There’s nothing quite as satisfying as digging into a good ol’ fashioned shrimp boil. Veggies, shrimp and andouille sausage swimming in butter and seasonings create a hands-on feast that’s finger licking good. Our One Pan Shrimp Boil recipe brings it all together, giving you all the Cajun feels without the fuss.
The key to this recipe’s authentic flavor comes from andouille sausage, which is smoked pork blended with Creole seasonings. It’s a home-grown favorite with Southern flare. While you may know that the 1.2 million pigs raised in South Dakota annually eat a healthy diet that includes soybeans, you may not realize that shrimp and other fish enjoy soy too! In fact, a South Dakota-based company, Prairie AquaTech, uses soybeans to create protein-dense pellets to feed farm-raised fish.
Who knew soul food on the prairie could taste so good? Watch and learn how to create your own one pan shrimp boil for your next family meal. Scroll for full recipe below.
Curious about other foods that’s are grown and raised in South Dakota? Let’s take a look at a few that may surprise you.
Hungry for Truth is an initiative about food and farming funded by the South Dakota soybean checkoff. The goal is to connect South Dakotans with the farmers who grow and raise their food.
Many South Dakota farmers would say their favorite part of farming is working with their animals. Local farm animals are well-loved by their owners, which shows in the quality of the eggs, milk and meat they create for your family.
Take the happy cows at Marty Neugebauer’s farm, just north of Dimock. Marty’s farm is one of four dairies that provide the milk to make Dimock Dairy’s delicious assortment of cheeses, curds and spreads South Dakotans love.
Marty knows delicious cheese comes from happy, comfortable cows that are fed a healthy diet. Most of South Dakota’s 117,000 dairy cows enjoy a protein-rich diet of soybean meal, 31,000 tons of it each year to be exact. This nutritious feed typically comes from GMO soybeans. Both GMO and conventional crops are nutritionally equal, and planting GMO seeds allows farmers to grow food more sustainably by using less water, fertilizer and pesticides.
Cows aren’t the only animals living the sweet life on South Dakota farms. Jamie and Brian Johnson raise chickens and Angus cattle on their soybean, corn and wheat farm in Frankfort. Chickens eat a diet of soybeans, corn and grains with added vitamins and minerals. This protein- and calcium-rich diet helps them laying healthy eggs for your favorite meals.
Treating animals right means treating the land right, too. Pig farmers Peggy and Brad Greenway keep their pigs comfortable in a high-tech pen that ensures the animals have a constant flow of fresh air and are fed just enough fresh, nutritious feed. These advancements help them use the right amount of water, feed and land to keep their pigs healthy and reduce their environmental footprint. The Greenways aren’t the only pig farmers practicing sustainability. In the last 50 years, pig farmers have reduced their overall carbon footprint by 35 percent.
At the end of the day, farmers appreciate having a best friend with them through it all. The farm wouldn’t be the same without the family dog. Spending time with their favorite pooch makes the work more enjoyable.
Farms just wouldn’t be the same without the animals that give us safe and healthy food. Find out more about how ranchers sustainably care for their cows with a visit to Shawn and Kristy Freeland’s home.
With a name like “laying hen,” you might think the chickens at Dakota Layers near Flandreau, South Dakota, are just sitting around all day. Well, technically, they are, but they have a pretty important job that requires them to stay off their feet. The 1.3 million hens are responsible for laying more than 90,000 dozen eggs each day (at full capacity), which means they need healthy food to fuel their bodies.
According to Brandon Gibson, manager for Dakota Layers, there’s a science to keeping hens happy and consistently laying high-quality eggs. It all starts with what they eat. No off-the-shelf feed brands will do for these ladies. They get their own special blends delivered right to them daily, which requires teamwork up and down the ag supply chain.
Brandon works with poultry nutritionist Stacey Roberts at Provimi North America Inc. to select the right mix of feed. “Feed is formulated to meet each flock’s needs. It’s adjusted weekly based on egg production, age of the hens and how much each one is eating,” she said. “We’re very precise. In fact, the hens eat better than I do.”
