Category Archives: Foodie Fun!

Q Fun…

Lest you all think that I am a complete bah humbug about the snow, I figured that I would share a few pictures from our family sledding expedition on Saturday afternoon. 

The snow was perfect for sledding and the afternoon weather was gorgeous!

The snow was perfect for sledding and the afternoon weather was gorgeous!

My 8 year old dare-devil...

My 8 year old dare-devil…

My 41 year old little boy...

My 41 year old little boy…

My ornery 10 year old cowgirl/chef/trouble maker...

My ornery 10 year old cowgirl/chef/trouble maker…Yes, she did drop it on her sister’s head!

My favorite teenager who kept loosing her sled on the way down the hill...

My favorite teenager who kept loosing her sled on the way down the hill…

And yes, even the girl who traded her flip flops for cowboy boots enjoyed the hill!

And yes, even the girl who traded her flip flops for cowboy boots enjoyed the ride!

Even Shellie, the family mutt, enjoyed the outing :)

Even Shellie, the family mutt, was thrilled with the snow 🙂

The girls keep Matt and I smiling, and I cherish all of the memories that we make together!


Filed under Family, Foodie Fun!, General

Anne Dive Bombs A Cow: Part 2…

By: Bill Wiebking

The ride was a birthday gift to me. Prior to asking Anne, I remember asking about 13-14 other friends if they wanted to go. There were a lot of concerns, but the two biggest included the following. First, many thought I was going to be the pilot. Second, they were terrified of flying without an engine.
What made this flight even more unappealing was the associated ‘stunt’ package, where the pilot would perform loops and other aerobatics.

Anne, who shares a birthday very close to mine, actually thought it was a splendid idea. And with that, we were airborne.

Anne’s acceptance speaks very highly of her daring and adventurous character, which she has in spades. I know this because I’m a rather large person, and the pilot crammed me in the back of the sailplane for weight and balance reasons. (I actually wanted more window being the aviation buff.)  Anne doesn’t know this, but at least one point in the flight I thought I was going to hurl, and the back of her head was the likely discharge point. So like I say, she is very adventurous.

Our sailplane was pulled aloft by another plane. It was a red bi-wing. We probably flew for a good 30-40 minutes sightseeing before the sailplane pilot released the tow cable. The sailplane banked and dove to the left while the bi-plane dove to the right. The sailplane, I believe, immediately did its first loop.

In geography that only matters to Anne, the sailplane slowly made its way to the intersection of Jog Road and Hypoluxo Road in Palm Beach County Florida. At the time, we were flying over serious cattle country. Now, it is a massive housing development.

Our pilot proceeded to execute more stunts. It was very exhilarating, but as the hour was almost up the pilot decided to put the plane in a downward spin to lose altitude. We were over a grazing field with a herd of cattle when he nosed down. For fun, the pilot selected a cow out of the herd and dove on it.

So here is the picture from my perspective. The entire planet is spinning wildly with the exception of that one cow, the windscreen, the back of the pilot’s head and the back of Anne’s head. With the exception of those four things, everything else was a huge blur.

In my mind’s eye, I swear that cow was looking up at us, too. I also thought that I heard it say “Moo?” in quiet confusion, which is impossible being in a sailplane at around 2,000 to 1,500 feet. But, that is the memory.

That memory also includes Anne. She was very excited about the spin and the cow. Before it occurred, she was also in some sort of discussion with the pilot. To this day, I think she hijacked my flight. While it was hard for me to hear, I also think she was giggling or at least very amused in the spin toward the cow, which in a very literary sense would be a huge foreboding to her future with Matt, Nebraska and all her favorite Cornhuskers.

So thanks, Anne, for saying ‘Yes’ to the flight. Your heart in both adventure and compassion relieved my growing desperation. It also created a stronger bond of friendship between us, to which I’ve always been grateful. The flight also seems to have pointed toward your future, which makes that memory all the more wonderful as I continue to enjoy Feedyard Foodie.

Little did we both know at the time that I would spend my adult life caring for cattle!

Many thanks to Bill for bringing back good memories…For those of you that are wondering—we did not land the plane on top of any bovines.  We landed safely back at the airport. My favorite memory of the ride was making Bill nervous as we looped and drove through the sky (The pilot and I did do a little bit of plotting… ) I tease my girls that they are ornery—I wonder where they got that from??


Filed under Foodie Fun!, General

The Aquatic Predator…Feed Yard Foodie Dive Bombs A Cow–Part 1

Here are Bill and I with our Coach shortly after we both completed an ocean mile race…

Bill Wiebking is one of Feed Yard Foodie’s most loyal readers.  Bill is the current Communications Director for Hargrave Military Academy and a long-time friend of mine. My junior and senior year in high school, Bill and I trained 4-5 hours a day together in a shared effort to compete and place at the national level in swimming. The practical jokes, teasing, and laughter that dominated our relationship enabled us to get through the intense training which brought both of us to a new level of athletic accomplishments.

