One of the integral purposes of the National Cattlewomen, Colorado CattleWomen and Black Mesa Cattlewomen is to actively promote beef. Cattlewomen work with the Colorado Cattlemen's Association and the Colorado Beef Council to help educate the public.
In a publication by Colorado Cattlewomen and the Colorado Beef Council, "Cattle in Colorado," it reports the ﬁrst cattle in Colorado was brought by the explorer Coronado in 1540 probably to the southeast corner of the state.
Part of the education Black Mesa Cattlewomen bring to students in the North Fork Valley is about the nutritional beneﬁts of beef. Beef is a "nutrient dense food," which means it provides a greater amount of several essential nutrients than it does calories. Beef is rich in protein, zinc, iron and B-vitamins. Protein is an energy source for the body. Protein builds and repairs muscles and organs. Zinc supports the immune system, is essential for growth and development, reproduction, helps wounds to heal, improves night vision and other functions. Zinc is a component in every living cell in the human body. Iron is also important so our bodies produce energy. Iron carries oxygen to body tissues. Beef has ﬁve B-complex vitamins - thiamin, riboﬂavin, niacin and vitamins B6 and B12. B-vitamins help the food we consume to become energy for our bodies.
The nutritional information provided by Black Mesa CattleWomen goes well beyond meat. The food pyramid is explained and the value of eating a balanced diet. Among the handouts students receive is how much of each food group (grains, vegetables, fruits, milk, meat and beans) they should eat.
Another pamphlet recommends buying lean beef. The leanest cuts have "loin" or "round" in their name. Ground beef should be 90 percent lean or leaner. Broiling, roasting and grilling are low-fat cooking methods.
The Black Mesa CattleWomen teach the students the way to safely prepare ground beef. Ground beef should be cooked until it is no longer pink and the juices aren't pink. The internal temperature should be at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Among the tips they offer is that meats should be defrosted in the refrigerator and not on the counter. Marinate meat in the refrigerator. Hands should be washed in hot soapy water before and after handling the meat. Fresh beef such as steaks and roasts can be stored in the refrigerator for three to four days and six to 12 months in a freezer. Fresh ground beef can be stored for just one to two days in the refrigerator and up to four months in a freezer. Refrigerator temperatures should be between 35 to 40 degrees. A freezer should be zero degrees or colder.
Students receive a number of delicious recipes so they can prepare dinner for their own families as well as compete in the beef cookoffs which are sponsored by Black Mesa Cattlewomen. The unit donates the ground beef that is prepared. The cookoffs are timed and scored. There are a total of 100 points possible if a team is perfect. Judges evaluate the beef dish prepared including the team's choice of a recipe, how the dish tastes, its appearance, the team's organization and presentation of the centerpiece, menu, recipe and place setting. The students also take a written test on the educational materials, "My Pyramid" and "Conﬁdent Cooking with Beef."
Those who compete in the cookoffs receive cash prizes and lots of great information about beef.
Some on the material given to the students and consumers is the result of a program called the Beef Checkoff. Beef producers give one dollar per head. That money is used to increase the demand for beef nationally and internationally.
Cattle provide more than just beef to be served at our dining tables. By-products from cattle - collagen, fatty acids, tallow, glands, hide and leather - are used in an incredible array of items found in our homes. Collagen is used in band-aids, book bindings, glue, sandpaper, sheetrock, wallpaper, plywood adhesive, face creams and ﬁlm. Fatty acids are used in crayons, candles, plastics, linoleum, brake ﬂuid, antifreeze, detergent, packaging for food, and other items. Tallow is found in soap, suet and baked goods. Glands are used in insulin, natural dietary supplements and cortisol. Cattle hide is used for leather gloves, wallets, purses, luggage, car upholstery, shoes, pet chews, footballs and baseballs. Even marshmallows and gum are made with beef by-products.
Beef gift certiﬁcates are available at First State Bank of Hotchkiss and First Colorado National Bank. The beef gift certiﬁcates can be used at restaurants, grocery stores and meat markets. It's another way that beef is being promoted in the area.
Joy Reid, who has served as secretary for Black Mesa CattleWomen, says they have more than 30 members in the unit. The new officers for this year are Karen Todd, president; Chandra Carr, vice-president; Michelle Klaseen, secretary; and Pauline Carr, treasurer.
Pauline Carr compiled the 2008 activity report for the unit. They were very active, preparing and serving meals or desserts at various functions, their educational endeavors at local schools, and raising funds and then donating to many worthwhile organizations and events. In 2008, Black Mesa CattleWomen donated to the Erma Pulver Memorial Fund; the "Save the Arch" Fund; sponsored two "Ag in the Classroom" Schools and a summer class for teachers scholarship; gave the ﬁrst baby born on Mother's Day at Delta County Memorial Hospital a big basket of goodies and a $25 beef gift certiﬁcate; awarded three $500 scholarships to Hotchkiss and Paonia High Schools; gave two $25 beef gift certiﬁcates for a Father's Day drawing; donated $125 for a belt buckle at the June Classic Beef Show in Hotchkiss; donated beef, prizes and member support and judges for ﬁve Iron Man cookoffs at Hotchkiss K-8 and two at Crawford K-8; donated beef sticks for the FFA barnyard programs at Crawford, Hotchkiss and Paonia schools; donated money to the North Fork Children's Christmas party; and participated in the Taste of Home program in Delta with an ad, beef information, a booth with food and $25 beef gift certiﬁcates. In 2008, Marlyse Cunningham was recognized as Cattlewoman of the Year for her hard work and dedication to CattleWomen.
That's just some of what this local organization accomplished in 2008. If you would like to become a Black Mesa CattleWoman call Pauline Carr at 872-3941, Karen Todd at 921-6511 or write to Black Mesa CattleWomen at P.O. Box 774, Hotchkiss, CO 81419.blog comments powered by Disqus