“Awesome Agriculture- Beef Cattle- an A to Z book” Book review

As  a Beef Ambassador I promote beef to all ages.  As part of my competition preparation last summer, I used this book to educate some young beef consumers all about Beef.

This book uses the alphabet to highlight all aspects of the beef industry and lots of info about beef cattle.  From defining agriculture, pictures of breeds, and explaining sources of beef cattle feed, this book has lots of pictures for youngers to really learn about where their food comes from.  There is even a recipe activity to make a tasty snack using beef.

My favorite pictures has to be the mama and calf, so sweet!  If you are working with children, reading a book with pictures is a wonderful way to help them learn about agriculture and the beef industry.  Check with your library, university extension office or order here.

Always learning about beef,



-Ohio State Buckeyes 4 Beef!-

What happens when you combine a newly chartered collegiate organization, a burning passion for the beef cattle community, and an excitement to share that passion with the students of your college university? The Buckeyes4Beef Ohio State campus event!

It was so exciting to see OSU students writing positive notes about beef and posting them to our #BeefBuzz Board

It was so exciting to see OSU students writing positive notes about beef and posting them to our #BeefBuzz Board

Buckeyes4Beef took place this past weekend on my college campus, The Ohio State University. Through the efforts of the Collegiate Cattlewomen’s Club of Ohio State, the 2014 National Beef Ambassador team, and funding provided by the Beef Checkoff, our team of beef enthusiasts was able to successfully execute the largest beef promotion event to ever hit the city of Columbus.

National Beef Ambassador, Rachael Wolters plays beef trivia with Ohio State's mascot, Brutus the Buckeye.

National Beef Ambassador, Rachael Wolters plays beef trivia with Ohio State’s mascot, Brutus the Buckeye.

Buckeyes4Beef was divided into two days. On Friday, our event was held on a large grassy space in the center of campus, which we call the Oval. On the Oval, our group spent the day playing games, such as Meet Your Meat, Beef Busters, Who’s the Heifer, and Size Up Your Servings, and sought opportunities to have genuine conversations with our peers about their concerns involving the beef community. During the event, we collected surveys, asking students one question of whether their opinion about the positives of beef had improved, remained the same, or decreased after their time at the Buckeyes4Beef event. Of the 58 students surveyed, 78% said that their opinions had improved, and 22% said their feelings had not changed. Pretty awesome statistics!

Congratulations to our Take-the-Steak champs, the Buckeye Dairy Club!

Congratulations to our Take-the-Steak champs, the Buckeye Dairy Club!

On Saturday, the Buckeyes4Beef event continued with a tailgate during the Ohio State vs. Kent State football game. During the tailgate, our team served all-beef hot dogs to football fans and handed out fun beef prizes. The most exciting part of the tailgate was the “Take-the-Steak” competition; a Chopped- style cook-off where collegiate clubs and organizations formed teams to show off their beef grilling and culinary skills. After three rounds of tough competition (and a lot of really great beef) it was a pleasure to award the Buckeye Dairy Club with the Take-the-Steak trophy and the grand prize; a steak dinner for 20!

All in all, Buckeyes4Beef was a huge success. After assessing attendance of the two events, I estimate that we were able to reach approximately 700 students and tailgaters with our event, not to mention the #BeefBuzz that was exploding throughout Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. It was such an amazing experience to work with our newly chartered Collegiate Cattlewomen’s club to put on this event, especially considering the entire production was planned before we have had our first official club meeting. It just goes to show how impactful a group of millennials can be when we set out to share our passions. Eat Beef and Go Bucks!

All for the Love for Beef,
Sierra Jepsen

All Hat No Cattle

My guest blogger today is Mrs. Lisa Smartt. Mrs. Smartt is a woman who loves to laugh! Born in a small town in West Kentucky, she now writes a weekly newspaper column from her home outside Dresden, Tennessee. She lives on 16 wooded acres with her husband, two sons (who sometimes fight), a cat who desperately needs Prozac, and two German Shepherd Huskies. Her husband is one of the profs at my school and she often is a guest speaker at student events. You can visit her blog The Smartt View.

