New Twist to America’s Favorite Pork Item

New Twist to America’s Favorite Pork Item

By Abigail Wehrbein

Everyone loves bacon. How can you not resist the maple smell that fills up the room? Or the sound of it sizzling in the frying pan? Or pairing it with everything else you eat!? YOU CAN’T!! But here’s a new way to add a twist to your favorite, go-to pork. It’s called Bacon Rub.

Southern Culture Artisans Foods started in 2012 by a woman named Erica from Atlanta. Her goal was to re-invent breakfast items and add homemade fun into the flavors and recipes. She has come out with three different Bacon Rubs that are as simple to make as just putting the bacon in the oven and cooking for 15 minutes. The Original Bacon Rub is sweet and spicy seasonings blend that coats the bacon with a glaze making it look like candy. The other two flavors are Bourbon Pecan Praline and a Savory Cajun seasoning. Southern Culture also makes pancake and waffle mixes, syrups, grits and gifts. Besides her website, you can purchase the bacon rub and her other products at Von Mar, Amazon and varies markets and gift shops. I think it’s time for a fresh turn at the breakfast table, or just anytime you’re reaching for that slice of pork heaven.

Bacon Rub

Is This Your Dream Job?


By: Kyla Habrock

Recently, I served as a panelist for a Job Survival Course offered by the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. The seven week course is offered to students who are in their Junior or Senior year of college. The course content focused on information that should be useful for students as they prepare to transition from being a student in college to a professional in the work force.

The information discussed in the course over the seven weeks was well rounded, and will clearly prepare students to not only survive, but thrive as a young professional. Topics covered during the course included:

  • First years in the workplace
  • Time management
  • 401K, benefits, insurance, investments
  • Working on commission
  • Owning your own business
  • Advancement
  • Mentorships
  • Credit
  • Relocation and housing

Students submitted questions asking for advice on internships, searching for jobs, applying for jobs, preparing for interviews, and more. The information exchanged was so good, that is why I am sharing it with you!

This will be a great resource for you as it captures the dialogue exchanged between college age peers and young professionals about topics that matter the most.

Question 1: Is this your dream job?

Answer: My goal after completing my undergraduate degree was not to find my dream job. Instead my goals were focused in the short term:

  • Gain work experience
  • Network with peers and other professionals
  • Earn a salary that would allow me to buy a new car

Photo: Ford Probe.jpg

 Ford Probe







Caption: In 2000, as a junior in high school, I bought a 1994 Ford Probe with 88,000 miles on it. I drove that awesome car through the remainder of high school and all through college, putting on just shy of 224,000 total miles. When I got my first job after graduating college in 2007, I bought a 2004 Honda Accord.

Photo: Paid off Honda Accord.jpg

 Paid off Honda Accord








Caption: I paid off the loan on my Honda Accord early! I happily drive that awesome car today.

A more appropriate goal for finding my dream job was more focused in the long term. However, it can be difficult to stay focused on your long term goal of finding your dream job. Although, according to, focus is exactly what you will need to land your dream job – that and healthy doses of confidence and hard work.

Here are a few things to consider as you identify a path that can potentially lead to your dream job

  • Consider what you value
  • Consider what motives and excites you
  • Consider what skills and abilities are necessary
  • Consider what jobs currently exist, as well as jobs that haven’t even been created yet

Confucius said, “Find a job you enjoy, and you’ll never work a day in your life.” But remember, even dream jobs can be hard work. But, it does make life much easier when you are doing something you love.

Healthy Pork Recipes to Keep Up with your New Year’s Resolution!

Healthy Pork Recipes to Keep Up with your New Year’s Resolution!

Abigail Wehrbein

Each year when January rolls around, the words, “New Year’s Resolutions” are everywhere you see. Losing weight and staying healthy place first on the top ten resolutions that Americans make. So whether that might be your purpose this year or you’re just looking for some new delicious recipes to try, look no further than these great pork inspired dishes below.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon


For those of you that see the word Brussels sprouts and turn away, WAIT! I believe it all depends on how you cook them. This recipe calls for roasting them in the oven, which makes them crispy and flavorful. I recently made this recipe for Christmas and everyone loved them.

