Thursday, September 30, 2010

Beef Industry - Adding Value

What do added value products mean to you? When you add value to something you improve it right? I think it is safe to say that the beef industry is in the business of adding value. We have got to be, to increase efficiency, yields, and demand. What ways do we add value? Well the "Meat Geeks" would probably tell you the the best way that we add value is by taking cuts now being ground into filler meats or ground beef, cutting them differently and marketing them as "added-value" cuts of beef. I.E. Denver steaks, flat iron steaks, fajita meat etc. They are right! New product development is a very important way to ensure quality affordable products for all consumers, however, I am not sure that this is the only way that we (the beef industry) add value to our products.

Photo Via

When we are able to tell consumers the story behind the products they purchase in the grocery store, we are adding value correct? At that point, they are no longer just purchasing protein, but they are purchasing American Beef raised by families just like theirs. They now have a sense of community, a sense of security and maybe even a sense of American pride. We add value to our products when we tell our stories and consumers fell like they are a part of something. They ARE part of something, a very important part in my opinion. Let's tell our story! The story of families like yours working very hard day in and day out to raise quality beef for all Americans. It's a great story, let's shout it from the roof tops!

Photo Via Stephanie Russell & I am Agriculture Proud

Another way the beef industry adds value to our products is through innovation and education. Our industry works very hard to develop new ways of preparing beef and then works equally hard to share those ideas with consumers. We believe that if we can help you to understand how to best prepare beef, you will have a pleasurable experience more consistantly. "The beef industry is not in the protein business, we are in the pleasure business." Dr. Tony Mata.

Photo Via

So lets look at this... Not only does the beef industry develop new products to help keep retail costs down, let you meet the people behind the steaks, but then also helps you to understand how to prepare them! I think that's AMAZING! So why not beef? Beef is lean, light and right tonight!

What are some ideas that you have to add value? Share them with me!

Happy Trails,

~ Anna-Lisa

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Wacky Wednesday - Consumer Perception

Welcome to Wacky Wednesday! Quite a few bloggers have wordless Wednesdays, which is a great idea, but I am very rarely short of words so I have decided to have Wacky Wednesday! Look forward to random cartoons, lame jokes or ironic statements to come from me on Wednesdays! Today's Wacky Wednesday is all about consumer perception. I had the opportunity to listen to Dr. Tony Mata, a consultant for the NCBA Beef Innovations Group. Dr. Mata's sense of humor is very similar to mine and so one of the slides from this morning's presentation I just couldn't wait to share with y'all! Beef carcasses can be cut into a few commodity chunks of meat. From those commodity chunks, individual cuts are created and then sold in retail stores. Some of those cuts have attractive names such as, New York Strip even french like Filet Mignon... others not so attractive. Check out some of the wacky, and weird names we have named cuts of beef!

Thank you Dr. Mata & The Beef Innovations Group. Hope you enjoyed the laughs! Happy Trails Y'all!


Monday, September 27, 2010

Grocery Store Convenience - Beef Too!

Convenience at the grocery store is a big deal. Let's face it for college girls like me finding time to go to the grocery store is hard enough, let alone finding hours of time to spend preparing meals. I live 5 minutes from Walmart and here lately only go every two weeks. I just don't have much time to spend in the store. So I purchase things that are quick and easy to fix, delicious and of course BeefonaBudget friendly.

Today when I went to the grocery store I was very encouraged to find two new beef favorites. The first you can find in the freezer section. Frozen breakfast sausage is nothing new to the quick and easy section of the grocery store. Pork breakfast patties and even turkey breakfast patties are commonly found in grocery store freezers across America. But did you know that there were frozen beef breakfast patties in the freezer too? In fact there are and they are wonderfully delicious. All you have to do,is slap them on a plate and pop them in the microwave for about 1 min. Quick tasty and delicious... perfect for running out the door and eating on the way to school! They are also great with eggs, for supper, or really any time in my opinion. If you have never tried these beefy gems I encourage you to!

The other current favorite of mine is called a Pecan Smoked Beef Link Sausage. They also can be bought at Walmart. You can find them between the hot dog and lunch meat section of the meat case. What I love about these sausages is that they are great several ways. I love them with eggs (I JUST LOVE EGGS I THINK) I also really like them with steamed vegetables, green beans, like a bratwurst, with sour krout, or even potatoes. You really could pair them with just about anything and they would be wonderful! There is just something about the pecan smoked beef that is oooober delicious! Check out your local stores for these two beef convenient favorites of mine.

Why do I want to be sure to point out convenient beef products? I love to share them with you because they are out there! I understand feeling overwhelmed at the grocery store because you want to buy beef but your schedule doesn't easily allow for proper planning in order to purchase traditional cuts of beef. I promise I get it, I also promise you that a busy schedule doesn't have to equate to chicken nuggets (which by the way are made primarily of chicken skin). I think that often we think we have to settle for other protein sources when in reality there are convenient beef products too they just maybe aren't on the forefront of our minds. The beef industry is working very hard to ensure that convenience no longer has to be a determining factor when deciding "What's for dinner"

What are your favorite easy prep beef foods? Share with me! I love to hear about them, get new ideas and test them out myself!

Anna-Lisa AnnaGiannini on Twitter

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Ranch Wife Guidelines

Girls this is pretty accurate!

Ranch wife 101 guidelines:

1. Always load your horse last in the trailer so it is the first one unloaded. By the time he's got his horse unloaded, you will have your cinch pulled and be mounted up ready to go - lessening the chance of him riding off without you with your horse trying to follow while you are still trying to get your foot in the stirrup.

2. Never - and I repeat never - ever believe the phrase "We'll be right back," when he has asked you to help him do something out on the ranch. The echoing words, "this will only take a little while" have filtered through generations of ranch wives and still today should invoke sincere distrust in the woman who hears them.

3. Always know there is NO romantic intention when he pleadingly asks you to take a ride in the pickup with him around the ranch while he checks waters and looks at cattle. What that sweet request really means is he wants someone to open the gates.

4. He will always expect you to quickly be able to find one stray in a four-section brush-covered pasture, but he will never be able to find the mayonnaise jar in four-square feet of refrigerator.

5. Count every head of everything you see - cattle especially, but sometimes horses, deer, quail or whatever moves. Count it in the gate, out the gate or on the horizon. The first time you don't count is when he will have expected that you did. That blank eyelash-batting look you give him when he asks "How many?" will not be acceptable.

6. Know that you will never be able to ride a horse or drive a pickup to suit him. Given the choice of jobs, choose throwing the feed off the back of the pickup. If he is on the back and you are driving, the opportunity for constant criticism of speed, ability and your eyesight will be utilized to the full extent. "How in the *@*# could you NOT see that hole?"

7. Never let yourself be on foot in the alley when he is sorting cattle horseback. When he has shoved 20 head of running, bucking, kicking yearlings at you and then hollers "Hold 'em, hold 'em" at the top of his lungs, don't think that you really can do it. Contrary to what he will lead you to believe, walking back to the house is always an option that has been used throughout time.

8. Don't expect him to correctly close the snap-on tops on the plastic refrigerator containers, but know he will expect you to always close every gate. His reasoning, the cows will get out; the food will not.

9. Always praise him when he helps in the kitchen - the very same way he does when you help with the ranch work - or not.

10. Know that when you step out of the house you move from the "wife" department to "hired hand" status. Although the word "hired" indicates there will be a paycheck that you will never see, rest assured you will have job security. The price is just right. And most of the time you will be "the best help he has" even if it is because you are the ONLY help he has.