Letters From a Mentor

 

 

 

By: Ann Oswald

Dear Future Mentors,

I know I’m not the first to tell you, but congratulations on being accepted into the Pork Mentoring class of 2012! [if you’re reading this and you’re not a member of the new class, congratulations on reading anyway! I’m glad you’re here!]

As an incoming mentor, you are in for a fun year of activities with the Nebraska Pork Producers. From representing at county fairs, attending meetings, eating delicious food (don’t worry about gaining a few pounds, it’s all worth it), and growing your network of connections, a fabulous experience is sure to follow.

For years people have ranted and raved about the program, and you are about to find out why. Through Pork Quick Facts you will learn pertinent information about the pork industry, both past and present. Meetings and seminars will allow you to become involved in the industry. Job shadows expose you to the large range of careers available in the world of pork production. Many other opportunities such as helping at the annual golf scramble, promoting pork while visiting with people at county fairs, and attending the World Pork Expo make it a worthwhile program. Community service is also a large part of your experience, because as responsible citizens, we need to work with others in building strong communities.

In completing my year as a mentor, here are a few pieces of advice I would like to offer you as you head into the program:

 

  • Meet all the new people you can, especially those involved in the industry as well as your fellow mentors.
  • Take part in every event available to you such as Ribs & Bibs, Allied meetings, the World Pork Expo, Ribfest, and county and state fairs, just to name a few.
  • Start early in planning shadows and education events. There are so many neat things to do, so you’ll want to make sure you leave enough time to attend many different events.
  • Get to know the NPPA staff—they have so much advice and fun to offer to the program.
  • Become excited about the pork industry and share that excitement with those around you.

 

The skills and outlook on life I gained will be beneficial to me for the rest of my life and therefore it seems impossible to stress the immense value of this program. As time continues to pass, farms and the pork industry are going through changes. Those involved in the swine industry (past and present) recognized the need to educate the next generation in order that forward progress and leadership could be maintained. For that reason, we owe a huge ‘thank you’ to those men and women who support the mentoring program. Nebraska is blessed to have an industry of producers who care about educating youth. I had the opportunity this past year to visit with a farmer within the dairy industry. He shared his amazement with the program as dairy farmers are trying to set up a similar mentorship so they can keep young leaders in the dairy industry. Nebraska Pork Producers are leaders in youth education, so please take the time to thank those men and women who make this program possible.

Most importantly, go into this opportunity ready to learn. Have fun with the activities and tasks you set your mind to do. Ask as many questions as you can. You have the opportunity to learn and the opportunity to share the importance of pork and agriculture with those around you. Ultimately, thank you for taking an interest in the pork world and I, as well as many others, look forward to seeing the great things you will do!

 

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”

Thomas Edison

 Best Wishes,

Ann

Pork On Your Fork: Teriyaki Pork Lettuce Wraps

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Times

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients Icon

Ingredients

1/2 cup La Choy Teriyaki Stir-Fry Sauce, OR Teriyaki Marinade and Sauce
1 pound pork tenderloin, cut into 1/4-inch thick strips
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 large leaves iceberg lettuce
1 large carrot, peeled and shredded
1 8-oz can La Choy water chestnuts, drained
1 14-oz can La Choy bean sprouts, rinsed and drained
La Choy Rice Noodles, (optional)

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Cooking Directions

New USDA Guidelines
Combine sauce and pork in resealable plastic bag; seal bag. Marinate for 20 to 30 minutes at room temperature.

Heat oil in large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Remove pork; discard bag and marinade. Sauté pork over medium-high heat for 3 to 4 minutes or until slightly pink in center and browned on both sides.

Fill lettuce leaves with equal amounts of carrot, water chestnuts, bean sprouts, pork and rice noodles, if desired. Drizzle with extra sauce if desired. Roll up tightly and serve.