Ingredients: 2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed. Extra-virgin olive oil. Kosher salt. Pinch of red pepper flakes. 1/3 cup pine nuts. 6 ounces slab bacon, cut into strips. Parmigiano-Reggiano, for topping


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Cut the Brussels sprouts in half lengthwise, from top to bottom. Toss the sprouts with olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and the red pepper flakes on a baking sheet. Put in the oven and roast until tender, about 20 minutes. Toast the pine nuts on a separate baking sheet in the oven for the last 5 minutes of roasting the sprouts.

While the sprouts are roasting, put the bacon in a small sauté pan with a splash of olive oil and bring the pan to medium heat. Cook the bacon until crispy, 7 to 8 minutes. Remove from the pan.

Toss the roasted Brussels sprouts with the crispy bacon and toasted pine nuts. Using a peeler, shave a few slices of Parmigiano on top.

Photograph by Ryan Liebe. Recipe courtesy of Anne Burrell for Food Network Magazine

Read more at:

Agriculture Teachers Make it all Possible!


Agriculture Teachers-Make it all possible!
By: Ellen Thompson, National Teach Ag Campaign

Hero, role model, mentor, confidant, advisor, teacher, rock star, friend…these are just a few of the titles given to agriculture teachers by their students. Agriculture teachers are a critical part of the agriculture talent pipeline equation. Unfortunately, right now there is a shortage of agriculture teachers due to new and expanding programs, retirements and agricultural education graduates taking positions in business and industry. This shortage is affecting nearly every state.

Five years ago the National Council for Agricultural Education, led by the National Association of Agricultural Educators as special project of the National FFA Foundation with sponsor support from the CHS Foundation, DuPont Pioneer and Growth Energy, launched the National Teach Ag Campaign. The Campaign’s mission is to raise awareness of the need to recruit and retain a quality supply of agriculture teachers, encourage others to consider a career teaching agriculture and celebrate the positive contributions that agriculture teachers make in their schools and communities.

It’s very likely that you are involved in agriculture today because of your agriculture teacher. Agriculture teachers make miracles happen every day for the more than 800,000 students they serve each year. Whether it is teaching young people the difference between leading and leadership, inspiring the next generation of problem solvers, critical thinkers and agriculturalists through rigorous, hands-on curriculum, supervised experiential based projects and leadership development through the FFA agriculture teachers show up and deliver. Agriculture teachers are often the community tree, plant, animal, mechanics, landscaping and parliamentary procedure expert.

As a professional in the agricultural industry you too can help ensure a quality supply of agriculture teachers:

  • Get involved in your local ag program by serving on the Advisory Board.
  • Volunteer
    • As a Guest Speaker,
    • Coach a Career Development team,
    • Interview students who are FFA Officer candidates, Proficiency finalists, Degrees recipients,
    • Review student scholarship applications,
    • Provide feedback/practice space/audience for students to practice their class speech, parliamentary procedure skills, presentation skills and more,
    • Host an On-site learning experience,
    • Provide students with employment and internship opportunities,
    • Allow/encourage students to job shadow your employees,
    • Offer technical job shadowing experiences for agriculture teachers.
  • Financial support
    • Scholarships for student teachers
    • Living assistance for student teachers
    • Scholarships for teachers to attend professional development experiences
    • Cover the registration fees for teachers to bring students to agriculture events. (commodity meetings, ag conferences)
    • Coordinate a fundraising event (Hog Roast, Appreciation dinner) for the ag program.
    • Provide transportation reimbursement for students to tour an agricultural education degree program
    • Create a community based endowment to support the agriculture program.
  • In-Kind Support
    • Meeting space
    • Printing
    • Supplies
    • Technology donation
    • Have an agriculture teacher be the keynote speaker at your conference
  • Promotion
    • Attend a school board meeting to show your support for the agriculture program.
    • Send congratulatory notes to the school administration about the success of the agriculture teacher and program.
    • Write a letters to the editor about the positive contributions of the agriculture program
    • Provide support for the agriculture teacher when advocating for student trips/professional development/classroom resources
    • Use social media to congratulate the agriculture teacher and share program success.

