Sustainability and Beef

Periodic recurrences of drought are the biggest challenges any rancher faces. After all, ranchers are basically taking inedible grasses and turning them into high-protein foods that nourish the human body. And when you don't have rain, you don't grow grasses.

I think when you have gone through droughts like we have had in the last decade, it becomes evident you have to take care of your environment and your resources. You have to maintain your grasses and be good stewards of the land. If you don't, you have to deal with the impact of your actions and the recovery aspect that it takes to get back to normal.

As producers, we realize that everything we do is interconnected. If you maintain your grazing land, then you're also conscious of your water situation. So you monitor your rainfall, your runoff, and your ongoing water quality.

And none of that matters if you don't look out for your animal's welfare. My philosophy for quite some time is to pay particular attention to handling practices that provide for low-stress handling of cattle and the impact it has on the quality of the product. We've taken the position that we do not hurry the cattle or push them and we find that the end results are much better.

So that's my definition of sustainability. I believe in a balance of nature. I have a presence there, but I pretty much try to have as little impact on the ecosystem as is necessary.

Why We Care

At Nolan Ryan's Beef, we realize we're not the only protein option you have to choose from. That's why we continually work to show you why we care about our product. It's why we work to ensure that you recieve the highest quality, most nutritious and safest beef anywhere.

Everywhere I travel I find a global appreciation for beef. That's a good thing because that respect is generated by cattle producers who care about their product. My confidence in the level of care is the primary reason I put my name behind the beef that I and my ranching colleagues put in our program.

As a company, we get great benefits from providing our consumers the information about our beef that you seek. This realtionship had made our level of awareness of what you want higher than ever before. And it's made us look at our business of raising cattle differently than ever before. We greatly appreiate the part you play in making Nolan Ryan Beef an exceptional food product.

Our company's commitment will never change simply because we constantly work to make sure you are 100% comfortable with our beef products each and every time.

What Endorsing Beef Means to Me

I'm committed to Nolan Ryan’s Beef being the best beef product that I and my fellow ranchers can produce. I put my name behind the product because I know people will get a quality, consistent eating experience in return for their purchases.

I achieve those requirements by putting my own cattle in the program. Each cut of beef that we sell gives me a better understanding of our product’s performance and challenges and how we can continually improve it. It gives me a much better understanding of what I endorse because I’m involved. For instance, how many times have you seen celebrities endorse a certain type of car? Those celebrities might even drive that model, but there’s no way they have that attachment to it as if they actually produced it and it was part of their day-to-day life.

As our goal is to create a product that provides a pleasant eating experience every time, then we’ve accomplished what we set out to do when the customer experiences an enjoyable meal. Every time that happens, people view your product as one that they'd purchase again. And that's what I want out of this product that carries my name.

Family Grilling Out

Our children have busy schedules now that they’re parents. And those schedules have changed the dynamics of our family get-togethers and the great grilling events we always try to have.

Our daughter, Wendy, her husband and their two-year-old boy stay plenty occupied in Amarillo. And Reid and Reese down in Central Texas have to rearrange their schedules constantly now that their kids are getting into sports. Both Reid and Reese are both coaching and attending basketball and baseball games that their children participate in.

Our children are now seeing things as Ruth and I had to when they were growing up. They have to juggle schedules and accommodate as many responsibilities as they can to leave plenty of family time. And for the Ryan family that always has included time for grilling steaks. We find there is no better solution than to just break away and set a time to get together.

We recently bought Fort Sterrett Ranch between Sonora and Junction, Texas. We bought it not only because it’s excellent ranching country, but also to provide recreation for our children and grandchildren. It’s become our summer getaway where we all spend a lot of time by the North Llano River. Those get-togethers always include grilling steaks, good conversations and lessons learned for the grandkids. It’s the best way we’ve discovered to soften the impact of today’s fast-paced lives.

The Value of Beef

President Reagan in his last Oval Office address said that the first lesson about America is that all great change occurs at the dinner table. He was talking about family values, their importance to our lives and how parents can instill them in the generations to come.

At Nolan Ryan Beef, we have to agree with that statement. There is no doubt that, from a family perspective, the evening meal is the most important meal of the day. That’s where all the lessons about values come into play for the average family.

Take the mother who puts that food on the table. Despite all the pressures of the day, she still goes grocery shopping as the lead person who decides what her children eat and the value she gets for the dollars she spends. She also seeks the intangible values that come from sharing a safe, healthy, properly nutritious, great-tasting meal just as much as she studies the economic value.

The end result of all her care is creation of a bond between parents and children that inspires appreciation of family values. That process surrounding the dinner table can only be a good thing.

Meet the Nolan Ryan's Beef Staff

When thinking of the topic for this month’s blog I thought that my readers would enjoy getting a chance to meet the people behind the scenes of Nolan Ryan’s Beef, what their favorite steak is, and a few helpful tips for cooking the perfect steak!

Charlie Bradbury is the CEO of Nolan Ryan’s Beef. Being in the cattle business for over 30 years, Charlie knows how to select and cook an excellent steak. When Charlie has time to get to the grill he loves to cook ribeyes. He says that the key marinade for him is to squeeze a little bit of lemon juice on the meat as well as soaking the meat in Dale's marinade for at least thirty minutes. Some grilling tips that Charlie always relies on is to make sure that your grill is hot before you place the steaks on the grill. When checking to make sure that the meat is at the desired doneness, never cut the meat, use a meat thermometer instead.