The foundation of the feed for Dakota Layers’ hens comes from corn and soybeans grown by farmers in South Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa that is processed locally into meal. Other ingredients depend on what the hens need to be healthy.
So what do chickens eat? Let’s take a look:
- Soybeans. Soybean meal is about 15 percent of the feed mix and provides hens with important proteins and amino acids they need to lay nutritious eggs.
- Corn. Ground corn is an excellent source of energy for the birds and contributes to the yellow color of the pigment in the egg yolk. Corn contributes more than 50 percent of the feed mix. The next time you crack open an egg with a vibrant yellow yolk, you know the chicken enjoyed a diet rich in corn.
- Distillers grains. In addition to ground corn, chickens also eat corn in the form of distillers grains – 5-10 percent of the mix – which is a byproduct from creating ethanol. It turns out corn that doesn’t become a renewable fuel is a great source of nutrition for animals.
- Calcium, vitamins and other minerals. The remaining ingredients in chicken feed, about 10 percent, are the same vitamins and minerals you take in a daily multivitamin. The only exception is vitamin C, which is a deficiency unique to humans. One mineral that’s especially essential to hens for egg laying is calcium because that’s what eggshells are made of.
“Since hens typically lay in the morning, the shell is the last thing put on at night while they sleep. Large particle limestone is really important to make sure it’s a good shell,” said Stacy. Just in case you’re wondering, it typically takes just over 24 hours to make and lay an egg.
Once Brandon and Stacey settle on the feed formula, she sends the recipe to Darren Ponto at New Vision Co-op in Worthington, Minnesota, for testing, mixing and delivery. He makes sure they check each ingredient to confirm its quality before blending the feed.
Since New Vision is the sole feed provider for Dakota Layers, Darren is also in charge of making sure it gets there on time. New Vision Co-op hauls approximately 3-5 trucks of feed per day, five days a week with each load weighing approximately 31 tons! A missed or late delivery could throw off the egg laying schedule and ruffle the feathers of those hungry hens.
The next time you grab a carton of Dakota Layers’ eggs at Hy-Vee in Brookings or eat a bronco omelet at the Phillips Avenue Diner in Sioux Falls, consider the precision that keeps the hens behind those eggs happy and healthy. There’s no time to “lay” around when it comes to feeding a hungry flock.
Want to read more farm-to-table stories? Here are some journeys from the farm to your fork.
Buying local is a great way to support family farms and businesses, and it’s why so many South Dakotans look for local products when shopping. The great news is you don’t have to look hard to put locally grown food on your table. It’s in the aisles of grocery stores, shelves of downtown shops and stands at farmers markets. No matter where you choose to buy your food, it’s likely you are purchasing a product with local roots.
Marc Reiner is a farmer who grows soybeans, corn, wheat and alfalfa near Tripp. His family has been raising cattle since they homesteaded the land in the 1880s. They also raise pigs.
“Everything we feed our animals is grown on our farm,” says Marc. “The hay, silage, soybean meal and corn is all grown here. My family enjoys eating the meat from the animals we raise and the products we grow.”
Marc’s family sells his crops, pigs and cattle to local grain and meat processors. They transform the soybeans and corn into nutritious animal feed and the animals into choice cuts of beef and pork served in restaurants and sold in grocery stores across South Dakota and the U.S.
Though he doesn’t know where all the food products grown and raised on his farm end up, he knows that farmers throughout the nation no matter the size have the health and safety of consumers in mind.
Dakota Layers is an example of a business serving South Dakotans that purchases feed made from locally grown soybeans. The family-owned operation located north of Flandreau processes and packages 90,000 dozen eggs each day! It purchases 10,000 tons of soybean meal annually to feed its 1.3 million hungry hens. You can purchase their eggs at South Dakota grocery stores. Some local businesses, such as Oh My Cupcakes! in downtown Sioux Falls and Royal River Casino in Flandreau use their eggs for baking and cooking.
