Ever since I was a little girl, my family and I serve beef at the Cattlemen’s Beef Quarters at the Iowa State Fair. We always work the first day of the fair. My parents are members of the Sac County Cattlemen; my dad has been the secretary for a number of years. Over the years, things have changed but the cattlemen’s mission is to still promote beef to the public. 
I have learned not only to promote beef but service to the public and food quality at a young age. At the Cattlemen’s Beef Quarters you can find all beef novelties from prime rib to taco in the bag. In the past couple of years there has been a couple new items added to menu. The most famous is the legendary “Hot Beef Sundae”. This scrumptious entrée includes a scoop of mashed potatoes loaded with roast beef and gravy, shredded cheese and a cherry tomato. It is definitely a favorite of many that come to the state fair. 

Pictured: Deb Bettin (left), manager of the Cattlemen’s Beef Quarters, and the creator of the wildly popular Hot Beef Sundae, stops for a moment to get her picture taken with Kayla Degner.


I spoke with Deb Bettin, manager of the Cattlemen’s Beef Quarters while I was working at the fair. She stated, “I feel that our sole vision is to promote quality beef to the public.” Bettin’s most exciting event throughout her years as manager was the invention of the Hot Beef Sundae in 2007. Through the hot beef sundae, they were able to use the beef product and make it fun to resemble an ice cream sundae! 
John Mortimer, the President of the Cattlemen’s Beef Quarters founded this establishment in 1985 to showcase quality beef to the public. John commented, “It is satisfying to see approximately 1,500 cattlemen come serve and promote beef throughout the duration of the fair.” He also added that the first year they had the hot beef sundae they planned on serving 4,000 but ended up serving about 22,000! 
I chatted with Ken Erpelding, Sac County Cattlemen’s President and Mike Penniman, Sac County Cattlemen’s Treasurer during the fair. They love coming down to the fair every year, it is something they put on their calendar year to year. It is fun for them because they meet new people and it is a way to educate the public not only about beef but agriculture, as well. 
I have a passion to advocate agriculture and working at the Cattlemen’s Beef Quarters is one easy way I can do that, even at a young age. If you ever attend the Iowa State Fair, check out the Cattlemen’s Beef Quarters and enjoy some delicious beef.

Kayla Degner was born and raised in rural Lytton, IA on a diversified grain and livestock family farm. She graduated from Rockwell City-Lytton in May 2012 and currently attends Iowa State University studying Agricultural Communications. Her past involved many agriculture venues. Kayla has a strong interest in advocating to the youth involved in agriculture.

Contact her at [email protected].