Sometime between my 2nd and 3rd visits to Florida to see my parents this fall, the feed yard had its final internal Progressive Beef Audit for 2013. In total, my cattle farm is audited three times in a calendar year as a result of my participation in the Progressive Beef program. The first and third audits are “internal” in nature where a BMG quality assurance director conducts the audit; and the second one is external with a third party consultant conducting the audit.
The Progressive Beef program is based on three tiers: Food Safety, Animal Welfare, and Sustainability. In order to ensure that my feed yard is working diligently in these areas, we follow a certified HACCP plan for our feed mill as well as 39 SOP’s (Standard Operating Procedures). These 39 SOP’s cover everything from cleaning water tanks and cattle home pens — to cattle handling — to taking care of and cleaning farm equipment — to food safety measures.
The HACCP plan and SOP’s provide the basis for everything that we do on the farm as well as the standards on which we are audited. While these audits take time and are a bit intrusive, I believe that they help me to accomplish excellence in cattle care. They are a necessary second step to verify the high quality daily care practices for my animals as well as the safety of the beef that those animals make.
The HACCP plan and SOP’s provide the road map…
I am proud to report that my feed yard has scored in the “Excellent” category on all three of our 2013 audits. I believe that this is proof that we are whole-heartedly dedicated to this journey of excellence in cattle care and beef production…
I would like to take a minute to publicly thank the three awesome men who give of themselves each day to help me to care for our animals. Their dedication, compassion, and loyalty all play an enormous role in the success of my farm. Together the four of us make a fabulous team — which ensures success on this important journey.
I hope that sometime during this holiday season you will choose to eat a delicious beef meal as your own personal tribute to us!