September 1, 2014

South Dakota Cattlewomen Hold “The Last Meal”

Red meatThis summer may be your last chance to prove that your beef preparation skills are the best of the best at a regional competition.

The South Dakota CattleWomen are seeking contestants with a winning recipe for 2014 South Dakota Beef Cook-Off.  The event will be held at the South Dakota State Fair on Aug. 30, 2014, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Huron, SD.

After 35 years, this summer will mark the final year for the annual Cook-Off as part of the State Fair.  Kodi Blotsky, SDCW president, says this year’s theme is the “Last Meal”…

Kodi Blotsky 1

The CattleWomen have hosted the annual event thanks in part to the national Beef Checkoff Program.  But does the national trend reflect our regional tastes and traditions?

Kodi Blotsky 2

In the future, the SDCW hopes to continue to share recipes with consumers, but through different venues, such as Facebook and Pinterest.  This year, they plan to do a small tribute to the contestants who competed and those who volunteered over the many years.  This summer’s final competition will challenge contestants to utilize an old cook-off recipe, reimagine  and modernize it by changing the cut of beef, making it more convenient and improving the nutritional value of the meal.

Kodi Blotsky 3

Sometimes, an old recipe can be a real goody.

Kodi Blotsky 4

The cook-off will be split into three categories: Youth (ages 8-12), Teen (13-19) and Adult (20 and above). First place in each category will receive $300, and second place will receive $150. People’s Choice will also be awarded in each category and will receive $50.

In addition to the competition, the event will also feature the popular “Beef Basket Challenge,” which puts two local “celebrities” against each other in a cooking competition, where the individuals have to create a beef meal from a mystery basket of ingredients.

To enter the 2014 South Dakota Beef Cook-Off, contact Blotsky at with your name, address, phone number and age.

The deadline to enter is next Friday, August 8th.



New Study Suggests Zilmax Feed Additive Safe After All

A recent study by USDA’s Agricultural Research Service and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln shows beta agonists don’t harm cattle. The thought that beta agonists do harm cattle was the primary reason for Merck Animal Health to remove its feed additive Zilmax last August. The Food and Drug Administration approved the product – which has been used to improve feed conversion and result in more beef from each animal harvested – which has been a priority since 1952.

This recent study took place for a 26-day period. Researchers collected blood, monitored body temperature and video images from 20 heifers that were divided into two groups. One group received the recommended dose of Zilmax – the other did not. On the last day of the trial – heifers were exposed to a simulated stress event to mimic the stress response that would be anticipated in cattle being shipped from the feedlot to the packing plant. Study results show heifers fed Zilmax had an increase in parameters indicating increased muscle mass – which was expected.

Researcher Ty Schmidt says results also showed heifers supplemented with Zilmax had a decreased production of cortisol – the stress hormone – and decreased body temperature during the simulated stress event. Overall – Schmidt says the results indicate while there are variations in the body temperature, endocrine and metabolic parameters and histopathology of major organs of Zilmax-supplemented heifers – the differences show no indication supplementation of Zilmax is detrimental to health or well-being in cattle.


Risky Business Study Discusses Business Implications of Climate Change

A group of business people and political leaders have released a project called Risky Business. Risky Business assesses ways to manage the financial impact of climate change through the end of the century. The study does not propose ways to mitigate the problem. However - it does offer its data to anyone wanting to assess the financial risk of things like rising sea levels and the impact of flooding on coastal properties - real estate, homes, businesses, whole cities - or of drier growing seasons in the corn belt. One of the Risky Business study members is the Executive Chairman of the global agricultural giant Cargill - Greg Page

Greg Page On Risky Business-1

The study does not provide solutions to the inherent financial risks of the Earth’s warming - but rather an enormous data set - some 23 terabytes-worth - free to anyone who wants to use it. The data provides geographically specific climate change information

Greg Page on Risky Business-2

Decisions - Page says - that can take place in a business environment - regardless of one’s beliefs about climate change. The kind of conversations he says that are not taking place for fear the mention might prompt unwanted government involvement

Greg Page on Risky Business-3

Learn more about the Risky Business study on the web at