Tag Archives: feed yard foodie

Advocate of the Year…

I have a half written blog post sitting on my computer and a half made video on my iPhone that I was supposed to get up on Feed Yard Foodie this week.

While a goal without a plan is just a wish, sometimes the plan has to be readjusted to fit life.

It is Championship week for the Cozad Swim Team, and I have more than 50 swimmers who qualified and will represent us as competitors tomorrow. The past eight weeks have been filled with the joys of coaching and all of the responsibilities that go along with it.

I thank each of you for being patient with the blog as I know that I have allowed things to slip a bit. My coaching holds a very special place in my heart and I appreciate you all being willing to grant me the ability to fulfill this calling to the best of my abilities.

In lieu of a regular post, I will share an article up today announcing that I received the inaugural Advocate of the Year award for the beef industry. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association mid-year convention is currently going on in Denver, CO. While I am in Nebraska (on the pool deck), instead of out in Denver — I very much appreciate this honor.

Most of all, I appreciate each and every one of you. You bless me each week with your time and bring smiles to my face with your comments. There is a piece of each one of you in this journey that we take together. Please know how much you bless my life — Together we are stronger!

Click here to read the article.


Filed under Feed Yard Foodie "In The News", General

Cowboy In a Bag…

Sometimes Plan A doesn’t work, so smart people have a Plan B. 

Saturday morning we headed down to our pasture to move the Lazy YN steers to new grass. I decided that this was a perfect opportunity for video #3.

I *think* I’m getting better — Please let me know your thoughts!



Filed under General, Video Fun on the Farm

An Aggie’s Time in Cozad…

In the just three short weeks that I spent with the Foodie Family, I was able to learn more than I ever expected. Anne was such an amazing mentor to me and her family’s hospitality made it seem like home. I’d like to take this last blogging opportunity to thank them for hosting me and reflect on my time spent in Cozad and the experiences I had.

As I mentioned briefly in my first post, An Aggie in Nebraska… , the main goal of my visit was to take full advantage of a learning opportunity. Having spent the past 4 years at Texas A&M University earning a degree in Animal Science, I felt that I was well equipped with knowledge to enter into the cattle industry. I had a toolbox full of practical skills and knowledge acquired through a diverse array of classes and hands on learning opportunities but one key aspect was missing… real world experience.

Like any traditional student graduating from a 4-year university after high school, I didn’t exactly have a lot of down time to experience the ins and outs of the industry firsthand.

You never truly understand something until you are fully submerged in it, and that’s what I hoped this trip would bring about.


While my three weeks doesn’t come close to Anne’s 20 years in the business, I think she did a great job including me in every aspect of the operation. We spent many mornings at the office, something she wouldn’t necessarily say she enjoys compared to working with the cattle, but it’s all part of the job.

While there she used everything as a teaching opportunity as she went about her daily tasks, sharing her own personal experiences and lessons she’s learned over the years. She always worked hard to directly apply it to my future career desires of running a cow-calf operation.

From budgeting and planning to understanding where the industry is headed as a whole, to government regulations, audits, and taxation — she certainly covered all the bases. She even offered advice on juggling work and family as well as the importance of playing a role in your community, and how she’s able to make it all work.

On the feedyard side of things, I had the opportunity to take part in reading bunks every morning, receiving, processing, and exercising new cattle, shipping fat cattle, moving calves to pasture, operating the feed truck and much more.


Most importantly though, I was able to witness a well run business. In my mind, a successful business is not only measured by their bottom-line but also their integrity and the way they treat their employees. It was evident that every employee loved their job at Will Feed. Regardless of the situation, I repeatedly saw everyone work together as a team each day all while treating the cattle with the utmost respect.


I cannot thank Anne and her Foodie Family (including those at the feedyard) enough for all that they have taught me while I was here. From farming to feedyard and everything in between, my time in Cozad was full of new experiences!

A few of the big take-home messages:

  1. “Two wrongs don’t make a right”
  2. Always stay humble
  3. Listen to your animals
  4. There are many ‘practical applications of math’ throughout the day
  5. Nothing smells quite as good as the alfalfa dehy plant on a long run



*The photos throughout this post are a few of my favorites taken while receiving weaned calves earlier this week.




