Tag Archives: Eldon Roth

In Defense Of A Good Man…

I remember vividly the first time one of my daughters came home from school crying because someone had started a nasty rumor about her.  A whole myriad of emotions went through me…disappointment, sadness, anger, and finally a complete sense of helplessness.  I wanted to go find the child who started the rumor and discipline her, but all I could do was comfort my daughter and give her advice about how to deal with the challenge.  The experience left me with a sick feeling deep in my stomach and a disappointment in humanity that touched my core.

It has been a long time since I have felt that way, but yesterday I experienced that same myriad of emotions as I watched an investigative reporter from ABC news smear and belittle a very fine group of people during a press conference held by Governors and Lieutenant Governors from the states of Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota, Kansas and Texas.

The panel of governors, lieutenant governors, and food safety experts that stood up in Defense of a Good Man and his product...

Megan and I traveled to Sioux City to meet Eldon Roth and his Beef Products, Inc. family so that we could see first-hand the people and the company that makes Lean Finely Textured Beef.  For me, it was a day filled with emotion as I met Eldon, his wife Regina, their son, daughter, son-in-law and many of the employees of Beef Products, Inc.  I also had the privilege of meeting Nancy Donley of STOP Foodborne Illness who has worked collaboratively with Eldon and Regina to create innovative food safety measures relative to ground beef and Lean Finely Textured Beef.

Eldon's wife and daughter, who took the time during a very difficult day to make a 10 year old girl feel special. I hope that Megan will grow up to be as courageous and giving as they are...

I wish that I could find the words to convey to all of you the sincerity and the innate goodness that I felt as I visited with the Roth’s and their BPI family.  They are the type of people that I want to bring into my home for Sunday night dinner—They are the type of people that I want my children to grow up to be like—They are the type of people that makes me love Nebraska because they CARE and work passionately to improve the lives of others.

Ten days ago, I wrote a blog post entitled “Hard Work, Trust, and Faith” https://feedyardfoodie.wordpress.com/2012/03/20/hard-work-trust-and-faith/ as I tried to work out in my mind all of the conflicting media coverage regarding Lean Finely Textured Beef.  In that post, I stated that one day I hoped to be able to meet Eldon Roth and personally thank him for all that he has done.  Yesterday, I was able to do that.  We both had tears in our eyes as we shook hands, and although I was just meeting him for the first time, as I looked into his eyes I could see that he was a very special man—A man who quietly and innovatively works each day to be a people builder and inspire greatness in all those that have the pleasure of working with him.

Megan and I with Eldon and his family after the press conference...

I have continued to receive questions and comments from readers that are interested in learning more about Lean Finely Textured Beef and what role it plays in hamburger.  My post for Tuesday will focus on the answers to those questions.  In the meantime, I offer a personal thank you to Eldon and his family for inspiring me to achieve greatness in all that I do to care for cattle and raise safe beef.

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Filed under General, Nutrition (cattle and human)

Hard Work, Trust and Faith…

Archie Curtice is one of my favorite people.  He was the feed yard manager when I went to work there as a twenty two year old “green horn” the summer of 1997.  He has loved me, mentored me, and enriched my life for the past fifteen years.  Archie grew up on the land where our feed yard is located today, and I love to listen to his stories about the early years of agriculture in Dawson County.  Archie has more common sense and humor than any other individual that I have ever known.  He is a natural problem solver and, although his formal education ended at age 16, his innate ability to figure things out constantly amazes me.

Together we make generations of dedication...

Although I have 5 more years of formal education culminating in a cum laude degree from an Ivy League Institution, Archie is the one who taught me how to raise cattle and grow food.  He taught me how to roll up my sleeves and quite literally go to work.  He taught me the ability to look at a particular situation (no matter how challenging) and figure out how to make it work.  Some days, the lives of my animals and the safety of my crew rely on these decisions and there is little room for error.  Archie excels at problem solving because his life experiences have tenaciously honed this skill.