Ag Teachers help others understand our food supply, create a sustainable planet, make an impact in the community, inspire young minds, make a difference, reach the unreachable, ignite passion for agriculture and show students the world. What’s not to love? Teach Ag!

Visit the Teach Ag website to learn more! is the leading ag-specific career portal for job seekers.  Employers post more than 5,000 jobs on the site monthly.  Job seekers are provided free access to the industry specific job board, ability to post their resume in the database, and review online educational materials.  For more information, visit



Ag Teachers Animal Science Case Institute


Photo Credit:

Healthy Pork Recipes to Keep Up with your New Year’s Resolution!

Healthy Pork Recipes to Keep Up with your New Year’s Resolution!

Abigail Wehrbein

Each year when January rolls around, the words, “New Year’s Resolutions” are everywhere you see. Losing weight and staying healthy place first on the top ten resolutions that Americans make. So whether that might be your purpose this year or you’re just looking for some new delicious recipes to try, look no further than this great pork inspired dish below.

15 Bean Soup with Ham

PorkFor these cold winter months, soup is always a go-to. If you have some time on your hands and some left over ham from the holiday parties, this hearty soup is packed full of protein, vitamins and potassium that will be perfect for any dinner.

Ingredients: 1 pkg Hurst’s HamBeens 15 Bean Soup. 8 cups water or use chicken broth for added flavor. 1 lb. ham hocks or diced ham, you can also use a leftover hambone with some meat on it. 1 lg. onion, diced. 1 clove garlic, minced. 1 tsp. chili powder (optional). 1 can tomatoes (15 oz.). Juice from 1 lemon



NO SOAK METHOD. Sort and rinse beans, check for any unwanted debris and discard. Drain and place in a slow cooker with 8 cups of water or broth, onions, meat or hambone, garlic and chili powder. Set slow cooker on high and cook for 5 hours (or low for 7-8), or until beans are tender, but not falling apart.

After the beans are tender, remove the hambone (leave any ham in the pot), stir in the can of tomatoes, our Ham Flavor packet, and the lemon juice. Cook for additional 30 minutes then keep warm until ready to serve.

Read more at:

What Employers Mean by Equivalent Experience

Work Experience

What Employers Mean by Equivalent Experience 
By Alison Doyle, Job Searching Expert

When an employer mentions equivalent experience in a job posting it can mean either experience in lieu of some educational requirements or non-paid experience, like an internship or volunteer work, in place of paid work experience. If you have the required experience, you will be considered for employment without a Bachelor’s degree, other college degree, or certification.

For example, a job listing may state a required certification or a college degree and/or experience in the field.

Examples of Job Listings With Experience in Lieu of a Degree
In lieu of degree, additional work experience and/or trade school is acceptable.

  • Six (6) months of experience as a unit secretary, ward clerk, medical office assistant, or nursing assistant will be accepted in lieu of the required course work.
  • BA required, MA preferred. In lieu of degree, 10+ years of relevant experience.
  • BA/BS degree preferred, although long tenure as an Executive Assistant at a top firm can offset this.

In Lieu Of Work Experience
In addition, experience other than on-the-job experience may suffice for work requirements. For example, an employer may state that they will consider leadership experience in clubs, volunteer work, internships, or community service in place of formal work experience. Here’s an example:

  • A minimum of 6 months work experience in sales, customer service or management, or equivalent experience.

How to Mention Equivalent Experience When You Apply
When you apply for jobs, it’s important to clearly state in your applications, cover letters and interviews what constitutes your equivalent experience. Emphasize the components of your equivalent experience which are most related to the job and prove that you have the core competencies to excel in the position.

