I will never forget the day that I met Nancy Donley. My favorite 10 year old and I had lunch with her after touring BPI’s lean finely textured beef facility last spring. It is impossible to spend more than a few minutes with Nancy without being compelled to attain excellence in food safety measures.
Nancy’s only son, Alex, was killed by Ecoli 0157:H7 in 1993. Following his death, she became actively involved in volunteer efforts to improve food safety. Nancy has voluntarily served as the President for STOP Foodborne Illness for more than 10 years, and currently also serves on the USDA’s National Advisory Committee on Meat and Poultry Inspection.
I truly cannot explain the emotion that I felt when I met Nancy. It shook me to my very core. As I look back on it, I view it as an incredible experience which prepared me for what was to come six months later.
- I can tell you that I will never forget the passion and strength that Nancy exudes.
- I can tell you that after meeting Nancy, I had a renewed motivation to proactively search for pre-harvest food safety measures to employ at my cattle feed yard.
It was Nancy and Alex that I thought of the day that the Progressive Beef team sat in my office and told me about a new E Coli 1057 vaccine that can be administered pre-harvest in order to significantly reduce Ecoli pathogens in the intestines of cattle. As I learned more about the new vaccine technology, I knew that it was something that I was going to implement at my feed yard.
It is my passion to responsibly grow beef. It is my passion to provide safe and healthy nourishment to my family and to yours. It is my passion to do the right thing.
Combining this pre-harvest food safety measure with all of the post-harvest measures that my packing plant partner utilizes will effectively increase the safety of the beef that I grow.
I began using the E. Coli vaccine in December and we are currently transitioning toward administering it to all newly placed cattle at the feed yard. By this summer, every animal on my farm will have received the vaccine.
The cost of the vaccine is $2.50 per dose and must be used in a multiple dose vaccination program. The cost of not using the vaccine is evident in Nancy Donley’s eyes as she talks about the little boy that she lost so many years ago.
Every time that I administer the vaccine, I think of Alex and I thank God for my own daughters who bring such joy and vibrancy to my life. They, like Nancy, are a constant source of inspiration to me as I search for better ways to raise safe and healthy beef.
When we do the best we can, we never know what miracle
is wrought in our life or the life of another.
– Helen Keller