4 servings

Chef’s Tips: La Choy Chow Mein Noodles and La Choy Rice Noodles add delicious crunchy texture to your favorite Asian dishes Click here to visit www.LaChoy.com


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Serving Suggestions

Celebrate the Year of the Pig with this recipe.  Tender strips of teriyaki marinated pork, gently sautéed and wrapped in crisp fresh lettuce leaves with vegetables and rice noodles


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Nutrition


Random Cooking Tip:

For marinated pork chops, put pork in a self-sealing bag with marinade in the refrigerator first thing in the morning. By suppertime, pork chops can be removed from marinade -dispose of used marinade- and ready to grill.

 

Recipe from: PorkBeInspired.com

 

“We Care”

 

 

 

By: Kristin Witte

Growing up on the family farm I understood at an early age that taking care of our livestock comes first, whether it was blizzarding, pouring or a heat wave. Pork producers have always cared about their hogs but with more people being three generations or more from the farm it is important that our “We Care” message gets spread.  Social Media is a great way to spread this message but don’t forget about the good old way of having a face to face conversation with someone.

How do you start this conversation and get the point across that as producers We Care about what we do. It’s easy, as I have moved away from home often time’s people ask me where I’m from and if I grew up a farm. When I tell them yes, it never ceases to amaze me how many questions people have about living on a farm. We all just need to be open to answering these questions and remember to explain our farming “lingo.” To me it seems everyone should understand what weaning is and why we do it because I’ve noticed that when I use these terms I often lose the person I’m speaking to, so I try to explain what I’m talking about.  There are always some of those funny questions like “Why do pigs play in the mud?” This is a great question to show how much We Care about our hogs. My answer is always well pigs don’t have sweat glands like we do so to keep cool they would use mud but now days our hog barns are climate controlled, have sprinklers and it is usually cooler inside the barn than outside.

Besides being open to questions, my sisters and I often bring friends home with us who have never been on a farm. Some of friends grew up in small towns and never had a chance to visit a farm and others come from large cities.  I love showing my friends our farm and it is a great way to help a consumer connect to where their food comes from. Our friends love to help my Dad feed our livestock and jump at the chance to drive a tractor, with supervision of course.

Producers have always and will continue to care about their livestock but it is now time for us to tell consumers that We Care. It doesn’t need to be a speech to a local club; it can be something as simple as being friendly and willing to answer any questions your friends or acquaintances may have.  Share your experiences living and working on a farm. When you have a chance take friends along to “help” do chores but most of all don’t forget to show and tell how We Care.

Ginger-Sesame Stir-Fry with Vegetables

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Times

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients Icon

Ingredients

12 ounces ham, cut into bite-size strips
1/3 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons soy sauce, reduced-sodium
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon cooking oil
3 cups broccoli florets
1/2 16-oz package pepper stir-fy vegetables, frozen
2 teaspoons sesame seeds, toasted

Cooking Directions Icon

Cooking Directions

New USDA Guidelines
For sauce, combine orange juice, soy sauce, cornstarch, ginger and garlic powder in a small bowl. Set aside.

Pour cooking oil into a large skillet or wok. Heat over medium high heat. Add broccoli and frozen peppers to skillet. Cook and stir about 3 minutes or until vegetables are just tender. Remove vegetables from skillet. Add ham to skillet; cook and stir about 1 minute or until heated through; push ham to edges of skillet. Stir sauce; add to center of skillet. Cook and stir until thickened. Return vegetables to skillet. Cook and stir about 1 minute more or until heated
through. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Serves 4.


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Serving Suggestions

Combine convenient frozen stir-fry vegetables with pork strips for this tasty dish.


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Nutrition

Calories: 219 calories
Protein: 21 grams
Fat: 9 grams
Sodium: 1293 milligrams
Cholesterol: 26 milligrams
Saturated Fat: 2 grams
Carbohydrates: 10 grams
Fiber: 2 grams

Random Safety Tip:

If using a microwave to thaw your pork, cook immediately after thawing.

Recipe from: PorkBeInspired.com