Archie's weathered hands hold decades of experience and hard work...Mine are not as calloused, but are working hard to continue our tradition of ingenuity and diligence.

As I read articles and researched the topic of Lean Finely Textured Beef last week, my mind kept coming back to Archie.  Those of you that read last Tuesday’s post—Hamburger: It’s What’s For Dinner In The Feed Yard Foodie House  might remember a gentlemen by the name of Eldon Roth.  Mr. Roth is the founder of the company Beef Products, Inc.  Although I have never personally met Mr. Roth, from what I have learned of him in the past 10 days, he reminds me of Archie.  He grew up on a farm until several years of droughts forced his family to migrate to California when he was a teenager.  He then went to work cleaning milk and ice cream factories.  From there, he transitioned over to meat packing plants and began a long career searching for ways to improve the safety of beef.  He, like Archie, used hands on experiences and hard work as a basis for his education.  Mr. Roth has provided a revolutionary presence in the creation of safe hamburger.  Quite honestly, it appears to me to have been his life-long mission.  In addition to his innate intelligence and ability to engineer ways to increase the safety of beef, Mr. Roth seems to possess an attention to detail and impressive work ethic that dates back to his upbringing.  Mr. Roth’s accomplishments leave me both humbled and immensely thankful.  From this day forward, I will issue him a silent thank you every time that I serve hamburger to my family.

My favorite fourth grader--eating her favorite meal!

Perhaps I feel this connection and appreciation toward Mr. Roth because he reminds me of Archie—Perhaps it is because I have had to learn on my own farm to constantly strive to be a better problem solver—Perhaps it is because raising food animals leads me to constantly think of daily production practices that impact food safety.  I do not know for sure which it is, but I do know that I trust him with my food.  His innovations and hard work (for which he has received many awards and spans several decades) make me proud to supply him with my beef.

Mr. Roth

It is hard to trust someone or some process that we do not personally know.  It is especially hard when emotional journalism repeatedly reports inaccurate information regarding the person or the process.  Quite frankly, I believe that the Pink Slime Media Craze of the last two weeks brings the term March Madness to mind.

Much more importantly, however, I believe that if we invoke a little bit of trust and look at the solid science that is behind the technology of creating Lean Finely Textured Beef that we will realize that Mr. Roth has done something that should make us all proud.  He has used his experience and his problem solving skills to create a healthy and quality product that we can feel good about feeding to our families. I hope that one day I will be lucky enough to meet Mr. Roth so that I can thank him in person.  Until then, I will leave you will a final few thoughts…

Proud of her country...

In order for our country to prosper in 2012 and beyond—

We must trust that scientific advancements are tested to ensure that they are safe…

We must trust that farmers are providing good care to their animals and doing their best to provide safe food…

We must trust that we are all on the same team, and that together we can work to make the world a better place…

Without that trust, we will never reap the benefits that we continually seek with new technology. Today, I am thankful to be a part of a group of people that plays a pivotal role in the survival of our country.  I grow animals that feed people.  Mr. Roth both helps to improve the environmental footprint of my farm by ensuring that no nutritious lean beef is wasted when my animals are harvested, and he ensures through remarkable food safety measures that the beef that I feed to my children is as safe as possible.

Food safety is a priority that Mr. Roth and I share...

The bottom line is that I have faith in my food supply—Do I have absolutely every answer about every process that is used to grow and prepare my food? No, but I have faith in my fellow Americans who partner with me every day to ensure that the country that I love so much prospers.

Take a moment to watch this YouTube clip that Mr. Roth put together to help us all understand what he is doing…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Fj81Ljx58s&context=C4891fcaADvjVQa1PpcFPp1qpAY_kq1doTld6QGQESf14rcblIZTw

Read this article to hear the thoughts of a mother turned food safety advocate on LFTB and Beef Products, Inc.

http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/03/in-defense-of-food-safety-leadership/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=120317

Our kids are both the center of our world and the future of our country. Feeding them well is our #1 priority...

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Filed under General, Nutrition (cattle and human)