All Hat No Cattle

When I was in college, I traveled with a friend to visit her family in Alabama. We both got ready for church on Sunday morning. But when my friend walked down the stairs, her very sophisticated beautiful mother said with a pure Alabama drawl, “Dahlin’, that dress is as wrinkled as a dog’s behind.” I had never heard that saying. I laughed out loud but not too loud. I didn’t want her mama to say, “Your friend is louder than a cicada at bedtime.”
I’ve been known to use my own unusual phrases when it comes to children. “Give me a hug, you little cheesy biscuit.” “Come on over here, you little cocoa bean.” “I could just pour you on a pancake and eat you for breakfast.” I know. I know. There’s a definite food theme at work in my personal life. Can we just choose not to over-analyze that right now? Yeah, thanks. I don’t want to be as depressed as a turkey the day before Thanksgiving.
I’ve always been fascinated with southern sayings or western wisdom. I recently heard for the first time a phrase that I absolutely love. All hat and no cattle. A brilliant picture in a few simple words. Because I’ve spent most of my life in the great state of Texas, I can assure you that a big expensive cowboy hat doesn’t always indicate a ranch full of cattle. Sometimes the biggest hats are worn by suburban residents who eat scones, drink cappuccino, and never get their hands dirty. And sometimes those with the most cattle wear old unimpressive hats which mark them as a commoner not a cattle baron.
But of course we all know that the term “All hat and no cattle” is not about hats or about cattle. It’s about something far deeper. When speaking to young people, I often exhort them, “The more time you spend telling people how awesome you are, the less likely they are to believe it.” The more you work on your outward impression, the less time you’re able to devote to your inward character. When someone who is deeply in debt drives a big expensive car it’s an example of all hat and no cattle. When a person brags about his high-paying job it always sounds like all hat and no cattle. Why? Because people with high-paying jobs don’t tend to talk like that. When someone constantly explains the sheer brilliance of their child in comparison to all the “regular” children out there, it’s an example of all hat and no cattle. Insecurity tends to produce that kind of jargon.
As a true Texan, I can tell you that a well-crafted cowboy hat is a beautiful thing. Impressive. The problem? You can’t eat a cowboy hat. Someone somewhere has to own a field of cattle. But I’m not worried. God owns the cattle on a thousand hills. And that thought makes me happy. Happier than a pig in slop. (Again, don’t over-analyze that please.).

Thanks, Mrs. Lisa!


Bring Beef to Your Tailgate!

It’s finally football season! The long stretch of winter basketball, spring baseball and summer soccer has finally brought us back to the main event. While fans from across the nation may have different ways of showing their team spirit, it can be unanimously decided that tailgating will be at the heart of every college and professional football game this fall. Here are my top 5 picks for the best tailgating dishes to feature on game day:Screen Shot 2014-09-07 at 10.46.51 PM

1. BBQ Beef Sandwiches
2. Three Bean Chili
3. Walking Tacos
4. Cheeseburger Quesadillas
5. Sloppy Joe’s

When it comes to tailgating, beef really scores! Whether you need a light snack or a full meal, you can’t go wrong when beef is what’s for dinner.  Check out Beef Pro’s on Pintrest for more great beef tailgating recipes.

All for the Love of Beef,
Sierra Jepsen

California Fires

Smokey sunset

Smokey sunset

This week, I’d like to give a short update on the fires in Northern California, which are currently the largest and most destructive fires in the nation. They are right in my back yard, some less than 15 miles away from my house. Currently, the “July Complex” (which was burning in the he Marble Mountain range that surrounds my valley) has been mostly put out, but burned nearly 50,000 acres, and the “Happy Camp Complex” is still burning. The Happy Camp Complex has now burned around 100,000 acres of wilderness and is only 30% contained. The state and nation have spent nearly $55 million on this fire alone, and there are over 75 crews of firemen on the fire (almost 3,000 firefighters). Though no lives have been lost, hundreds of people have been under evacuation warning and some under mandatory evacuation. Scott Valley (the valley where I live) has been filled with smoke for most of the summer.
Many cattlemen, my family included, send their cattle to the mountains for the summer, and many of those cattle have been in direct danger of the fires. Cattle generally know to stay away from fires and don’t usually burn, but if they’re surrounded, they could have no other option. Naturally, farmers and ranchers with cattle in the mountains have been terrified for the lives of their livestock. Some of our close friends had to go bring their cattle back to the valley prematurely because they were going to be surrounded by fire. The constant threat on the lives of residents and livestock is hard to live with, but the community has responded to this issue with overwhelming support. It’s awesome to see neighbors coming together in a time of crisis.
More information on the fires can be found www.inciweb.nwcg.gov. Keep those in danger and those fighting these fires in your thoughts!

