Join my Journey

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September — Summer Cookout

Posted September 4, 2014 at 10:10 am by Kristin Porter

I might sound like a broken record, but one of my favorite parts about touring farms and farming-related operations with Join My Journey over the past two years has been meeting the farmers and their families. It's easy to pass by the meat, dairy, and egg case at the grocery store and not give a second thought as to how the food got there. Now that I've gotten to know some of the people behind the products, and their amazing stories, grocery shopping has taken on a whole new meaning.

Unfortunately, due to harvest time and busy schedules I don't often get to see the farmers I meet on the road again. That said I was thrilled to reconnect with one of my favorite cattle farmers recently, Justin Rowe, over dinner at his family farm!

I interviewed Justin and Tanner Rowe, brothers and fifth generation cattle farmers, around this time last year and it was great to catch up with Justin and his wife Corinne over a grilled steak dinner at their home just west of Adel. We were joined by my husband Ben and two Join My Journey readers, Amy and Sam, who won a contest to join us for an evening on the farm.

Check out the video of our dinner together!

I've always imagined what life would be like living on a farm. Let me paint a quick picture for you – quiet. Crickets. Sunsets. Views. I mean, living on a farm absolutely has it's challenges – a few weeks before our visit an entire tree line on the property was torn out by a tornado (thankfully everyone was ok!) – but man, that setting. There's nothing like it.

We took our meal on the back patio with a fine view of the setting sun then got to talkin’. As cattle farmers, my first question for Justin and Corinne was, how often do you eat beef? Their answer?  7 days a week! That tells me two things – they’re passionate about what they do and confident in the product they raise. Besides that, beef is absolutely delicious and full of iron, vitamins, and minerals.

We investigated the delicious part next with a grilled beef flight dinner (yes, beef flight!) using non-traditional cuts of beef including flat iron steaks, chuck eye steaks, and beef shoulder petite tender. These cuts are located in the chuck section of the cow, versus the rib or loin where more traditional steak cuts...

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