Tag Archives: women in business

The Traditional Career Mom…

Earlier this week I traveled to San Antonio to attend meetings at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Convention. My favorite farmer and I drove west Tuesday afternoon to watch our favorite basketball playing teenager and her team defeat the Ogallala Indians, before turning around and heading east to Grand Island to get ahead of a storm that moved in late that night.

Despite the snow, we landed in Texas (just a few hours delayed) on Wednesday and began the marathon of meetings that makes up NCBA’s annual convention. In addition to being the boss lady at the feed yard, I serve in a volunteer capacity as the Region 9 Director to the Nebraska Beef Council; and as a result, I serve on the National Federation of State Beef Councils working to enhance the image of beef to customers both in the United States and abroad.

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In addition to the normal array of meetings, this convention will be a special time for me as I will officially receive Beef Magazine’s 2014 Trailblazer Award Friday morning. That same day, my favorite teenager and her grandmother will travel to the Governor’s mansion in Lincoln to discover whether or not she won the Nebraska Voice of Democracy Essay contest – Leaving my favorite blondes at home with their beloved Defa (grandpa) and a whole multitude of animal chores.

Our house seems to be a revolving door. I left three loads of laundry (clean but yet to be sorted) in my living room, and a full (but clean) dishwasher. While I am assuming that the girls will put away (or at least use) the clean dishes in the dishwasher during my time in Texas, I am pretty confident that the clean clothes will still be in the living room waiting to be sorted. Just a short distance away from those clean clothes sits the ever growing pile of dirty clothes that will be waiting to be washed when I arrive home (hopefully in time to watch another Lady Haymaker basketball game) on Saturday afternoon.

I am one of millions of women who work tirelessly to balance family, chores, and a meaningful career. We put ourselves last on the “priority scale” and unselfishly give to those whom we love, as well as to the causes that we treat as vocations yet casually refer to as jobs. We do the weekly juggling act by focusing on each day and refusing to let the challenges of the future daunt our enthusiasm.

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We are Wives – Moms – Boss Ladies – Philanthropists – Mentors – and Maids.

Our days revolve around others, and our most precious goal is to make a positive difference.

We are traditional career moms.

Did I mention that Saturday is my 40th birthday? Yikes!

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

Women and Sustainability…

As the mother of three girls, I am always looking for strong female role models to mentor my girls.  One of my goals as a parent is to raise my daughters to be strong, confident, and motivated women.  I want them to embrace life with a passion and use their talents to make the world a better place.

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Many opportunities—Many dreams…

When I became a part of the beef family in 1997, I was challenged as a young woman trying to gain respect in a man’s world.  In particular at that time, the cattle feeding (feedyard) part of the beef family was made up predominately of men.

Over the years, I have watched the dynamics change with more and more young women choosing a life raising beef cattle.  In addition to a growing number of female beef farmers, there are also a growing number of women scientists that serve as professional consultants: helping farmers like me to make good decisions regarding animal care and environmental stewardship.

I believe that a diverse mix of men and women makes a stronger beef family.  This more eclectic group allows for a wider array of perspective and savvy.  I have no idea if any of my three girls will choose a life in agriculture, but I want them to realize that if they work hard then opportunities await them.

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Dr. Kim Stackhouse-Lawson

One of the young women that I want my daughters to meet is Dr. Kim Stackhouse-Lawson, Ph.D. Kim is the Director of Sustainability Research for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.  A native of Northern California, she grew up in a small ranching community where her family raised ewes and beef cattle.

In addition to participating in FFA and playing an active role on the ranch, Kim was an all-state downhill skier and basketball player while also being an acclaimed horsewoman.  She still actively competes in dressage riding as well as being a rising star in the discussion of sustainability relative to beef production.

Kim and Day Lilly...

Kim and Day Lilly…

While Kim can claim many great accomplishments, I believe that her greatest talent is her proactive passion for environmental stewardship.  Her childhood memories of town hall meetings marked by heated discussions regarding public land use inspired her to become a woman who uses science to ensure the judicious use of natural resources.

Her quiet confidence and innate personal integrity have gained my respect, and I look to her for guidance as I work to reduce the environmental footprint of my farm.  Her work on Beef Sustainability Research gives me faith for the future.

The ranch where Kim grew up in Northern California.  Her love of this land motivates her as a scientist every day.

The ranch where Kim grew up in Northern California. Her love of this land motivates her as a scientist every day.

Kim is currently working with the BASF Corporation North America (a world leader in conducting comprehensive life cycle analyses) and the Agricultural Research Service of the USDA to create the first industry-wide beef sustainability assessment.  This assessment will examine the sustainability of the entire beef supply chain from pasture to plate.

I am very thankful that Kim has agreed to enter our discussion of sustainability and she will be a contributor to the next couple of Feed Yard Foodie posts.  Not only will we all benefit from Kim’s knowledge and level-headed savvy, but my girls will get to be “introduced” to her as well.  This will be great preparation for the day where they can meet Kim in person as she is at the top of the list for possible mentors!

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Filed under General, Sustainable Spring