AgSack Lunch Program Brings Education to Hungry Minds and Stomachs

  

By: Levi McPhillips

Whether you are aware of it or not, today’s children are uneducated and illiterate when it comes to agriculture. By no fault of their own, today’s youth have little or no exposure to agriculture. Many children mistakenly think that food comes from the grocery store or the fast food window. They have no idea the amount of labor, money, and people that it took to provide them with their favorite happy meal or mom’s meatloaf dinner. This is something that is hard for me to understand because I grew up taking care of livestock on a weekly basis. Working with animals was not just something I did for fun; raising livestock is a way of life for me and thousands of across America.  However, children without this exposure need to be shown how agriculture affects them every day.

The Nebraska Pork Producers Association and the Nebraska Soybean Board are teaming up to do just that.  The AgSack Lunch Program satisfies hungry stomachs and curious minds by teaching Nebraska fourth graders about agriculture in Nebraska. Every fourth grader in Nebraska is required to learn more about Nebraska history and government. As part of that education, these fourth graders tour the State Capitol building. The AgSack lunch program was added to the tour to give them information on the most important part of Nebraska’s economy: agriculture. Lunch is provided to the students which is more convenient for the teachers. The lunch includes food that is raised here in Nebraska including corn chips, milk, and a ham sandwich.

A group of University of Nebraska students give 15 minute presentations to the kids while they chow down on agricultural products. The fourth graders learn about the significant effect that agriculture has on Nebraska’s economy. They learn about the four main livestock animals that are raised in Nebraska as well as the three main crops. The AgSack lunch program was huge success this year, and it provided nutritious meals to over 3,500 fourth graders touring the State Capitol.

I think this program is just what our youth need today. Nothing speaks for agriculture better than showing how food gets from field to fork.  Anyone who opposes what we do cannot deny the fact that without farmers, ranchers, and all of those working in agriculture we would all go hungry. The AgSack Program teaches that agriculture is important, and it shows how important it is by letting children taste the fruit of our labor. This is also a great example of people in agriculture uniting for a common purpose.  The Nebraska Pork Producers Association and the Nebraska Soybean Board are setting the bar for cooperation. It is time for those raising swine, corn, beef, poultry, soybean, produce, and every food product to unite for the good of agriculture and the good of the world.  Consumers need to know that our goal is to provide a future that is nutritious and hunger fee.

Bacon-Pork Chops with BBQ Glaze

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Times

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients Icon

Ingredients

4 6-ounce boneless top loin pork chops, cut 1-inch thick
1 teaspoon coarse salt
4 slices Bacon, preferably maple-flavored
4 tablespoons barbecue sauce
1/2 cup lager beer
1 teaspoon canola oil
1/2 cup chicken broth, reduced-sodium

Cooking Directions Icon

Cooking Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Season pork with salt. Wrap bacon around the edges of the pork and secure with a wooden toothpick.

Mix together 4 tablespoons of your favorite barbecue sauce and 1/2 cup lager beer (or non-alcoholic beer),

Heat oil in ovenproof large skillet over medium-high heat. Stand chops bacon side down in skillet, leaning against the side of pan if needed. Using tongs, in sequence, turn and stand chops along bacon-wrapped edges to lightly brown bacon, about 3 1/2 minutes (allow about 45 seconds to brown each section). Place chops, wide flat side down, in skillet and cook until underside is lightly browned, about 1 minute. Turn chops over. Spread equal amount of maple mixture over top of each chop, letting excess run into skillet.

Place skillet with chops in oven and bake for 10 minutes. Transfer each chop to a dinner plate and let stand while making sauce.

Meanwhile, pour out fat from skillet, leaving browned bits in skillet. Heat skillet over high heat until hot. Add broth and bring to a boil, scraping up browned bits with wooden spoon, and boil until reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Top each chop with a spoonful of sauce and serve hot.

Makes 4 servings

Nutrition per serving of pork and glaze.

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Serving Suggestions

Serve with roasted potato wedges or smashed sweet potatoes.

Nutrition Icon

Nutrition

Calories: 350 calories
Protein: 51 grams
Fat: 11 grams
Sodium: 1120 milligrams
Cholesterol: 130 milligrams
Saturated Fat: 3 grams
Carbohydrates: 7 grams

Random Tip:

Remember! A little pink is ok.

recipe from: porkbeinspired.com

“Clothes don’t come from the mall… food doesn’t come from the grocery store”

 

 

 

 

 

By: Courtney Schaardt

Where I come from, life on the farm is the only way of life everyone knows. We all understand where the meat on our plate and the clothes on our bodies come from. To some however, they know that meat comes from the grocery store and clothes come from the mall and not where they came from before that.

On April 3, I traveled with Kyla to Columbus, NE to attend “Life On The Farm” presented by Platte County. In Columbus, we taught second graders about pigs.  We spent the day telling hundreds of kids what pigs eat, what they look like, where they live and how we use them. It was educational for them as it was for me. As I stated before, I just knew about pigs because of the type of community I live in. These kids had no idea about pigs. My favorite part was to see their eyes bulge when you would show them a picture of a full-grown pig.

Agriculture is important and it is important for us to educate people about our way of life and what we do. Agriculture is very important now and more and more people will find how much more important it will be in the future. Educating these kids is a great way to start informing more people about agriculture. I had a great day with Kyla and all of the second graders discussing pigs.

Pork On Your Fork: Baked Pork Egg Rolls

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Times

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 16 minutes

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Ingredients

1 cooked pork tenderloin, (1 pound), trimmed*
Cooking spray
4 cups coleslaw mix
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
16 egg roll wrappers

Cooking Directions Icon

Cooking Directions

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Spray a large baking pan with cooking spray.
Place the coleslaw mix and green onions in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Cover with wax paper and microwave on high until softened, 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let cool slightly.
Finely chop the tenderloin. Combine tenderloin, coleslaw mixture, cilantro, and hoisin sauce in a large bowl and toss to mix well.
Working with one 1 egg roll wrapper at a time (keep the remaining wrappers covered to prevent drying), place the wrapper on a work surface with one corner pointing toward you. Brush edge of wrapper with water. Spoon about 1/4 cup of the pork tenderloin mixture in the center of the wrapper. Fold the bottom corner of the wrapper over the filling. Fold in the sides and roll up. Place the egg rolls seam side down on a plate and cover with damp paper towels to prevent drying. Repeat with the remaining wrappers and filling.
Arrange egg rolls in a single layer seam side down in the prepared baking pan. Lightly spray egg rolls with cooking spray. Bake until the bottoms are lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Turn the egg rolls and bake until tops are lightly browned, about 3 minutes longer. Serve hot or warm.

Makes 16 servings

*(leftover from Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Asian Dry Rub)


Serving Suggestions Icon

Serving Suggestions

Serve the egg rolls as part of any get together where you want to offer an impressive and delicious appetizer. Don’t worry if your first egg roll doesn’t look perfect; you’ll master the easy technique after rolling a couple.

Nutrition Icon

Nutrition

Calories: 100 calories
Protein: 9 grams
Fat: 1 grams
Sodium: 200 milligrams
Cholesterol: 20 milligrams
Saturated Fat: 0 grams
Carbohydrates: 14 grams
Fiber: 1 grams

Random Cooking Tip:

When you are in a hurry—turn to cuts that cook up quickly, such as chops, tenderloins and cutlets.

Recipe from: PorkBeInspired.com

Easter traditions bring chance to thank a farmer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!