Ted Lawson is our Vice President of Marketing and Sales for Nolan Ryan’s Beef. He loves to grill tenderloin every chance he has. When he prepares steaks he likes to season it with Dale’s marinade, and add a little bit of liquid smoke for flavor. The philosophy he lives by is that you should only turn the steak once on the grill to get the results you want.

Terry Smith is our Vice President of Operations. When he is at home grilling for the family his steak of choice is a ribeye. Terry is a strong believer in not using any marinades on his meat because it takes away from the natural taste. His favorite saying about grilling is, “If you’re a looking, you ain’t cooking!” Keep the grill closed so the meat can cook properly.

Chris Meighen is our Foodservice Representative. Being an avid griller he loves cooking up a great ribeye steak. When preparing his steaks to hit the grill he loves to coat the meat with a dry rub, ensuring that it will have a great crust on the outside. His motto for cooking steak, “Don’t overcook!” Great tip Chris!

Nichole Francis is the Marketing/ Communications Coordinator. Whenever she is grilling for her friends and family she loves to cook tenderloin steaks. About an hour before she plans to grill she prefers to season the steaks with salt, pepper, garlic salt, italian dressing, and worcestershire sauce. A couple of helpful tips are to take the meat off of the grill a few minutes early, cover with aluminum foil to let the juices re-distribute within the meat (it also keeps cooking while covered to desired doneness). This will ensure a great tasting steak!

Bob Persky is our Sales Associate. When not on the road working, Bob loves cooking ribeyes on the grill. His favorite seasoning is our Nolan Ryan Signature Steak seasoning. A great tip that most people do not realize is to take your meat out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes before you put it on the grill to take the chill off. Having the meat at room temperature ensures more even cooking.

Mysti Richardson is in charge of Quality Control for Nolan Ryan’s Beef. Her steak of choice is a New York strip steak. She says, “I do not like to use a strong marinade, I do not want to cover up the flavor of the beef. I prefer a steak seasoning like our Nolan Ryan Steak Seasoning, or just sea salt and pepper.” Her useful tip when grilling is to not overcook the meat, and to let the steak rest for a few minutes before cutting it. This will keep it tender and juicy.

Cydney Mathis is our Perishables Coordinator/ Administrative Assistant. She loves cooking ribeyes on the grill whenever she can. A few hours before she plans to grill she marinates the ribeyes in italian dressing and sprinkles on some Nolan Ryan’s Signature Steak Seasoning for extra flavor. Her tip for great grilling is to, “Make sure you are around family and friends, it makes everything taste better!”

Lastly, Shellee Adkins is our Sales Representative. She is the health guru of the office. When cooking delicious and healthy meals for her friends and family, she relies on the trusty ribeye. Her special marinade to use is 1 cup of red wine vinegar, ¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil, 2 cloves of garlic pressed, salt and pepper to taste. Two steps to follow when grilling is to make sure the grates on the grill are clean, and always spray the grates with cooking spray to ensure the meat will not stick. If you have extra marinade drizzle it over fresh cut veggies, wrap them up in foil and place them alongside the ribeyes on the grill for the perfect side dish!

We hope that these useful tips will help you out the next time you light up the grill for your friends and family. I am truly blessed to have an amazing staff that works hard, and insures great products to our customers. Thanks everyone for all that you do.

Nolan Ryan's All-Natural Beef Announces Sweepstakes

With the start of baseball season already underway it is a great time to dust off the grill and get cooking! This season, the fans of Nolan Ryan's All- Natural Beef can register to win a chance to meet me, Nolan Ryan as one of many great prizes during Nolan Ryan's Beef and Baseball Bonanza.

Great tasting beef from the grill is my favorite way to kick off baseball season. While some beef companies do not start heating up the grill until Memorial Day, we think Opening Day is aboout right for us.

Fans are able to register by logging onto our website, for a chance to win great prizes. The grand prize winner will recieve a meet and greet with me, autographed gear, a Hasty-Bake gourmet charcoal grill, and $250 dollars' worth of Nolan Ryan's Beef. We will also have first, second, and third place winners.

I want to personally thank all of our customers for their continued support for Nolan Ryan's Beef. I am truly blessed to be able to do what I love, and that is to bring high-quality, all- natural beef to families tables.

Let us know what you think via E-Mail or on our Facebook page.

Meat Case Freedom

The biggest change I’ve seen between the beef industry of a decade ago and what we do today is your freedom of choice at the meat case.

We all can remember when we didn’t have any options at the meat case. Today, though, at Nolan Ryan’s All-Natural Beef, we think about it a lot.

For customers who enjoy convenient, affordable beef, we’ve added a number of innovative products that fit the bill including our hot dogs, sliders and smoked beef sausage. These products complement our always highly affordable Guaranteed Tender line of beef cuts.

For our customers who have asked us to provide natural beef that has never received hormones or antibiotics, we have our Premium Reserve program.

And, for customers who want to enjoy our beef whenever they dine out, we are expanding their choices by increasing inroads with chefs to create more marketing opportunities for Nolan Ryan’s Beef. We’re really excited about the partnerships that we’ve established with restaurants including The Black Eyed Pea, Chapps Café and others.

We thank our customers for taking advantage of your freedom of choice at the meat case. You are experiencing our products more than ever before. Let us know what you think via email or our Facebook page.