Have a great week,



Beefy Mexican Lasagna

Back to school time calls for hearty meals that are tasty and satisfying. This is a family favorite my mother found in a community newsletter several years ago.

1.5 pounds ground beef
1 medium yellow or red onion
9 corn or 5 flour tortillas
2 10 oz cans mild enchilada sauce
1 (15 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cups frozen corn
1 t. cumin
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar or Mexican blend cheese
2 T fresh cilantro, chopped
crushed tortilla chips

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Brown ground beef and onion in skillet.
2. Combine in a large bowl- black beans, corn and cumin, mix well.
3. Spray 11 3/4″x 7 1/2″ baking dish with non-stick spray. Arrange 2-3 tortillas on the bottom, cutting as needed. Spread 1/3 of meat/ onion mixture and 1/3 of bean/ corn mixture over tortillas. Repeat 2 more times until all ingredients are used. Top with enchilada sauce.
4. Cover with foil. Back 30 minutes.
5. Uncover. Top with cheese, cilantro and tortilla chips. Return to oven for about 5 minutes to melt cheese.
6. Enjoy with green salad, hot veggies and dessert.

Additional info: This can be put together in the morning and stored in the refrigerator until afternoon. Cooking time may be increased a few minutes.

Hope you enjoy this,


Labor Day Beef Kabobs

Happy Labor Day, beef lovers! Although it is nice to have a day off work and without classes, Labor day always brings a little air of sadness because it officially signifies that summer has ended, school has begun, and fall is already in the air. So as one final tribute to summer, let’s cook up one of the most treasured summer time recipes; Beef Kabobs!Screen Shot 2014-08-29 at 7.53.17 AM

Teriyaki Beef Kabobs
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 large garlic cloves, crushed
2 teaspoons dark sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 lb boneless beef top sirloin
1 (19 ounce) can pineapple, drained
1 green bell pepper
1 red bell pepper
4 skewers

1.) Cut your beef into bite sized cubes

2.) Whisk brown sugar, soy sauce, garlic, sesame oil, and ground ginger together in a bowl; pour into a gallon-sized sealable plastic bag. Add beef, coat with the marinade, squeeze out excess air, and seal the bag. Marinate in the refrigerator for 2 hours, flipping the bag several times as the meat marinates.

3.) Begin soaking your skewers in water; this will prevent them from burning when on the grill.

4.) Prepare your fruits and vegetables by cutting them into cubes about the same size as your beef.

5.) After 2 hours, remove your beef from the marinade and discard the remaining juices.

6.) Thread beef, pineapple, green bell pepper, and red bell pepper onto skewers.

7.) Cook the skewers on the preheated grill, turning frequently until nicely browned on all sides, and the meat is no longer pink in the center; 10 to 15 minutes.

Although Labor Day is supposed to be a day where we put all work aside and take a break, we all know that farmers and ranchers are still out in the fields and pastures from dusk until dawn. To agriculturalists everywhere, I raise my Kabob to you!

All for the Love of Beef,
Sierra Jepsen

Rump Roast Recipe

A few days ago, my mom asked me if I would cook dinner for the family. I agreed, but was slightly nervous. What should I cook? Will they like it? Then it hit me: I needed to use beef! Nutritious, delicious, and always a crowd-pleaser (if you call the 5 members of my family a crowd–I do). I went to the grocery store and whipped out my iPhone to check www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com‘s butcher counter for some inspiration and recipes. I scanned the meat options at the grocery store, and saw that a 3 lb rump roast was on sale. Perfect! After consulting the website, I decided to put a rub on it and roast it in the oven. Here’s what I did:

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Some of the rub ingredients

The Rub:

  • 3 tbsp. Garlic Salt
  • 1 tbsp. Dark Roast Coffee
  • 2 tsp. Basil
  • 1 tsp. Ground Celery Seed
  • 3 tsp. Cracked Black Pepper
  •  2 tsp. Chili Powder
  • 4 cloves freshly minced garlic
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Notice the thermometer in the side of the roast for a more accurate reading. Yum!

