Growing Personally and Professionally: Pork Industry Day 2013

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By: Holly Fujan
On Monday February 25th– Tuesday 26th 2013, the Nebraska Pork Producers Association once again held Pork Industry Day in West Point, Nebraska at the Nielsen Community Center. This event included a variety of speakers, TQA and PQA Plus Certification classes, as well as educational sessions for the youth in Nebraska.

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Students who attended the 2013 industry day were able to enhance their leadership skills, while developing personally and professionally. Some of the sessions available for the youth included “Your Personality, Your Career” by Brent Green, which will help students identify their unique personality and the strengths of their personality type, helping them to identity which careers could be a good fit. The students were also able to develop a greater understanding of how to work with people that have different personality types.
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“Creating a Marketable You” held by Stacey Agnew and Sarah Jenson of the Nebraska FFA Foundation and Shane Meyer of the Plymouth Ag Group, is another session that was held for students. In this session, they tied together all of the important information they needed to know to not only get their foot in the door, but to get hired as well.

Advocating Ag Literacy

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By: Nate Hanson

Kevin Anderson and the Lyons Decatur FFA chapter recently received a grant from the Nebraska Pork producers. I recently spoke with Kevin on how the funds were going to be used he explained that the chapter was going to be putting together and Ag literacy library. Kevin went on to talk about what exactly Ag literacy is, he said that Ag literacy is the ability to synthesize, analyze, and communicate basic agriculture. This is extremely important because with a world that is growing exponentially we need more people out there to be able to understand agriculture and communicate it with the rest of the world. Not only will it give kids a chance to be able to better understand agriculture, it will bring it to life and make it fun for those students who may not have an interest in it. The opportunities that this will bring the students of Lyons-Decatur are immeasurable. They will be able to look through books, watch videos, and do hands on activities. I wish all schools could have these kinds of opportunities for their students, but without the hard work of Kevin and all of his students the project would have been impossible. The students are very excited to have the project done.

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Pork On Your Fork: Slow Cooked Jerk Pork with Caribbean Salsa

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Pork roast, marinated overnight with fresh citrus juice, garlic, and jerk seasoning, then slow cooked all day while you’re away. Topped with a bright, fresh Caribbean salsa of fresh mangos, avocado and cilantro. If I told you how good this dish was, would you believe me?

The kind of good that your husband tells you how much he loves you while eating it… yeah that good! This dish is officially going into my regular rotation.

One of my friends turned me on to Walkerswood Jerk Seasoning, turns out it’s the #1 Best Seller in Gourmet rubs on Amazon! It’s actually made in Jamaica, so it’s the real deal and only cost about $4. It comes in mild and hot, so being the wimp that I am, I went with mild. I served this over brown rice with some cucumbers on the side for a complete meal.

Since a lot of you ask, I have the Hamilton Beach Set It and Forget It Slow Cooker, I’ve had nothing but great results since purchasing it if you’re in the market for a slow cooker. I’ve had really bad results with other slow cookers, so they are not all created equal!


Slow Cooked Jerk Pork with Caribbean Salsa
Skinnytaste.com
Servings: 10 • Size: 3 oz pork, 1/3 cup salsa • Old Pts: 6 pts • WW Pts+: 7 pts
Calories: 265 • Fat: 15 g • Protein: 21.4 g • Carb: 11.5 g • Fiber: 2 g • Sugar: 7.5 g
Sodium: 468.4 mg (without salt)

Ingredients:

  • 3 lb boneless pork shoulder blade roast, lean, all fat removed
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 – 3 tbsp Walkerswood Jerk Seasoning (I used mild)
  • 1/2 tsp coarse salt
  • 1 lime, squeezed
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice

For the Caribbean salsa:

  • 1 haas avocado, diced
  • 2 large ripe mangos, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/2 tbsp chopped red onion
  • 1-2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2-3 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

Using a sharp knife, cut slits into the pork and stuff holes with half of the crushed garlic. Combine the remaining garlic, jerk seasoning, and salt, rub all over pork (you may want to wear gloves). Place in a large container, pour the lime and orange juice over the pork; cover and refrigerate 5 hours or overnight, turning pork occasionally so the marinade covers all of pork.

The next morning, put everything in the crock pot and cook on LOW for 9 hours. After 9 hours, remove pork and shred using two forks. Remove liquid from crock pot and reserve. Add shredded pork back to the slow cooker. Add about 1 cup of the liquid back into the crock pot and taste for salt and pepper. Let it cook an additional 15 minutes.

Meanwhile make the  Caribbean salsa: combine all the ingredients in a bowl, season to taste with salt and pepper. refrigerate salsa until ready to serve.

Makes 30 oz cooked pork, 3 1/3 cups salsa.

