Texas A&M AgriLife Extension is hosting a COVID-19 West Region Beef Cattle Marketing program on June 17, 2020. The program will be virtual through Zoom. How to Attend:


Join Zoom Meeting at https://agrilife.zoom.us/j/96970953651 or call 346-248-7799 and enter Meeting ID: 969 7095 3651.


The program will begin at 11 a.m. There is no fee required to join.


The topic of the program is: Coronavirus Food Assistance Program Update and the speaker is Dr. Bart Fischer, Co-director of the Agricultural and Food Policy Center at Texas A&M University.


For more information contact Scott Anderson at 325-646-0386 or by email scott.anderson@ag.tamu.edu.


PATH TO THE PLATE PORK AND TOMATOES


Pork is the most widely consumed meat product in the world today. The U.S. is the 3rd top pork producing country in the world. Iowa ranks number 1 in terms if swine numbers within the US. In the US alone more than 68,000 pork producers market more than 112 million hogs each year. Within 6 months a baby pig that only weighs 2-3 pounds at birth will grow to over 270 pounds. The average gestation (pregnancy) period of a pig is 3 months, 3 weeks, and 3 days. On average, 18 piglets are born per litter. Pork can be processed a number of ways. There are fresh cuts, such as pork loin, shoulder (Boston Butt) ribs, blade steak, pork chops, and ground pork. Products such as bacon and ham require further processing. The USDA now recognizes 7 pork cuts as “lean” which means they contain less than 10 grams of fat. These cuts include tenderloin, sirloin pork chop, boneless top loin, pork roast, bone-in rib pork chop and ground pork (96% lean). Some common byproducts of pork include insulin, suede, gelatin, chalk, soap and makeup.


Technically, the tomato is a fruit because it is the ripened ovary of a plant. However, the US Supreme Court in 1893 ruled the tomato was a vegetable. Tomatoes are the most popular garden vegetable crop in Texas. Tomatoes grown in the Lower Rio Grande Valley are often for commercial sales and tomato paste. 90% of tomatoes are for local fresh market and roadside. East Texas produces the majority of fresh market tomatoes. There are many varieties of tomatoes which results in tomatoes of all sizes, shapes and colors. Tomatoes are ready to be picked when they reach their full red color. If tomatoes are picked prior to being ready, they can ripen at room temperature. Some common items made from tomatoes include ketchup, marinara (spaghetti sauce) tomato sauce, paste, and soup. Tomatoes are fat free, low in sodium and are a good source of vitamin A and C.