‘Suzy Sirloin:’ Future bright for beef
MULLICA HILL — Suzy “Sirloin” Strassburger knows the beef industry.
As one who is carrying on her family’s business, founded in 1865, into its fifth generation with her sister Andrea, Suzy “Sirloin” Strassburger’s enthusiasm for all things beef-related knows no bounds.
An animated and lively speaker, she wandered around the gazebo stage and off into rows of the audience — a small crowd of south Jersey-based beef farmers and producers gathered in July at the Gloucester County Fairgrounds — while holding her wireless microphone like a TV host. She spoke on “The Future of Protein: A Bright Outlook for the U.S. Livestock Industry” at the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association East Coast Producer’s Forum in early July here.
Suzy Strassburger and her sister have carefully cultivated relationships with many top restaurant owners and chefs in their native New York City.
The packaging plant for Strassburger Steaks and Meats is located near major highways in Carlstadt, not far from the Lincoln Tunnel and the George Washington Bridge.
“Agriculture is our third largest economy in the U.S., it’s so important that we continue to do what we do, it’s so good that we continue to do what we do,” Strassburger said.
It’s great, she said, “if you encourage your children and grandchildren to continue to do this, because there is a growing population.”
Here in the United States, she said, “we have the greatest Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, and he is so smart and so amazing, he is the grandfather of agriculture in America.
“He gets it, and he is there for us, and we’re very lucky to have him on our side and for him to understand what we deal with,” Strassburger said.
Strassburger said the fastest growing segment of restaurants in America right now are hamburger and steak houses, be they franchises or independently owned restaurants.
“So the future of meat and all that’s going on now is all good, and we’re so lucky we have an abundance of food and abundance of protein,” she said.
“When I want to take someone out for their birthday or someone gets a raise, I take them out for a steak, because it gives you protein and gives you energy,” she continued.
New forms of plant-based protein alternative foods, she argued, “can’t replace my prime aged ribeye, ever, and the real meat eaters know what a real hamburger tastes like. So beet juice and peas cannot replace my hamburger.”
Strassburger kept her comments brief and with such a small group of beef farmers and producers were on hand, she opened it up to questions and sat down among members of the audience.
When one beef farmer complained about how restrictive and all-encompassing regulations were in the Garden State, Strassburger suggested the farmer should contact the New Jersey Beef Council.
Ed Wengryn, who was in attendance for the New Jersey Farm Bureau, noted the beef industry council is not affiliated with state government in any way.
Strassburger continued by urging the beef farmers and producers at the meeting to “just stay active, believe in what you do, and you’ll get through the hard times.
“We need to link together more across our industry.
Having groups and associations and conventions is useful so we can all be better advocates for the beef industry.”
Strassburger also urged the farmers to follow the trends, including the grass-fed beef trend, “and be ready to produce the kinds of beef that people want.”
“One percent of America, our farmers, are growing our food,” she argued, “and they do it so well, you are the stars of our universe,” Strassburger said.
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