The Art of Grilling












By: Leanna Gubbels


Where would football be at if it weren’t for the pork industry? I mean, the ball is even refer to as a “pigskin” (originated from how the sport began as being played with an inflated pig bladder, later put inside a leather covering.) Just because the summer has come to an end, does not mean that grilling must end either…thanks to the wonderful invention of tailgating- a lovely side that comes along with the great sport of football. I’m sure many of you devoted Huskers fan (or even those of you who are new to the tradition) have heard or been part of the infamous Sea of Red tailgating on Saturdays during football season.

With grilling comes many pork product favorites: hot dogs, brats, ribs, pork chops, pork loin, and pulled pork. Even if you’re more of a burger kind of person, hamburgers by themselves get lonely. Throw some bacon on there and make it a BLT! You can even find some delicious sides that use pork too such as bacon and scallion corn muffins (YUM!), and various sausage or bacon dips.

For those of you who haven’t quite mastered the art of grilling, all is not lost. You can still enjoy premium pulled pork, ribs, and chops  at a tailgate party without even bringing a grill. Before you leave for the game, you simply wrap up your meats in aluminum foil with the seasonings of your choice and place them in a cooler with hot, hot water. This way it cooks the entire time you are driving (Yeah! For multi-tasking) If you have a shorter drive just give it a kick-start by pre-cooking a little before you wrap them up and you’re good to go!

So to sum it up: pigs=pigskin=football=tailgating=grilling=pork=happy, party people

Happy Grilling! Yeah Pigskins!

Harvest: The Midwest Holiday


By: Andi Konecky

It’s that time of year once again!  Where you drive down the highway and see nothing but that perfect shade of gold in the fields.  Harvest: it’s practically a holiday here in the Midwest.  There is nothing better than seeing farmers reap what they worked so hard for.  There is a sense of accomplishment knowing that the people in those combines are feeding the world.

At my house, harvest time is often pretty chaotic.  We don’t always have the best luck.  I think everything a Konecky touches has a tendency to break! During harvest or chopping us kids split up who’s going in the tractors and who’s on chore and milking duty.  Regardless of which job you pick you still get to end the day with that sweaty farm smell, some say it’s the scent of hard work, I think it’s just the cow manure! Harvest days like these at our house are celebrated with bologna sandwich breaks and what we like to call our “everlasting tea jug.” I am blessed to say that I get to see this happen every year and be a part of it.

Whether you are from an urban area or rural you should feel a sense of pride as you see the crop production rapidly increase within these fields.  Farmers are feeding more people, while using less space and fewer resources.  How many other occupations can say this? So be patient while you’re driving this Fall as you have to slow down for these hard working farmers and remember they’re often times putting in 15 hour days around this time of year so that there can be food on their table and yours.


*Picture from

Pork On Your Fork: Pork Express Chili

Prep Time: 5 minutesPork_Chili_Express_recipe
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4


Cook to 145 F with 3 minute rest


1 pound ground pork, lean
1 15-oz can chili beans, undrained
2 14 1/2-oz cans diced tomatoes, in juice
1 1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
salt, to taste (optional)

Cooking Directions

Cook ground pork over medium-high heat in 12-inch, nonstick skillet for 3 to 4 minutes or until pork is no longer pink, breaking pork in to small crumbles. Drain and discard any juices. Stir chili beans, tomatoes, water, chili powder, cinnamon and oregano into pork in skillet. Cover and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium. Uncover and simmer for 3 to 5 minutes or until desired consistency. If desired, season to taste with salt.
Serves 4.

Serving Suggestions

Serve the chili in a bowl with reduced-fat sour cream, shredded cheese and chopped onion as toppers.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 290 calories
Protein: 31 grams
Fat: 6 grams
Sodium: 900 milligrams
Cholesterol: 65 milligrams
Saturated Fat: 2 grams
Carbohydrates: 27 grams
Fiber: 8 grams

Recipe from:

Celebrate Pork Month!












By: Andrew Spader


Imagine for a moment a platter of freshly toasted bread, side by side on the table with a bowl of crisp lettuce and a second platter of sliced red tomatoes. Everything looks delicious, but something is missing. All that’s needed is some crisp bacon, currently frying in the kitchen. This is a common scene in my family, where BLTs are a delicious meal that we enjoy fairly often.

While my family enjoys BLTs, there are many ways that people can add pork to their diets. Since October is pork month, I encourage you to think about the different ways you currently enjoy pork, and maybe think about some new recipes too. You might just find a new family favorite.









Want more ways to use bacon? Try this recipe!

Spice Rubbed Pork Loin BLT Sliders with Dijon Remoulade

Prep Time: 20 minutesSpiceRubTenderloinSliders_recipe
Cook Time: 1 hour
Servings: 12


Dijon Remoulade:

1 cup mayonnaise, low-fat
3 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard
3 tablespoons dill pickle relish, OR finely chopped dill pickle
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground

Spice-Rubbed Pork Loin:

2 pound pork loin roast, boneless
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
24 dinner rolls, such as Hawaiian or potato
2 cups baby arugula
3 to 4 plum tomatoes, cut into 24 rounds
12 slices bacon, cooked each cut into quarters to make 48 pieces

Cooking Directions

Combine all ingredients in small bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Spice-Rubbed Pork Loin:
Preheat the oven to 400 degree F. Combine the cumin, smoked paprika, thyme, salt, and pepper together in a small bowl. Rub all over the loin. Place on a rack in a small roasting pan. Roast for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350  degree F. Continue roasting until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of the roast registers 145 degree F, 50 to 60 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before carving.
Carve roast crosswise into thin slices. Divide slices into 24 portions. Spread each roll with remoulade. Fill with equal amounts of the pork and arugula. Top with a tomato round and 2 pieces of bacon. Serve warm.

