I remember vividly the first time one of my daughters came home from school crying because someone had started a nasty rumor about her. A whole myriad of emotions went through me…disappointment, sadness, anger, and finally a complete sense of helplessness. I wanted to go find the child who started the rumor and discipline her, but all I could do was comfort my daughter and give her advice about how to deal with the challenge. The experience left me with a sick feeling deep in my stomach and a disappointment in humanity that touched my core.
It has been a long time since I have felt that way, but yesterday I experienced that same myriad of emotions as I watched an investigative reporter from ABC news smear and belittle a very fine group of people during a press conference held by Governors and Lieutenant Governors from the states of Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota, Kansas and Texas.
Megan and I traveled to Sioux City to meet Eldon Roth and his Beef Products, Inc. family so that we could see first-hand the people and the company that makes Lean Finely Textured Beef. For me, it was a day filled with emotion as I met Eldon, his wife Regina, their son, daughter, son-in-law and many of the employees of Beef Products, Inc. I also had the privilege of meeting Nancy Donley of STOP Foodborne Illness who has worked collaboratively with Eldon and Regina to create innovative food safety measures relative to ground beef and Lean Finely Textured Beef.
I wish that I could find the words to convey to all of you the sincerity and the innate goodness that I felt as I visited with the Roth’s and their BPI family. They are the type of people that I want to bring into my home for Sunday night dinner—They are the type of people that I want my children to grow up to be like—They are the type of people that makes me love Nebraska because they CARE and work passionately to improve the lives of others.
Ten days ago, I wrote a blog post entitled “Hard Work, Trust, and Faith” https://feedyardfoodie.wordpress.com/2012/03/20/hard-work-trust-and-faith/ as I tried to work out in my mind all of the conflicting media coverage regarding Lean Finely Textured Beef. In that post, I stated that one day I hoped to be able to meet Eldon Roth and personally thank him for all that he has done. Yesterday, I was able to do that. We both had tears in our eyes as we shook hands, and although I was just meeting him for the first time, as I looked into his eyes I could see that he was a very special man—A man who quietly and innovatively works each day to be a people builder and inspire greatness in all those that have the pleasure of working with him.
I have continued to receive questions and comments from readers that are interested in learning more about Lean Finely Textured Beef and what role it plays in hamburger. My post for Tuesday will focus on the answers to those questions. In the meantime, I offer a personal thank you to Eldon and his family for inspiring me to achieve greatness in all that I do to care for cattle and raise safe beef.