Stone House Saloon
Photo by Codi Vallery-Mills -- The Stone House Saloon was a hot spot for bikers on Aug. 9. While there they could learn about beef nutrition and cattle production from volunteers of the beef booth who were handing out beef jerky.

By Codi Vallery-Mills

Motorcyclists from across the nation found friendly faces and free beef jerky at the Stone House Saloon during the 77th Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

Beef was named the official meat of the motorcycle rally and the South Dakota Beef Industry Council and volunteers helped promote the protein throughout the event.

At the Stone House Saloon, located west of Belle Fourche on Highway 34, bikers could take in the historic ranch house setting, grab a cold drink and learn about beef. 

South Dakota cattle producers Tammy Basel, Shilo Lamont, Joan Wollschliger, Randy and Julie Holmquist, and North Dakota cattle producer Pat Becker, were part of the beef booth that tested bikers’ beef knowledge while handing out beef jerky.

Bikers from all over the United States and even a few different countries visited the beef booth. Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa led the states for most people in attendance.

Also joining the beef booth at the Stone House Saloon was Girl Carnivore, Kita Roberts. 

Roberts, originally from Delaware, is a big meat eater, griller, and self-proclaimed meat maven. She is said to have 32 grills, and she confirmed that while visiting South Dakota during the motorcycle rally.

Roberts has partnered with the South Dakota Beef Industry Council to help bring consumers and ranchers together. Roberts maintains an online presence that includes mouthwatering photos of juicy burgers and steaks. She also captures images of beef producers and helps put the face to the protein she promotes.  She provides the “handshake” she says of how ranchers and consumers are able to connect through her.

She doesn’t have an agricultural background. Instead, she is taking in as much as she can from those in the industry. She has visited farmers and ranchers in various states. In June she was in South Dakota touring ranches and again after Sturgis she visited more cattle operations in the state. Roberts also visited the South Dakota State University meat lab where different areas of meat science research are conducted. With the help of SDSU and the South Dakota Beef Industry Council a live Facebook stream was happening during the fabrication of several beef cuts. Viewers could chime in with questions and comments for Kita. 

And education is what Roberts is all about. It isn’t just her followers that she is helping to bring knowledge to, she herself building an understanding of cattle production – the breeding, calving, feeding, health management and record keeping of it all. 

“Because of what I have learned consumers can talk to me about what I know. I do a happy hour live on Instagram where producers and consumers can come together and have an honest conversation virtually,” Roberts says. “Knowledge is power and ignorance is fear,” she adds.

Roberts story with beef begins back in 2013. She was on a farm media tour when her photographer’s eye caught an image that others in attendance that day didn’t – the host farmer had his hand behind his back resting on the nose of the cow standing behind him.

“Here he was, tired and in a spotless barn that I’m sure he had gotten up very early to clean, and he had all these women there oohing over a calf, and he was supposed to be telling his ag story because he had been told he needed to, but you could tell he was tired standing there in his worn Carharts. That image really hit me and I realized I had a job to do,” Roberts says. 

The job she refers to is helping ag producers get their stories out for them. She understands that agricultural people have jobs to do and can’t be always be connecting with consumers as they would like to. 

Roberts is stunned by the reception she has received from the ag community. “They are rough and tumble, but really compassionate and kind too. My interest is so deep and I am learning a lot. I am genuinely humbled by the welcome I have received,” Roberts says. 

While at the Sturgis, Roberts also took part in the Mayor’s ride, a food truck contest where she was a celebrity judge, she conducted a live grilling segment on KOTA-TV and visited with numerous others about beef as a great part of a nutritious diet.

 

You can find more of Kita Roberts online at GirlCarnivore.com.