The only place you find success before work is the dictionary.
My favorite 13 year old has this quote up on the wall of her room. When I go into her room and read the saying, I smile knowing that I have mentored her well. This quote is likely the reason that she set the school’s Junior High Cross Country record this fall.
One of the most important life lessons that competitive swimming taught me was to be enthralled with the work that was necessary for success. While winning was awesome, I learned that true success was realized in the journey.
I transitioned from being a competitive athlete to a recreational athlete almost two decades ago, but I still believe in the value of the journey. Today it is a journey of safe food production rather than qualification for the elusive US Swimming Senior Nationals, but my goal is still to achieve excellence.
My role as mentor to my crew at the feed yard is vital to the goal of food safety. Healthy animals make healthy beef. Quality and consistent care leads to healthy animals. The journey is sometimes riddled with challenges, but attention to detail ensures success.
Tomorrow, I will spend the day with the Progressive Beef team getting one step closer to certification in the program. It will take many hours to:
- Finalize the HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) plan for my feed mill where we store and load feed ingredients. This will ensure good, consistent feed quality and nutrition for my animals.
- Finish editing the Standard Operating Procedures (there are many of them) to ensure attention to detail on all daily animal care tasks that are performed at the feed yard.
- Begin the process of implementing the specific HACCP plan and SOP’s in our daily routine at the feed yard.
- Inspire my crew to embrace their new record keeping responsibilities as well as continuing the dedicated animal care that is a trademark on my farm.
- Discuss the strict auditing process that will occur twice a year to ensure certification under the Progressive Beef QSA program.
It is likely that all of us will return home Friday night tired from a long day. It is my hope that we will also take home with us a lingering excitement toward this new stage in our journey of high quality beef production!