SFN: Rossi Blinson is a candidate for the Beef Ambassador team. Rossi, tell me about the National Beef Ambassador program.
RB: Well, this is a sponsored event by the American National Cattlewomen and they sponsor the National Beef Ambassador Contest every year. This year it will be in Worcester, Ohio and I am the North Carolina Beef Ambassador. So, there are 38 Beef Ambassadors that will be travelling to Worcester and we are all competing for five spots on the National Beef Ambassador team. Also, the group will travel around to different parts of the nation and tell the story to consumers and youth about the promotion, education and media – different things within the beef industry. So, we’ll be promoting, educating and using Twitter and FaceBook and things like that to promote beef and get out a good word about the product.
SFN: Ok, now Rossi, tell me just exactly what do you tell consumers about beef production and beef nutrition?
RB: Well there are 29 lean cuts of beef and a lot of people don’t think about lean cuts of beef but there are different products out there that are really, really healthy for you. And it’s a tasty way to get in all your nutrition. It’s better than eating a bowl of spinach. I’d rather have a steak than a bowl of spinach! It’s a flavorful product that is an efficient way to get your zinc, your iron, protein and B-vitamins. And one serving of beef actually provides about half of the recommended daily value of these different things that you need for your system. You can be full longer when you’re eating lean beef and you can actually maintain a healthy weight, which all of us love, and build some muscle.
SFN: Rossi, there is a lot of concern about beef safety. What message do you want to convey about beef safety?
RB: Well, beef safety is definitely a top priority for all the farmers and ranchers across the nation. We feed our families the same thing that we feed the consumers. So, we want to put that product out there that is safe and savory and you feel comfortable feeding your family. There’s also different programs that you can search on beef.org, or programs like, that that show you how to prepare your beef, how to handle it. One of the big things out there is cooking your hamburgers to a safe and savory 160 degrees which you can do this by testing it with an instant read thermometer and make sure it is cooked through correctly because hamburger is a great way to feed your family. There’s so many different things you can do with it and people of all ages love hamburgers so, getting that cooked to a safe and savory 160 degrees is one of those things we really promote.
SFN: There’s been a lot of attention here lately about people wanting to learn about where there food comes from and the safety and care of food animals, in particular. What do you want people to learn about whenever it comes to raising cattle?
RB: I want them to learn that our family farms are… where most beef is raised… you know I’ve been raised on a family farm and I’m a third generation Hertford breeder, so I take pride in what I’m raising and also we’re out there caring for these cattle every day. We put as much work into them as we do everything else within our lives and making them happy is definitely what we want to do because that will, in the end, give us the best results.
SFN: All right, we’ve been visiting today with Rossi Blinson, candidate for the National Beef Ambassador team.