By: Erin Oswald
What did you have for your Easter dinner? Was there by any chance a ham present at the dinner table? For my family, the Easter ham almost has its own designated place at the table! My own family Easter traditions include waking up early Sunday morning to attend a sunrise service then dash to the basement of church for a vast breakfast brunch that includes fresh cinnamon rolls, fruit salads, and of course, those delicious egg casseroles loaded with salty and savory ham! After church, the lunch preparation begins in anticipation as family members pull into the driveway and carry dishes of frosted cookies, cheesy potatoes, and of course, the star of the meal: the ham. Memories include loading the ham onto the plate first to create the setting for the rest of the complimentary side dishes and returning to the food line a few times for those extra helpings of ham mixed with green beans or maybe those creamy, cheesy potatoes. Perhaps your Easter tradition is similar to mine!
The tradition of having ham, however, goes much deeper than buying a ham and placing it on the table for my family and many others who are a part of the pork Industry. For these producers, Easter begins about six months earlier, when piglets are born. For the next several months, the producers care for the pigs by feeding them and moving them to new facilities as they grow. Careful day-in and day-out attention is given to these pigs for their preparation for the dinner tables of America. Without the efforts of pork producers, the star of Easter dinner would be absent from the celebration.
The raising of those pigs stretches beyond the Easter table to many other family events. These include the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, Christmas, summer picnics, birthday celebrations, and an endless list of other occasions. The next time a delicious cut of pork is placed on your dinner table, especially next Easter, think of the pork producers who provided the star of the meal and be extra thankful for the care given to raise your meat to provide nourishment and family bonding!
16 slices Bacon, cut in half
32 leaves basil, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
2 cloves garlic , minced
3/4 – 1 cup bottled barbecue sauce
Thaw shrimp, if frozen. Remove shells from shrimp, leaving tails. Butterfly each shrimp by cutting a slit along its back; remove vein. Rinse shrimp and pat dry with paper towels.
For stuffing, combine basil, Parmesan cheese, and garlic in small bowl. Place stuffing in slits. Leaving tail exposed, wrap each shrimp with half-slice of bacon, tucking in ends.
Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Place shrimp on baking sheet with tails pointing up. Bake until shrimp turn opaque, about 14 minutes. Drain on paper towels.
Dip shrimp into barbecue sauce and place on grill until sauce caramelizes or return to baking sheet and bake until sauce is caramelized, about 3 minutes.
Serves 6 (appetizer).
Recipe courtesy of Chris Lilly at Bib Bob Gibson’s www.bigbobgibson.com
Company coming? Don’t just throw another shrimp on the barbe’ … fix these succulent shrimp appetizers that Chris Lilly, pitmaster at Big Bob Gibson’s in Birmingham, Alabama, developed and sampled on the Today show.
Protein: 12 grams
Fat: 9 grams
Sodium: 601 milligrams
Cholesterol: 72 milligrams
Saturated Fat: 3 grams
Carbohydrates: 5 grams
Fiber: 1 grams
Cover a plate with plastic wrap to carry pork to the grill. Throw away. Use the clean plate carry food back in!
Recipe from: PorkBeInspired.com
By: Emma Likens
As I stood at the State FFA Convention at the Nebraska Pork Producers booth striking up conversations with high school FFA students, I was struck by the difference between talking with students knowledgeable in agriculture and talking to consumers with little agricultural background. As a shy FFA’er in high school, I knew no matter where other FFA members I met came from, they would be easy to talk to because we shared a similar background. Even in college, that same basic idea applies. It’s easy for me to talk to other ag majors on east campus. I also had the privilege to attend the 2011 AFA (Ag Future of America) Leaders Conference in Kansas City. No matter where you go, if you have that same ag background in common, connections are easily made. People already understand agriculture and your passion for it.
But when it comes to talking to people with little agricultural knowledge, sometimes I find myself stumbling. I want consumers to understand where their food comes from and the methods used to produce it. And even though talking to consumers isn’t always easy, it’s vitally important to the agriculture industry. As a member of the Pork Mentoring Class of 2012, I hope to improve on my communication skills through the various activities we’ll be participating in.
These conversations with consumers and other producers don’t have to just be in person. Thanks to social media, we can share ideas with just a click. One example of a great social media advocate for agriculture is Erin Ehnle, who shares snapshots of agriculture on her facebook page: Keeping it Real: Through the Lens of a Farm Girl. (Click the link to see her page) Her photography and design depict pictures of all aspects of agriculture, often with cool facts or inspirational quotes mixed in.
Check out this snapshot about pork!
Thanks for reading!