Various events are held in areas across the state of Minnesota to promote, support and encourage women involved in the beef industry. While the Minnesota CattleWomen's main focus is to promote beef, it also aids in pulling like-minded women together. (Photo courtesy of Minnesota CattleWomen)

Serving beef enthusiasts in promotion, education and leadership over the course of the last 49 years, the Minnesota CattleWomen's Association has been focusing on reviving, refreshing and refocusing its priorities for 2021. 

“Women who raise cattle are a beautifully diverse group,” said Michelle Mouser, MNCW President-Elect in a previous press release. “From the sole operator/owner of their farm, to those who keep books and manage the homefront, each one plays an integral role in the success of our beef industry." 

At the heart of the MNCW, leadership describes a desire to encourage, promote, and support these women. To that end, MNCW leadership has dubbed 2021 as the “Great Minnesota Comeback,” with an assortment of events planned throughout the year. While most have already taken place, there are still a few in store for the rest of the year.

A fall event will take place at the Armstrong Farm in Owatonna on Saturday, Sept. 18. 

The event, called "The Butcher and The Chef," is ideal for those looking for ideas on how to prepare freezer beef and learn more about the break down of primal cuts. 

MNCW Vice President Rosemary Gustafson said of the program, "With COVID, there were lots of people who purchased freezer beef. Our butcher will show us how to break these down, and our chef will work with how to cook the specialty cuts, since they are a little more non-traditional cuts of meat people aren't sure what to do with." 

Saturday's program features a break down of primal cuts and a lesson about options for freezer beef cuts from Minnesota Association of Meat Processors President Brian Schatz; a discussion on versatility, qualities and seasonings for various specialty cuts from American Culinary Federation certified executive chef and culinary educators, and owner of "That Cooking School" Chef William Niemer; along with a lesson about the brewery and beers from the brew master of Mineral Springs Brewery in Owatonna.

A $60 ticket includes dinner, served at 6:30 p.m. and drinks. Registration closes Sept. 14, and is open to all interested women and men, members or not. 

Gustafson, who has been involved in the organization off and on for the last 10 years, has spent the last three years heavily active in the organization. With a main focus to promote beef and pull like-minded women together, Gustafson says MNCW's mission is to promote, support and encourage women involved in the beef industry. 

"It's wonderful all of the different friendships I've made all over the state," said Gustafson. "It's so interesting to see the industries others are involved in, from those with their own meat market and others who might be selling bulls. There's so many different ways you can take it."

Along with promoting the beef industry, Gustafson says a larger focus has been put on supporting the younger generation with the beef ambassador program, as without youth, organizations have no future. With membership ebbing and flowing over the years, Gustafson says the state organization is really trying to build its membership back up this year, rebuild and show others it's a great organization to be involved in. 

"If you're a woman and you have an interest in the beef industry, we'd love to have you," said Gustafson.

Following the September event, MNCW hosts its annual Minnesota Beef Ambassador competition during the Minnesota Beef Expo, Oct. 21-24 at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. The competition is open to youth ages 16 to 19 who have a desire to promote beef and develop their leadership abilities while connecting with customers. Details on the competition can be found at

In order to meet the needs of cattle women in every stage of the beef industry, a press release states MNCW events focus on current industry issues, building a strong network of connections, and strengthening leaders in the beef industry. 

Reach reporter Michelle Vlasak at 507-333-3128. ©Copyright 2021 APG Media of Southern Minnesota.  All rights reserved.

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