Tag Archives: safe food

Loving the Journey…

The only place you find success before work is the dictionary.

May Smith

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...

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 successWhile 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 love the journey...

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.

ProgressiveBeefLogoGreen

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...

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!

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Filed under CAFO, General, Progressive Beef QSA Program

The Journey of Food Production…

Life is a journey, one that often does not involve straight lines.  While there is always a destination in mind, I would argue that the journey is many times just as important as the end point.

Food production in the United States is varied.  The journey of making food is full of diversity and yet the end goal is always the same: safe nourishment to feed our bodies.

I am proud to grow your beef...

I am proud to grow your beef…

There is no doubt that food production has changed dramatically during my lifetime.  The journey that Matt’s grandfather and Archie took to grow food does not look the same as the one that Matt and I take in 2013.

We can have a discussion as to whether or not this change is positive, but that discussion does not alter the fact that food production methods constantly evolve.  There is no doubt in my mind that my daughters’ journey will take them down even more diverse pathways than those that Matt and I have traveled.

Working with my daughters to grow vegetables in our garden also brings me pride...

Working with my girls to grow vegetables in our garden also brings me pride…

My perspective on modern food production has widened since moving to Nebraska and learning the different ways that food is grown.  As I experience it, I learn to both understand it and to realize the benefits that come from having many different types of food production systems.

I manage a cattle feed yard where animals are raised in a concentrated setting to make food.  I believe that I offer humane animal care, and I am devoted to producing a safe and high quality beef product; but there is no doubt that I participate in a very modern food production system.

Three miles down the gravel road from my house is our cattle feed yard where 3000 animals are grown to provide beef to thousands of families.

Three miles down the gravel road from my house is our cattle feed yard where 3000 animals are grown to provide beef to thousands of families.

One of my favorite “hobbies” is gardening.  When I garden, I use a good old fashioned hoe that likely looks the same as the one that Matt’s grandmother used.   Just as I love to use my hands to raise cattle and beef at my feed yard, I also love to use them to grow vegetables and flowers in my back yard.

A good hoe is hard to beat when planting the garden...

A good hoe is hard to beat when planting the garden…

There are nights in the summertime when almost all of the food that is on our table was grown by us. While it was all “home grown”, it came from varied production systems.  It all tastes good and it is all healthy—from the beef that came from my feed yard to the vegetables that came from my backyard.

It is fun to watch it grow...

It is fun to watch it grow…

I love those dinners because they help me to realize how important it is to be in touch with food, and to understand what it takes to grow it.  I am reminded that a varied food production system is a good thing—it provides a practical way for me to have choices and diversity at my table.

So, when it comes to food production, I am a believer…

  • I believe that there are many responsible ways to grow safe food.
  • I believe that the diversity of the United States food production system allows for Americans to have choices.
  • I believe that having choices is a good thing.

The important ingredient to food production is a devotion to quality—I see that both at my cattle feed yard and in my back yard garden.

Looking to the future--learning from the past--living in the present...

Looking to the future–learning from the past–living in the present…

The journey weaves and flows in diverse directions, but it always come back to the goal of safety and wholesomeness of food.  Food that I proudly grow for both you and my family.

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Filed under CAFO, General