Interestingly enough, when I left Bill and our beloved coach (Allan Andersen) to compete on the collegiate level, I was never able to replicate either the relationships or the swimming success that I saw when training with these two wonderful guys.  Both Bill and Allan played a pivotal role in shaping the person that I am today.  They taught me that hard work led to success, and that a few practical jokes and laughing moments made that hard work a joy to experience.  I take those lessons with me each day at the feed yard, where my crew and I can often be seen laughing and teasing each other while we push ourselves to tenaciously pursue our goal of outstanding animal care.

The following is a story that Bill wrote about an experience that we had together.  It has an interesting tie to the life that I have chosen in Nebraska! Bill is possibly even more verbose than I am so I have divided the story into two parts.  Part 1 is listed below and Part 2 will come up on Thursday.  Enjoy!

“Anne Dive Bombs a Cow”

By: Bill Wiebking

Many years prior to Nebraska, before Will Feed, Inc. and a few years prior to meeting Matt, Anne was a scrawny little girl who could be seen driving her Daddy’s big blue Suburban to and from swimming practice. She swam on a team where at least two members, the coach and myself, often held our faces skyward toward Palm Beach International (PBI) airport and its main runway, which was literally less than a half mile from our pool.

While I think we all shared a love for being outside in the hot sun and cool water, I don’t think she cared much for aviation. On rare occasions the Coach would stop or ignore practice so we could watch an unusual aircraft take-off, such as a giant U.S. Air Force C-5a Galaxy departure on PBI’s massive main runway. Or, watch the goings on when then President George H.W. Bush, Sr. flew into town on Air Force One visiting his mom.

Anne and several other female athletes on the team, (and there were many), would roll their eyes at our wierdness. I have one memory of Anne and a few others standing at the pool wall completely dejected since ‘we’ were holding up practice for something as meaningless as a plane taking off. And when I mean dejected, they were standing like women spurned. The water was steaming.

Anne, at the time, must have been a high school junior and was very focused on school and swimming. She was very hardcore in both academics and her athletics. She was also a stunningly tough competitor and, despite a large age and speed difference between us, an awesome training partner.

Anne was more than a little quirky, however. Often this crazy clinical scientist personality would kidnap the Anne we trained with every day. That side of her was awkward and often didn’t get a simple joke. While we were used to it and completely accepted her, it was strange that this top-flight academic would give us a blank stare. It was precisely that reason that she was far more one of us than not. It humanized this otherwise terrifying aquatic predator.

(She has since told me that she is not that person anymore, but to me that primal stuff never leaves the ID. And her girls compete successfully both on land and on water like their Mama, so guess what? It is still there, but it is regulated to a set of narrow eyes looking out from the dark places in a jungle.)

And so with that, it seemed strange to me that Anne accepted my offer to go flying. This was not a normal flight. We weren’t going cross country. The flight would take-off and land at a local airport, which was some distance from PBI.

The flight was for a ride in sailplane, a completely motor less and utterly quiet aircraft designed to ride thermals or heat rising off the land. Florida has plenty of heat, so it is a great place to fly a sailplane…

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Filed under Foodie Fun!, General

Spring in Nebraska…

In the almost 15 years that I have lived in Nebraska, spring has never ceased to amaze me.  I am pretty sure that I have spent every March feeling as though I was doing my best Mary Poppins impersonation!  My guys at the feed yard tease me that I need to put weights in my shoes so that I do not blow away… The wind in March is constant (constantly blowing 30+mph)–just as constant as the geese migration. The link below has an amazing video that Matt took just a couple of miles from the feed yard…

Every spring I am reminded of the natural cycle of life as plants come out of winter dormancy and new life is prolific.

The brave crocuses in our front yard are in full bloom...(At least until the next snow storm!)

Wheat is one of the first things to "green" up. This field of Matt's is trying hard to turn green!

The highlight of spring is the baby calves that make their way into the world…

This little guy is just a few days old.

I am left in awe as I take in the beauty of new life.  I am also thankful to be a part of the process.  I am, after all, not just the humble inhabitant (, but am also an active participant.  Thanks to teamwork, this little guy of Tom and Pam Laird’s will one day come to my feed yard and make great tasting and healthy beef for me to feed to my family and to yours…

A year ago, this big guy was born at Tom and Pam's pasture and he is now at my feed yard...

The March winds bring the promise of spring and the next life cycle.  What a beautiful progression to be a part of!