We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.

Aristotle, a great Greek philosopher, coined those powerful words more than 2000 years ago.  Achieving excellence in our lives becomes a reality when we take pride in our actions and focus on doing all of the little things with greatness.  While striving for excellence starts as a goal, it materializes through dedication, planning, and auditing.

My favorite 13 year old is a big Aristotle fan...

My favorite 13 year old is a big Aristotle fan…

In many ways I am both a perfectionist and a workaholic.  My mom teases me that it is a good thing that I live on a farm where my girls can go with me to work—otherwise they might never see me.  While this is an exaggeration, my life very simply revolves around my family and my farm.

All of my years of athletic training combined with my naturally inclined Type A personality have created a passionate working machine.  When you add into the mix the dreamer that lives somewhere deep in my heart, you get a unique and driven individual.September 23, 2012 008

For better or for worse, I have very high standards that I live my life by.  Because my cattle feed yard is an integral part of my life, it is a natural progression for me to hold it to high standards as well.  When I look for companies and programs to associate my feed yard with, I look for those that share my same commitment to excellence and integrity.

I mentioned in Tuesday’s post that I was currently going through the certification process for a QSA (Quality Systems Assessment) program called Progressive Beef.  The Progressive Beef program is based on three pillars:  food safety, animal care, and sustainability.


Both the mom and the cattle feed yard manager in me love those pillars.  How could I not?  I spend my life raising animals that will be harvested to feed my children and children all over the world. A focus on these three areas is absolutely critical to achieving the high standards of excellence which Aristotle compels me to accomplish.

They are never far from my thoughts as I make decisions at my cattle feed yard---you and your families are in my thoughts as well...

They are never far from my thoughts as I make decisions at my cattle feed yard—you and your families are also in my thoughts…

Since many customers report that they would like to see their grocery store carry a beef product that uses a verified program, I am hopeful that many of you will share my excitement as I earn the right to participate in Progressive Beef.  I am also hopeful that you will engage in the conversation as I continue to explain the components and auditing process of the program.

I feel compelled to end by sharing some beautiful words from Mother Theresa:

You and I have been created for greater things.  We have not been created to just pass through this life without aim.

What motivates you to strive for excellence?


Filed under CAFO, General, Progressive Beef QSA Program

8 responses to “Excellence…

  1. Hi Anne,
    I’m interested to see how this works out for you. We’ve been using the low-stress/humane/quality approach for some time, including 2-stage weaning with the AND and bunk training. Our calves have a “rep” when we go to the sale barn but I’d like to see a bit more premium. Always looking for ideas…

    Good luck as you move forward with this.

    • Thank you, Shaun. It will be a learning experience for all of us! Many of the SOP’s are similar to the BQA Feedyard Assessment, but the audit is more strict and comprehensive. It is an incredibly thorough program and will help my crew and I continue with our dedication to greatness. I hope that it also opens up marketing opportunities for us.


  2. I am such a Type A person too and am enjoying learning more about your new venture 🙂

    • I think that there are a good number of us Type A’s out there! I am excited about the venture and will be blogging about it regularly. I am glad that you are interested 🙂

      Take care,

  3. usingourwords

    I’m so glad Aimee shared your post. While I’m pretty Type A with high standards, I know absolutely nothing about farming. This is fascinating!

    • Thanks so much for reading! Aimee is wonderful and I love that she shared as I so enjoyed all of the other posts. It is great to hear from you–thank you so much for taking the time to send me a note. Feel free to keep reading in the future 🙂

      All the best to you!

  4. Carol

    As always Anne, I appreciate the way you look forward to a challenge and encourage all of us to strive for excellence.

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