Beef, It’s My Future
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of this highly effective marketing tagline, the beef brand is being refreshed. National and state beef councils are taking this opportunity to educate a new generation of consumers about the many benefits beef. They’re also featuring a new generation of cattle farmers, who take great pride in producing quality beef.
In honor of May Beef Month, I chose to feature one of the most passionate beef enthusiasts I know. Andee Hammen is a young cattle farmer, who helps bring beef to family’s tables across America.
Andee and her family raise beef on their farm in Jolley, Iowa. Their operation includes her dad, Gary; her mom, Linda, and her sister, Brittany. In addition to 150-head commercial cow-calf herd, the Hammen family raises corn and soybeans.
“My dad definitely sparked my interest in beef production,” says Andee, who first got involved in her family’s beef operation by raising bottle calves as a kid. “Helping bottle feed calves on our farm is one of my fondest memories. I’ve always been an animal lover, and I think it stems from raising bottle calves when I was young.”
The older Andee got, the more involved she became in 4-H and FFA beef projects. That experience also led her down an ag career path. She chose to major in Agricultural Communications at Iowa State University and took many beef production courses as electives.
Andee graduated from ISU in May of 2017. She works as a content manager at Corner Post Marketing Communications in Fort Dodge. She enjoys living and working near her hometown because it allows her to remain active in her family’s farming operation.
“Dad’s passion and dedication day in and day out makes me truly appreciate this industry,” says Andee. “He encouraged my sister and me to pursue other interests, but we’ve both came back to the farm because we knew it’s where we belong.”
After graduating from college, Andee wanted to get more involved in the beef industry and applied for the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association Young Cattlemen’s Leadership Program (YCLP).
“I knew that taking part in this program would open my eyes up to what other possibilities and opportunities are out there for young cattlemen,” says Andee. “So far it has exceeded my expectations!”
The YCLP is a series of educational sessions designed to develop leadership qualities in young cattle farmers. Sessions touch on key beef cattle industry topics as well as activities to enhance leadership skills. Andee has also enjoyed the opportunity to meet other cattle farmers from all over the state.
Another interest of Andee’s is capturing every-day moments on their farm with her camera. She became interested in photography during her freshmen year of college.
“Being away from the farm made me homesick,” explains Andee. “Photography was a great way to bring a little piece of home and the farm with me to college. I have really taken interest in photography, and now I rarely go anywhere without my camera.”
Andee’s favorite subjects to photograph are cattle, corn, soybeans, sunsets and nature. She enjoys photos that represent life in rural Iowa, which you can see from the photos that accompany this story. You also can follow her on Instagram.
Photography is a way for Andee to preserve a lifetime of memories and to help the Hammen legacy live on.
“What I love most about raising cattle is the fact that the industry is allowing my family to create a legacy,” says Andee. “You put so much blood, sweat and tears into the operation that it just becomes part of you. We’re continually making improvements for the future generations.”
Because honoring family traditions is so important to Andee, today she is sharing with us a family favorite recipe for Teryaki Steak Kabobs.
Teriyaki Steak Kabobs
- 2 pounds sirloin steak cubed into pieces and marinated
- Bell Peppers
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 1 tsp crushed garlic
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- In a medium bowl mix all marinade ingredients
- Thread the beef and veggies of your choice onto a skewer. In a large baking dish, pour the marinade over the kebabs and let them marinate for at least an hour or up to 24 hours
- Remove kebabs from marinade and pat dry
- Place them on a pre-heated grill over medium heat for about 8-10 minutes – or until they are cooked to your preference