So the next time you’re looking for locally grown foods like eggs, pork, beef or chicken, don’t stress if you don’t see a label. There’s a good chance it has a local connection or was grown by a farmer who has your family’s health and safety in mind.
Love learning about local? Milk is another food that has South Dakota roots. Read about its journey farm to shelf.
It’s almost time for South Dakota farmers to get out in the fields and begin the 2017 growing season. There’s a great deal of preparation that goes into planting, and everyone in the family helps out.
Back in March, we checked in with John Horter and his 6-year-old son Dane on their family farm near Andover. Dane shared some insights about what he does to prepare for planting season, what it takes to grow healthy crops and why it’s important to grow food for people and animals in South Dakota. It all starts with a tractor high five!
Can’t get enough of Dane’s on-farm insights? Watch his report from the 2016 harvest.
Once soybeans are harvested, they head out on a journey. Some of them stay close to home and take a road trip around the state. Others opt for international travel and get their passports stamped in China and Indonesia. Ever wonder how soybeans get from farm to table? Read on to follow this important crop’s journey.
South Dakota farmers grew an estimated 238 million bushel soybean crop in 2016 according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. That’s a record. Because farmers grow more soybeans than are consumed here and because overseas customers like the quality of South Dakota soybeans, a lot of those beans will end up halfway around the world
Once farmers harvest their soybeans, some are stored in on-farm grain bins to be sold later. Others are taken by truck directly to grain elevators or soybean processors.
Journey by Sea
More than 60 percent of South Dakota’s soybeans are exported. Thousands of bushels of soybeans begin their journey being trucked from the farm to local grain elevators. From there, they will be put on trains. Most of South Dakota’s soybeans are transported by rail to shipping ports in the Pacific Northwest. Once there, huge, oceangoing ships will carry them primarily to Asia. It takes about 16 to 18 days for soybeans to travel from the Port of Grays Harbor, Washington, to places like China, Japan, Indonesia and Taiwan, countries that are all important customers for South Dakota soybeans.
Most of the soybeans grown in South Dakota are used for livestock feed, so soybean crushers, that’s another name for processors, will separate the whole soybeans into meal and oil. For the more homebodied soybeans, most are crushed at processing plants like the one in Volga, South Dakota. The soybean meal is mostly fed to pigs, chickens, ducks and even fish. Soy’s protein content and amino acid profile make it an ideal ingredient for animal feed. While about 80 percent of the soybean ends up as meal, the remaining 20 percent is oil and is often refined for cooking or fuel as biodiesel. You can find it as vegetable oil on grocery store shelves.
Food-grade soybeans grown for foods like tofu, miso and tempeh travel a little differently. They are loaded into containers, huge metal crates you might see carried on flatbed train cars. Like the soybeans loaded in bulk in big ships, containers are delivered to the West Coast and loaded on ocean vessels that will transport the beans to food processors in Asia.
Next time you’re passing by a soybean field, you’ll know that those beans are just beginning a very important journey.
Have you encountered soybeans anywhere along their journey? Tells us about it in the comments.
Harvest is complete. The weather is getting colder, and there’s snow on the ground.
Although farmers aren’t out in the field every day like they are throughout the warmer months, farmers are busy running their farms the whole winter, too. To find out more about what winter looks like on a South Dakota farm, we asked Peggy Greenway, a South Dakota farmer, to share her thoughts in this guest blog.
Our pigs are housed indoors in climate-controlled barns so they are comfortable and content all year round. We used to have our pigs outside in the winter and had to spend a lot of time bedding them down with straw and cleaning things out by hand. It was very difficult to keep them dry and warm during the winter. We’re pretty darn happy they’re indoors now and knowing they’re comfortable.
Because the pigs are comfortable, we don’t need to adjust anything in their feed to give them more energy to keep warm. However, We do change their rations about every other week for the six months they’re at our farm, adjusting for their dietary needs based on weight and age.