Our Dartmouth College swim team shirts boasted the saying Pursuing Excellence across the back. It provided a good fit for me as I have always felt the need to raise the bar.
My favorite farmer laughs and tells me that my standards are too high –To which I remind him that I am hardest on myself so everyone else should be in good shape 😉
Managing a feed yard for twenty years taught me the critical importance of a good team. When you care for thousands of animals, it is impossible to do the job without the help of others. Because the welfare of those animals is dependent on you, anything less than excellence in care is unacceptable.
A willingness to unselfishly give your all while simultaneously inspiring others to do the same allows for success.
Last week we shipped the final pen of cattle from our feed yard, and I officially started a new journey. I joined the team of Innovative Livestock Services and the Beef Marketing Group. BMG is a cooperative of feed yards in Kansas and Nebraska that operate under the Progressive Beef QMS. My feed yard spent the last four years as a member of this coop and, during that time, I discovered a group of kindred spirits.
The mission statement of my new team states:
Combining innovation with the passion of our people to empower our rural communities and grow great tasting and sustainable beef.
Anyone who knows me can read that statement and see what a perfect fit this opportunity is for me. I will play a dual role working on quality assurance and communications projects. The quality assurance role enables me to continue to work to improve cattle welfare, and the communications projects allow me to empower my voice as an advocate for agriculture.
While change is hard and transitions are not naturally comfortable for me, I am truly excited to begin this next leg of the journey. For those of you who follow me on Facebook or Twitter, I invite you to like and follow my new team’s work on Facebook at Innovative Livestock Services or Twitter @ILSBeef. I am striving to do a more dependable job posting multiple social media messages a week on these new outlets 🙂
As for Feed Yard Foodie, look for the usual weekly ramblings on our family, our farm, and my new adventures as the Burkholder clan continues on the pursuit of excellence.