New Mexico Cowbells Jingle Jangle
by Dalene Hodnett & Members
The case of the disappearing burger
I’ve been thinking a lot about beef lately as I see less and less of it on the school lunch menu. Beef has become a rarity on the cafeteria tray as school nutrition coordinators with an anti-meat agenda use finances as an excuse to do away with this vital protein. Pretty soon they won’t need the financial excuse as the United States Department of Agriculture prepares to eliminate any mention of beef in the latest edition of the dietary guidelines.
What we grew up with as the food pyramid is now “My Plate” and since it was introduced in 2010, and the guidelines are updated every five years, it is time for a revision. Unfortunately, there are quite a few environmental groups that believe cattle are poisoning the planet and they’ve had five years to marshal their supporters to come out strong against beef. The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) drafted an early version of the new guidelines and replaced much of the meat recommendations with those for plant-based proteins, such as beans. According to Associated Press reports, the committee stated that a “sustainable diet helps ensure food access for both the current population and future generations. A dietary pattern higher in plant-based foods and lower in animal-based foods is more health promoting and is associated with fewer environmental impacts than the current average U.S. diet.”
In the next couple of weeks the DGAC will submit their report to the Secretaries of the Departments of Health and Human Services and Agriculture.
Soon thereafter, a Federal Register notice will be published announcing the availability of the report, which begins a public comment period. This is where the power of CowBelles comes into play. We need you to comment on the proposed guidelines. The address for your comments will be posted here, it will be in “The Wrangler” our CowBelle newsletter, and will be posted on our Facebook page (come like us!). We need you to participate in this process because you can bet the environmentalists will be extremely outspoken in their comments.
Whether or not beef is included in the guidelines is critical because they are the basis for school lunches and direct which foods are included in supplemental nutrition programs. If these programs don’t include recommendations for beef, demand for our product will decrease. Let’s come together to make a difference.
– Dalene Hodnett, President, New Mexico CowBelles
Feb. 17 – Ag Fest / Santa Fe
Feb. 4-7 – ANCW Winter Meeting / San Antonio
Mar. 19 – Roundhouse Feed/Santa Fe
May 27-28 – Women in Ag Leadership Conference / Albuquerque
June 14-16 – NMCGA, NMWGI, NMFLC, NMCB Mid-Year Meeting / Ruidoso
The Powderhorn Cattlewomen met for the annual planning meeting on January 13, 2015 at the Comfort Inn in Santa Rosa, NM. Despite a cold, icy day, almost a dozen members were present. Members discussed the Kids, Kows, and More project, including who is interested in presenting or helping, possible dates, and when more members could be trained to participate in the project. A report was given on the beef booth sponsored by Powderhorn Cattlewomen at the Fort Sumner Winterfest. The event was well attended and the beef appetizers served were well received. Booth visitors filled out a beef knowledge questionnaire to be entered into a drawing for one of two $50 beef gift certificates. Future projects and possible fundraisers were discussed, such as the possibility of a style show featuring an all-beef meal, as well as the annual scholarships given to local high school seniors. Meeting dates for 2015 were set and the meeting planning committee will organize programs and locations for the meetings. There will be no meeting in March to allow members to attend District CowBelle meetings. There will also be no meeting in August. The budget for the 2015 year was approved. Courtesy cards were signed for members in poor health, door prizes were given and the meeting was adjourned. Members drove to The Comet Restaurant for a Dutch treat meal. Submitted by Kelsey McCollum
On December 12, 2014, the Frisco CowBelles had their Christmas party at the Alma Grill in Alma NM. The party was well attended and a good time was had by all. A delicious beef brisket was served. Fun party games were played and nice door prizes were given out. Submitted by Martha A. Stewart Frisco CowBelle Reporter
Mesilla Valley CowBelles met January 3 for their Christmas Party. Family and friends were present and a great time was had by all. Little discussion of business yet plans for a busy new year, Ag Fest-February 17 in Santa Fe; District Meeting in March; Annual School Lunch Calendar Drawing Contest kickoff in February or March, judged late April or early May and prizes awarded before school is out; Kids, Kows and More-April 28-30; WALC Conference-May 27-28 in Albuquerque…and that is just til May…. Get geared up ladies! Submitted by Janet Witte