but I do need the protein.”

“I guess I’ll take a 5-minute break from being a vegetarian.”

“It smells so good. Guess I’ll  be a vegetarian tomorrow.”

But the one I liked best was this female runner who took this sample from the plate, put it in her mouth and exclaimed how good it was before asking what it was.  When beef was the answer, she hesitated above a nearby trash can to dispose of the partially chewed sample and said, “It tastes so good, and I’m a vegetarian,” and she kept on chewing!

My point is that so many people claim to be vegetarians, yet when tempted with something that smells great, tastes amazing and offers a definite health benefit, people were swayed.  Now, some people did flat turn us down due to their beliefs and good for them.  However, those who “took a break” from vegetarianism, are probably not that devoted to it.  They chose that way of thinking for different reasons.  But with that charcoal grill and cattlemen grilling fresh steaks behind the finish line – that was the last straw. 

Most of my readers are meatatarians.  And so am I.  Today I urge you to tell your beef story and share the health benefits with someone who is “unsure”…I can tell you the samples we were handing out looked much more tasty than the protein bars!