5 questions with ... Penny Zimmerman, President, American National CattleWomen, Foley, Minn.
Q: What is your role in agriculture today? My husband and I raise beef seedstock animals for the cattle industry, as well as feed a few hundred cattle each year. We make the genetic decisions to produce animals that will continue to improve beef ...
Q: What is your role in agriculture today?
My husband and I raise beef seedstock animals for the cattle industry, as well as feed a few hundred cattle each year. We make the genetic decisions to produce animals that will continue to improve beef quality. I also see myself as an educator in promoting the cattle industry and helping others understand the importance of animal agriculture.
Q: How do you farm differently than a generation before you?
The world become much more technologically advanced during the past few decades and the agricultural world is no different. Producing food has become technologically advanced. Planting crops can be accomplished using GPS. Using DNA results helps us as beef producers select the breeding programs for our cattle, and create the traits we need to raise beef animals that continue to improve beef quality.
Q: You're the president of American National CattleWomen. Why is it important to you to belong to and lead a separate organization for women in the cattle business versus only being a member of organizations that include men and women in the cattle business? Why would a young woman passionate in the beef industry want to join ANCW?
ANCW provides many opportunities for women in agriculture to share their passion for the cattle industry. If you have a passion for education, ANCW has the supporting tools and materials. If you have a passion for promoting beef and being one of the "faces" of a farmer/rancher to the consumer, there are events that give that opportunity. This is especially true as cattlewomen communicate with other women.
We are also involved with the policies in politics as seen from a woman's perspective. ANCW provides leadership training for women through our Women's Leadership Certification Program. We believe in supporting the next generation through our Collegiate Beef Advocacy Program.
A women's organization can focus on the needs of women. As we meet during our mid year and annual meetings, as well as other times, ANCW creates an opportunity for women to network and form a strong national voice from a women's perspective in the cattle industry. ANCW builds a strong camaraderie among its members and empowers women who have a passion for the beef industry.
Q: If you could choose anyone, who would you pick as your mentor?
I would need to pick two mentors. As a child, I would spend time on my Grandma's farm in central Minnesota. She influenced my understanding of good work ethic and life in the country. As an adult, my most influential mentor is Bill, my husband. His love for the cattle industry using his knowledge of genetics has taught me more than I ever expected.
Q: What's your favorite home-cooked meal?
I love steak on a grill or a hamburger with a variety of condiments! But, I also think of beef as comfort food. My grandmother made the best roast beef in the oven, and served it with riced potatoes and gravy. The beef was well done, moist and falling apart, and contained the best flavor! Unfortunately, I did not learn how to make a roast like Grandma, but I have a very good slow cooker recipe for a pot roast. No matter how you like to eat beef, it is a nutrient rich food and so good for you!
3-4 pounds beef roast
Salt and pepper
1 onion, chopped
1 package brown gravy mix
¼ cup ketchup
¼ cup fruit juice (any kind)
2 teaspoons Dijon-style mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder or two minced garlic cloves
Sprinkle meat with salt and pepper; place in slow-cooking pot. Combine remaining ingredients; pour over meat. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours. Remove meat and slice. If desired thicken sauce with flour dissolved in a small amount of water, and serve over meat. Makes 6 to 7 servings. You may serve with boiled, riced, or mashed potatoes and a vegetable.
Penny Zimmerman is currently serving as president of American National CattleWomen. She and her husband, Bill, have had cattle all of their married lives, beginning in Arizona, Idaho and Utah, and now for the past thirty years, in Minnesota, her home state. Penny graduated with bachelor's and master's degrees in education. Bill and Penny have four grown children, all married with children of their own. If you would like to learn more about the American National CattleWomen, please visit www.ancw.org .
Would you like to be featured in this segment or know of someone who would make an interesting profile? Contact Katie Pinke at email@example.com .