If you are interested in the job, always give yourself the benefit of the doubt as you assess whether or not you possess the equivalent experience. Don’t screen yourself out, leave that decision to the employer after you have made the best case for your candidacy. is the leading ag-specific career portal for job seekers.  Employers post more than 5,000 jobs on the site monthly.  Job seekers are provided free access to the industry specific job board, ability to post their resume in the database, and review online educational materials.  For more information, visit…&utm_content=Read+More…&utm_campaign=Skills+%26+Trade+Newsletter+Template+-What+Employers+Mean+by+Equivalent+Experience


Work Experience.jpg

Photo Credit:

A Taste of Something New

A Taste of Something New

By: Kyla Habrock

Okonomiyaki is a Japanese dish that I had never heard of before. However, thanks to an invitation from Pam Wright, Family and Consumer Sciences Teacher at Elkhorn South High School, I am now familiar with and really love this tasty and simple cultural dish.

According to Wikipedia, okonomiyaki is a Japanese savory pancake containing a variety of ingredients. The name is derived from the word okonomi, meaning “what you like” or “what you want”, and yaki meaning “grilled” or “cooked”. Okonomiyaki is mainly associated with the Kansai or Hiroshima areas of Japan, but is widely available throughout the country. Toppings and batters tend to vary according to region.

Yumi, a Japanese exchange student demonstrated how she has been preparing okonomiyaki for her family since she was seven years old, and visited with her peers about Japan during the Foods I classes. Pam says, “I always ask my foreign exchange students to demonstrate and cook an ethnic food for all of my foods classes. The recipe for okonomiyaki calls for pork, and we usually aren’t able to include pork, other than sausage, in the Foods I classes.”

I joined all five periods of the Foods I classes in the kitchen during their lab day and talked directly with students about the nutritional aspects of pork as well as unique ways to include pork in different meals. This provided an opportunity for conversation to happen organically, based on what students were experiencing during their lab.

There was an interesting happening, where one might say we were lost in translation. The original recipe listed “3 1/2 ounces of thin pork.” Pam understood that to be pork loin, thinly sliced. However, after Yumi demonstrated making this recipe, she explained that where she lives they don’t have “that kind of pork chop”, instead they use bacon. This was interesting for me for many reasons. Primarily, knowing that Japan is the second largest export market for pigs raised in the United States, it was fascinating to meet someone who appreciates different cuts of meat from the pig. This also provided great discussion for the students to compare and contrast the use of pork loin or bacon in this recipe and other recipes too. Most students were interested in trying the recipe again using bacon.

This is the recipe we used during class, but remember, okonomiyaki can include many different ingredients:


1 cup flour

1 cup water

1 egg

5 ounces cabbaged, finely chopped

1 green onion, finely chopped

1 ounce cheese, shredded

3 1/2 ounces bacon

1 tablespoon oil

Optional sauce:

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons BBQ sauce

2 tablespoons ketchup


Heat griddle or skillet over medium heat

Finely chop or shred cabbage and green onion

Mix flour and water, egg, cabbage, green onion, and cheese – do not over mix

Pour oil into griddle or skillet, then pour some of the picture into the sizzling griddle or skillet

Cook for 1 minute, then add bacon

Cook another 3-4 minutes on the first side, then flip

Cook on the second side for 4-5 minutes until the okonomiyaki is well done

Serve with sauce if desired

Photo 1

Approximately 80 students participated in the cultural cooking lab using pork at Elkhorn South High School. These girls pose with their okonomiyaki as it finishes cooking on the griddle.

Photo 1 Okonomiyaki







Photo 2

Dig in! Most students agreed the best part of participating in Foods I classes is making different foods – everything from breads, cookies, eggs, and more – and eating those different foods. Many recipes are so well liked that students make the recipes at home for extra credit!

Photo 2 Okonomiyaki









Photo 3

The nutrition label was created using the Calorie Count Recipe Calculator. Remember, this recipe yields enough to make two large pancakes.

Photo 3 Okonomiyaki Nutrition