Makes: 24 sliders, 12 servings

Recipe from:

Pork On Your Fork: Double Pork Party Sliders

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4 – 8


Cook to 145 F with 3 minute rest



4 thin pork loin chops, boneless, 1/4 to 1/2-inch thick
2 slices bacon
8 cocktail buns, OR 4 hamburger buns
2 tablespoons butter, softened
salt and pepper
4 tablespoons steak sauce

Cooking Directions

Slice buns in half horizontally. If desired, toast or warm through. Spread cut sides of buns with butter.
In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat for 1 minute or until there is enough bacon fat released to coat the bottom of the pan, stirring occasionally. Push bacon to side of the skillet and add the chops. Sprinkle chops with salt and pepper. Cook chops for 3 to10 minutes or until lightly browned and internal temperature on a thermometer reads between 145 degrees F. (medium rare) and 160 degrees F. (medium), turning once halfway through. Remove chops and bacon, draining bacon on paper towels and resting chops for a minimum of 3 minutes.
For cocktail buns, cut each chop in half so you have 8 pieces. Place chops in buns. Top chops with steak sauce and bacon strips. These bacon-infused sandwiches are ideal for tailgating and cocktail parties.
Serves 8 appetizer sandwiches or 4 main-dish sandwiches
Nutritional Information per Appetizer Serving (8 servings)

Tasty variations:
Italian: Before cooking, dip chops in 2 large eggs, then in seasoned fine dry bread crumbs to cover (approximately 3 tablespoons of bread crumbs per chop). Cook as directed except sprinkle on 1 – 1 1/2 tablespoons of shredded Parmesan or Provolone on each chop after turning the chops. Omit the butter and steak sauce. Spread buns with 1/2 tablespoon of pre-prepared pesto; add pork and bacon, then top with roasted red pepper slices and arugula

Asian: Cook chops as directed. Omit butter and steak sauce. Place pork and bacon on buns and top with 1 tablespoon bottled peanut sauce. Toss 1 cup shredded cabbage with 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar; add to sandwiches atop peanut-sauced chops.

Serving Suggestions

For social gatherings, opt for the smaller cocktail-size buns available in the bakery section of grocery stores. Offer coarse-grain mustard and halved dill pickle slices for the sandwiches.
In England, bacon sandwiches—called butties— are so beloved that Prince Harry planned a late night breakfast after Prince William’s wedding and served them. American bacon is thinner and fattier than English bacon. For this Americanized spin, sauté thin-cut loin chops with bacon, resulting in smoky, bacon-infused pork sandwiches.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 230 calories
Protein: 22 grams
Fat: 10 grams
Sodium: 300 milligrams
Cholesterol: 75 milligrams
Saturated Fat: 4 grams
Carbohydrates: 11 grams
Fiber: 0 grams

Recipe from:


By: Breanna Sensibaugh

  I have been in 4-H since I was 10 and I enjoyed every year of it! I started out in a club that was specifically for cooking and sewing. I did learn a lot through this club but I also wanted to start to show livestock. My dad started a club of our own with a few other families and I started to show hogs and sheep.  Showing hogs was one of my favorite things to do in 4-H.  As time went on I realized how much I had learned from showing hogs.  I had also made many friends and also met many influential people in the swine industry.

                Twenty twelve was the last year that I was eligible to participate in 4-H.  I wanted to give back and show younger 4-Hers what it’s really all about.  I asked my dad if I could become a 4-H leader for our club and help him out.  He thought it was a good idea and I became a leader.

                My dad and I were trying to find something that I could do that would teach younger 4-Hers about livestock projects.  We decided that a good way to do this was to start a pick-a-pig project with just the members in our club.  Any member that wanted to show a pig was put into a drawing and two kids were picked from the club. They were then able to pick-a-pig and they both got to show it at the fair.  At each meeting the 4-Hers had to weigh the animal and work with it to get it ready for fair time.  This really became a whole club project because all the kids helped weigh them and work with them for the fair.

                The club also asked local businesses to donate feed for the project.  The club got Frontier Cooperative and Sunglo Feeds to sponsor feed for the project.  At every meeting each group was asked to write a letter to their sponsor to let them know how the project was going and give them updates on weight and how the pig was doing. Each of these businesses told us that they liked the project that we did and they want to donate feed again next year.

                When the fair came around the kids were really excited.  It was very cool to see the whole club come together and help feed, clean and water the pigs.  I think that the club grew together through this club project.  Both of the kids did really well at showing and both also did showmanship and did great for first timers.

                This project also made me more confident in myself.  It showed me that I can teach kids about the pork industry through a fun learning project. I think that this project  was a great idea. I would like to help more kids get involved in this project that wouldn’t be able to participate in events like this otherwise.