The Journey of Food Production…

Life is a journey, one that often does not involve straight lines.  While there is always a destination in mind, I would argue that the journey is many times just as important as the end point.

Food production in the United States is varied.  The journey of making food is full of diversity and yet the end goal is always the same: safe nourishment to feed our bodies.

I am proud to grow your beef...

I am proud to grow your beef…

There is no doubt that food production has changed dramatically during my lifetime.  The journey that Matt’s grandfather and Archie took to grow food does not look the same as the one that Matt and I take in 2013.

We can have a discussion as to whether or not this change is positive, but that discussion does not alter the fact that food production methods constantly evolve.  There is no doubt in my mind that my daughters’ journey will take them down even more diverse pathways than those that Matt and I have traveled.

Working with my daughters to grow vegetables in our garden also brings me pride...

Working with my girls to grow vegetables in our garden also brings me pride…

My perspective on modern food production has widened since moving to Nebraska and learning the different ways that food is grown.  As I experience it, I learn to both understand it and to realize the benefits that come from having many different types of food production systems.

I manage a cattle feed yard where animals are raised in a concentrated setting to make food.  I believe that I offer humane animal care, and I am devoted to producing a safe and high quality beef product; but there is no doubt that I participate in a very modern food production system.

Three miles down the gravel road from my house is our cattle feed yard where 3000 animals are grown to provide beef to thousands of families.

Three miles down the gravel road from my house is our cattle feed yard where 3000 animals are grown to provide beef to thousands of families.

One of my favorite “hobbies” is gardening.  When I garden, I use a good old fashioned hoe that likely looks the same as the one that Matt’s grandmother used.   Just as I love to use my hands to raise cattle and beef at my feed yard, I also love to use them to grow vegetables and flowers in my back yard.

A good hoe is hard to beat when planting the garden...

A good hoe is hard to beat when planting the garden…

There are nights in the summertime when almost all of the food that is on our table was grown by us. While it was all “home grown”, it came from varied production systems.  It all tastes good and it is all healthy—from the beef that came from my feed yard to the vegetables that came from my backyard.

It is fun to watch it grow...

It is fun to watch it grow…

I love those dinners because they help me to realize how important it is to be in touch with food, and to understand what it takes to grow it.  I am reminded that a varied food production system is a good thing—it provides a practical way for me to have choices and diversity at my table.

So, when it comes to food production, I am a believer…

  • I believe that there are many responsible ways to grow safe food.
  • I believe that the diversity of the United States food production system allows for Americans to have choices.
  • I believe that having choices is a good thing.

The important ingredient to food production is a devotion to quality—I see that both at my cattle feed yard and in my back yard garden.

Looking to the future--learning from the past--living in the present...

Looking to the future–learning from the past–living in the present…

The journey weaves and flows in diverse directions, but it always come back to the goal of safety and wholesomeness of food.  Food that I proudly grow for both you and my family.


Filed under CAFO, General

6 responses to “The Journey of Food Production…

  1. Dawn

    It is an incredible feeling to sit down meals that are all homegrown. Thanks to my garden and the meat we raise a lot of meals we have are exactly that. We also have fruit trees and I make jams and jellies. And I am so grateful that my boys know and appreciate how to produce their own food. The oldest put in his first garden this year and I fielded the phone calls and questions on how and when to plant this or that with smile in my heart. I think food production and the work ethic that comes along with it is one of the most important things we have learned together as a family. Big bonus – fewer and less costly trips to the grocery store. We even have a local dairy that delivers milk and cheese products nearby. And the thanksgiving turkey comes from a friend up the road. I try to buy local and fresh from neighboring farms whenever possible.

    • Dawn,

      I am looking forward to the day when one of my girls calls to ask me questions about gardening—right now, there tend to be “sighs” and mild complainings surrounding “weeding chores” once the garden is up and growing! None the less, it is really good for them to sweat a bit out in the garden and I agree so much with you that “growing food” can be a great family effort. Last summer, we had a bad hail storm that took out part of the garden. We were all disappointed.

      It is so cold outside right now in Nebraska, that I can not imagine anything ever growing again…But, I know that the spring will again bring life to our land and it will be fun to start the growing cycle again. In the meantime, we continue to feed our animals and grow beef right alongside the winter coldness.

      It is good to hear from you again.
      All the best,

  2. drjeff7

    We try to get the kids out in the garden, but they suffer from their daddy’s ADHD a bit (that would be me)….They love to help plant for a bit, but quickly lose interest. The harvest tends to be the same way. We are hoping to have our first farm raised beef next year, as our first calf crop will be mature at that time. I hope to have a small feedlot of our own someday, but we want to provide grass fed beef. This means that the room required will be great and the need for hay fields will be great as well. Keep up the good work on the blog. It looks like you have been busy on your own site and others as well.

    • I think that one of the best things about living on a farm is what it teaches your children. My girls learn hard work and focus through chores, and it is a beautiful thing to watch. It won’t be long before your kids there! Keep up the great work teaching them to contribute.

      Thank you for stopping by to read and comment. I wish you the best as you grow your farm–it looks as though you have a great start going already!

      All the best,

      • drjeff7

        Thanks for the encouragement and the reply. We have been going with the garden for many years, but the animal portion is still a work in progress. I guess the garden is a work in progress as well. We tinker with the garden each and every year.

  3. Rex

    I am absolutely amazed that bread ever became food. Try removing grain from chaff, then making flour. Add that to the accident of yeast in the dough….Simply amazing.

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