I dreamed of many things when I was a young girl, but the thought of appearing as a Cover Girl in Beef Magazine never even registered on my radar screen. While I have certainly been a life-long beef lover, my journey as a cattleman began at the age of twenty-two.
Eighteen years later, I am the proud recipient of the 2014 Trailblazer Award — an award given by Beef Magazine to a cattle farmer for his/her volunteer efforts to improve the beef industry.
Receiving this award humbles me almost as much as the kind words and attention to detail that Joe Roybal and Beef Magazine placed on the story. Please take a few minutes to read it online by clicking here. Be sure to also click here to view the picture slide show that accompanies the main article.
The last 18 years have been a tremendously adventurous journey. While the road to excellence is rarely comfortable, being tenacious enough to travel down it is incredibly rewarding. Many thanks to all who have mentored me — Please know that I do my best each day to return the favor.
I hope that they deliver Beef Magazine to Heaven, as my Dad will likely want to brag a bit about this one…
The only place you find success before work is the dictionary.
My favorite 13 year old has this quote up on the wall of her room. When I go into her room and read the saying, I smile knowing that I have mentored her well. This quote is likely the reason that she set the school’s Junior High Cross Country record this fall.
Learning to love the journey…
One of the most important life lessons that competitive swimming taught me was to be enthralled with the work that was necessary for success. While winning was awesome, I learned that true success was realized in the journey.
I transitioned from being a competitive athlete to a recreational athlete almost two decades ago, but I still believe in the value of the journey. Today it is a journey of safe food production rather than qualification for the elusive US Swimming Senior Nationals, but my goal is still to achieve excellence.
I still love the journey…
My role as mentor to my crew at the feed yard is vital to the goal of food safety. Healthy animals make healthy beef. Quality and consistent care leads to healthy animals. The journey is sometimes riddled with challenges, but attention to detail ensures success.
Tomorrow, I will spend the day with the Progressive Beef team getting one step closer to certification in the program. It will take many hours to:
- Finalize the HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) plan for my feed mill where we store and load feed ingredients. This will ensure good, consistent feed quality and nutrition for my animals.
- Finish editing the Standard Operating Procedures (there are many of them) to ensure attention to detail on all daily animal care tasks that are performed at the feed yard.
- Begin the process of implementing the specific HACCP plan and SOP’s in our daily routine at the feed yard.
- Inspire my crew to embrace their new record keeping responsibilities as well as continuing the dedicated animal care that is a trademark on my farm.
- Discuss the strict auditing process that will occur twice a year to ensure certification under the Progressive Beef QSA program.
Looking for the beauty as you travel the journey makes life rewarding…
It is likely that all of us will return home Friday night tired from a long day. It is my hope that we will also take home with us a lingering excitement toward this new stage in our journey of high quality beef production!