After applying the rub, I wrapped the meat tightly in cling wrap and put it in the refrigerator for 2.5 hours (you can do more than that but that’s all I had time for).  I preheated the oven to 325°F. I read that the correct time to cook meat can roughly be determined by 30min/lb so I put the roast in for 1.5 hours. When it was done, I used an easy-read thermometer to check the temperature. It read 150 so it was just about perfect after that amount of time. I served the roast with diced roasted potatoes and a green salad. The meal was delicious and my family definitely approved! 

The great thing about this recipe was that it took very little preparation and I was able to complete other chores while I was waiting for the rub to settle and the meat to cook. After it was done, I simply cut it thinly into pieces and served it up!

Happy Friday everyone!



Stuffed Bell Peppers: “College Kid Approved”

With classes starting up again this week at Ohio State, friends are back in town, and kickoff to football season drawing closer and closer, the last thing on my mind every night is what I’m going to make for supper; that is, until I’m digging hungrily through the pantry in my new college apartment, trying to piece together ingredients to make a decent meal for myself and my six roommates! Here is a quick and easy beef recipe that is college kid tested, approved, and highly recommended for when you need a late night, last minute dinner idea.
Screen Shot 2014-08-25 at 10.55.51 AM
Stuffed Bell Peppers

4 large bell peppers (any color)
1 lb lean ground beef
2 tablespoons chopped onion
1 cup cooked rice
1 teaspoon salt
1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
¾ cup shredded mozzarella cheese (3 oz)

1.) Remove the top of the peppers and cut in half so you have a pepper “boat.”  Remove seeds and membranes; rinse peppers. In a 4-quart pot, add enough water to cover peppers. Heat to boiling; add peppers. Cook about 2 minutes, then drain.

2.) In skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat 8 to 10 minutes until beef is brown; drain. Stir in rice, salt, and 1 cup of the tomato sauce; cook until hot.

3.) Heat oven to 350°F.

4.) Fill peppers with beef mixture. Place in ungreased 8-inch square glass baking dish. Pour remaining tomato sauce over peppers.

5.) Cover tightly with foil. Bake 10 minutes. Uncover and bake about 15 minutes longer or until peppers are tender; sprinkle with cheese.

Serve with garlic bread, and enjoy!

All for the Love of Beef,
Sierra Jepsen

What do Gordon Ramsey and Boiling Water Have In Common?

I have a confession….or rather a few…

I am COMPLETELY addicted to cooking shows!

There are few things I love more than curling up on the couch to watch a season of drama, deliciousness, and all-out culinary war as chefs compete to be the next Top Chef, Cooking Star, or whatever new title they’ve come up with to battle it out for. However, even while being the big Masterchef fan that I am I’ve never really considered myself much of a “master” in the kitchen. In fact, up until this past year all you would catch me making would be something to the equivalent of Mac and Cheese, pasta, or anything else that didn’t require more skill than boiling water. In truth, even now as I have gained a lot more experience in the kitchen and a lot more tips and tricks on how to cook beef, it’s still a bit of an insecurity of mine. If I’m being completely honest, it feels a little odd giving cooking advice to others at retail events when I still feel so new to it myself. The truth of the matter is we all have some insecurity when it comes to the kitchen (even if you really are the next Masterchef). I mean even well known, talented cooks like Gordon Ramsey have to learn from someone, and I guarantee it took years of training and instruction before any of them had become confident in their abilities. Point is whether you’re a master in the kitchen or just starting out, there is something we all can love about beef. This week I’ll be starting a new segment focused on all things beef in the kitchen. I hope no matter what your experience level you find these blogs insightful, refreshing, or at the very least find yourself reminded of when you first began cooking (or in my case, boiling water). Tune in tomorrow for #meatcutmonday and share your favorite cut of beef on social media!

Peace, Love, and Beef!!