Filed under CAFO, Foodie Work!, General

Blogging Reflections…

WordPress sends out “blogging highlights” at the end of each calendar year.  Feed Yard Foodie saw 79,000 views in 2014 over the course of 94 new posts.  My longstanding goal is to get two blog posts up a week — I didn’t miss that by too much (average of 1.8 over the course of the year).

Perhaps the most interesting to me is to see which blog posts get the most “reads” and are earmarked as the most popular posts of the year.  Sometimes these align with my own personal favorite posts, and sometimes they do not.

2014_10_06_mr_Will Feed-3

The below five posts are the most popular of the year determined by statistics…

5 Lessons that I want my children to learn before they go to college.

Why I prefer a cattle feed yard to a shopping mall.

Kindred Spirits

Setting the Stage

Chipotle isn’t any fun to write about.

On a personal note, the following posts are my favorites for 2014…

The Best Part of Me

I Am From

Out Of the Mouths of Babes



I also have a personal affinity toward the most viewed post of the year (5 Lessons that I want my children to learn before going to college). 

This post came from a deep part of me as I struggled with a difficult situation.  Honestly, I wrote it as a way to achieve personal balance. I was pleasantly surprised that so many others identified with it.  This post ended up being as close to a viral post as Feed Yard Foodie achieved in 2014.

Do you have a favorite FYF post for 2014? 

If so, please share — I am always interested in which posts you all enjoy reading.

A special thank you to each and every one of you for taking the time to read my posts and share a part of your lives in 2014.

I am starting off 2015 speaking at Kansas State University this week, so I am headed down to Manhattan, KS to visit all of you Wildcat fans 🙂



Filed under Foodie Work!, General

Holiday Blessings…

True courage lies in the ability to surpass life's challenges and find joy in the simple moments of the day...

True courage: The ability to surpass life’s challenges in order to find joy in the simple moments of the day…

Wishing you and your loved ones a blessed and peaceful holiday season.


Filed under Family

It’s Your Turn…

A couple of weeks ago, Feed Yard Foodie passed its “18 month birthday”.  In honor of reaching that milestone, I would like to share a few statistics and thoughts with each of you regarding the cyber journey

Thank you for coming along with me on this adventure!

In the last 18 months Feed Yard Foodie:

  • Received approximately 85,000 hits from more than 130 countries around the world.
  • Created 176 posts that are archived under 14 different categories.
  • Welcomed 266 regular blog site followers and 554 facebook “likes”.

    A special thanks to my family–for their contributions to the pictures and the posts–and also for their patience and understanding as we opened the door to our farm and our lives…

In the last 18 months, I have learned:

  • Creating a good blog post takes several hours.
  • Often ideas for posts pop into my head at odd times, and sometimes the resulting post metamorphoses into something only distantly related to the original idea.
  • I love taking pictures for the blog even more than I love writing the posts.
  • As with every other aspect of my life, I am a creature of habit.  My regular Tuesday and Thursday posts reflect that tendency.
  • Maintaining a conversation with many many people that I do not know is a unique challenge.
  • I love to read comments relative to my posts because they give me a glimpse into who my readers are and what inspires them.
  • Explaining how I care for cattle and raise beef to each of you drives me to be a better caregiver to my animals and inspires me to constantly improve.

    What questions do you have about my animals or the beef that they produce?

After 18 months of hearing me pontificate, I would like to know from you all:

  • What do you like best about the Feed Yard Foodie site and my blog posts?
  • What do you think that I can do better in the next 18 months?
  • What topics do you wish that I would write about?
  • Do you feel as though I do a good job articulating about my family and our lives on a farm?  If not, what I can do to better help you understand?
  • What motivates you to “like” a post or to comment?

I would very much appreciate any and all insight.  Pick an above question to answer, or answer all of them 🙂

I have come to understand that “It’s not about the trailer”, rather it’s about building a relationship that is based on trust…

Please know that I value your insight, and am so very thankful that each of you has allowed me to become a part of your life over the past 18 months…


Filed under General

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Happy Holidays from our family to yours!

I would like to take a moment to thank each and every one of you for reading and following my blog.  The last eight months have been very rewarding for me, and I so appreciate your time and attention.  I hope that reading my posts has been as enlightening for you as writing them has been for me!  I am traveling with my family for Christmas so will be taking a couple of weeks off from blogging.  Regular Feed Yard Foodie posts will resume on Tuesday January 3rd.  I hope that each of you has a blessed holiday season surrounded by loved ones!


Filed under General