Recipe from: Skinnytaste.com

Pork On Your Fork: Bacon Brownies

Here’s a step-by-step tutorial with follow along photos to help you make the best Valentine’s Day treat for your special someone! Recipe and pictures from: Bacontoday.com

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Ingredients:

– 4 strips of bacon (or as much as you’d like)- 1 box of your favorite brownie mix (they used Turtle Brownie mix for the bag of caramel to pour on top)
– Eggs and Vegetable Oil
– Water

Instructions:

1- Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees2- Grease a 13″ x 9″ baking pan (8″ or 9″ square pans will also work just fine)
3- Heat up a frying pan. Pre-cook some bacon for about 3 minutes per side. Not too much – you don’t want to totally fry it, you just want to get it a little past raw. Raw is bad for taste as well as for your intestinal tract. The bacon should just be starting to brown and might be a little crispy.
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4- When the bacon is ready, set it aside on a plate lined with paper towels to help drain some of the grease.
5- Following the directions on the box, combine the brownie mix, vegetable oil, water and eggs.

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6- When the batter is ready, pour slightly less than half of it into the pan.
7- Now add the bacon. You can go as big or as small as you would like. That’s the great thing about bacon – there’s no wrong amount unless you don’t have enough!

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8- Now add the rest of the brownie batter on top of the bacon. Be sure to cover it all up.

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9- A little tasty caramel to finish it off.

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10- It’s ready for the oven, so take another look at the box and bake it for however long it says. Betty Crocker suggested 27 minutes, but these were done in just 22. 11- Let the brownies cool for a few minutes, then dig in!

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Enjoy!

 

Rewards of Extension Education

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By: Courtney Schaardt  
On Friday, January 18, I shadowed Mrs. Sarah Purcell at the Otoe County Extension Office in Syracuse, Nebraska. Sarah is the Extension Educator and focuses on 4-H and Youth Development and Agricultural Literacy. Sarah is the head of her county with three other staff members in her office. Otoe County is a large county that stretches from about Palmyra to Nebraska City. I only got to spend half a day with Sarah, but I learned many things from her that I did not already know about extension.

I chose to do this job shadow because I am an Agricultural Education major. I am still trying to find what the perfect career would be for me so I took this shadow in a different direction from my last shadow. When I was growing up 4-H was always a big part of my life and still is. Although I worked in my county extension office last summer, we are small and I wanted to see what it was like somewhere else.

When I first arrived at the office, Sarah was eager to meet me and we began our day by making a project she had in mind for an after school program. I learned how to etch glass and while etching glass we talked about the importance of after school programs and the role extension educators play in youth lives. We talked about how it is becoming harder to get youths’ attention drawn to 4-H when they are already involved in so many other things at school.courtney shadow

After finishing our conversation and our projects, we loaded up promotional 4-H papers and drove to Nebraska City to disperse them to all of the elementary schools. This is when I really got to see and interact with some of the kids. Did you know, Nebraska City has 4 elementary schools and one of them is for the blind and the deaf? I live 45 minutes away and I had no idea! I think it is great that she gets to go to these schools for these kids. Our educators never did anything like this.

On our ride to Nebraska City we did a lot of talking in fifteen minutes. Sarah explained to me that as an extension educator you have to have a focus. I kind of knew about a focus, but I was not positive on what it really could be. Sarah has a focus on youth and family and consumer sciences. She actually owns a quilt shop as well where she helps make ideas for 4-H projects. When Sarah went back to get her masters (because when she graduated it was not needed for the position at the time) she focused on Agricultural Literacy. This is where our conversation took off. It was such a joy to be able to discuss kids, people, fairs, and agriculture with Sarah. This is when I knew that I would love this career choice.

As of now, the Otoe County Extension Office has been relocated to downtown Syracuse while they are renovating their old building. So, while we were in Nebraska City, I was able to help with some of that process. We got to pick out windows for the new office. Sarah really tried to make me a huge part of the process and wanted my opinion on everything. It made me feel special that she went the extra mile to let me help out with everything. She even took me out for lunch.

After I left Sarah, I got an e-mail right away saying how she enjoyed our day and congratulating me on becoming a 4-H Ambassador at UNL (yes, the 4-H office sent out a huge email to everyone about us while I was shadowing!)

Overall, my day with Sarah was great. It met my goals and is truly giving me a deeper look at what extension agents do. I now know that extension is an option. I left her office feeling so happy that I knew I could go back every day. The only thing I was unsure about was if this is really what I want. I loved everything we did, but was it fun because I just love 4-H that much? I cannot wait to job shadow Kyla at the NPPA office to compare these two shadows. Sarah is the nicest lady I have ever met. I would recommend someone to shadow her if they were looking at extension.