Northern Minnesota is the place to be if you want to meet the farmers that work hard to bring that delicious beef right to your plate. This week I met with Minnesota Beef Council Board Director, Patricia Erickson, of Fertile, Minnesota.
Patricia grew up in southwestern North Dakota on a beef and dairy farm. She attended North Dakota State University for animal science.
Patricia met her husband, Matt, and joined him on the Erickson farm where he has now been in partnership with his dad for 21 years.
One thing you'll notice at the Erickson farm is that everything is done by or with family; that is the culture they have created over the 21 years of partnership and raising kids on the farm.
Patricia says, "The best thing about raising our kids on the farm is they learn responsibility." She also adds, "Getting to work alongside your kids and all having the same passion for agriculture." But if you ask her daughter Sidney, "The best part about the farm is...the cows obviously!"
"The best thing about raising our kids on the farm is they learn responsibility." - Patricia Erickson
The Erickson's have a 350-head Angus-based commercial cow herd. They retain ownership on all of their calves. The Erickson family also has a feedlot that houses 300-400 head each year.
If you are someone who maybe has a few questions about the beef product or raising beef, Patricia says, "We are always willing to answer any questions."
This is a great way to connect with the people who live this lifestyle and are willing to share their story with you!
Patricia says she is proud to be a Minnesota beef farmer because, "Minnesota beef is great."
She isn't wrong!
"I'm proud to be a Minnesota beef farmer because Minnesota beef is great."
For lunch, we went to a nearby smokehouse that just so happens to be owned and operated by Patricia's brother-in-law.
"Erickson's Smokehouse" located in Fertile, Minnesota, has been in business for 10 years. Not only do they have a restaurant establishment, but they also cater and have a couple food trucks.
Two words: Smokehouse Burger. If you happen to stop by, try this burger! The "Smokehouse Burger" includes a burger patty, pulled pork, bacon, all topped with BBQ. This burger was delicious and yes, I had to show a little love to our pork producers out there with the pulled pork and bacon added in.
I can't find the words to describe how awesome this burger was. You have to come try it for yourself to know what I'm talking about! It was full of flavor and the pork and beef complimented each other well.
If you are in the Fertile area this is an absolute "must stop." Heck, even if you aren't in the area the detour is worth the extra time.
Each week passing means another week closer to the end of the "What's the Beef?" blog series. I have enjoyed every moment traveling the state to bring you the faces of the MBC board of directors along with some awesome burger stops. However, it's not over yet. Don't forget to join me next week as I venture to the southern part of the state!
Cooking beef doesn't need to be scary. So, meet Chuck. Chuck Knows Beef will help you determine what cuts to buy when in the store and how to prepare it when home in your kitchen!