Do you know how to raise cattle? Or what factory farming is? I’m excited to share my story in agriculture with you so you can gain even more understanding of where your beef comes from!
This post is a collaboration with Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner. on behalf of the Beef Checkoff. I received compensation, but all opinions are my own.
I grew up in the suburbs. I don’t come from a family of farmers or even a family that had lots of pets. Some people are born with great artistic abilities, a quick mind when it comes to math, or great athletic ability. I was born with the desire to be a farmer.
As a kid, my family would often go camping in Island Park, Idaho. The drive there was full of farmland, cattle range, and irrigated crops. As we would drive, I would think to myself, “This is where I want to be. I just want to live on a farm in the middle of nowhere.”
I chased that desire in the form of horseback riding from a very young age. It was an all-consuming passion for me until I graduated high school and went to college. I continued to chase that passion in college by pursuing a pre-vet bachelor’s degree.
I quickly realized that I didn’t want to be a vet, but I loved research and spent my entire undergraduate education working in animal genetics labs, uncertain of where I wanted to end up.
I can remember very vividly an experience I had where I knew exactly what I was supposed to do with this passion for agriculture.
The first time was when I was in my Beef Management class as a senior. In this class, producers from different aspects of the beef industry would come and present on their sector of the industry and teach us about it.
Without fail, each producer mentioned, in some aspect or another, the struggle between consumer demand not based on facts and how they could communicate the actual facts and still produce beef with integrity. As someone who didn’t grow up in Agriculture, I related to both sides of the coin.
I knew what it felt like to be clueless about where your food comes from. I knew what it felt like to have to look-up facts about beef, factory farms, and all kinds of other products and not know if what I was reading was accurate. Through my education, I learned not only about Agriculture, but about research and how to find accurate information, analyze data, and ask the right questions.
After I realized that I wanted to help be a liaison between farmers and consumer, I realized that this job did not exist and it would have to be something I created myself. That is the whole reason I started my blog and social media channels – so I could earn a living while advocating for agriculture.
I am so grateful for the crazy journey that led me here! I am honored to be a partner with Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner. and bring you, The Consumer, accurate information on where your beef comes from and give you confidence in the grocery store!
I have a whole post on How Beef is Raised that you can read. It outlines how beef ranchers work with the Beef Checkoff to follow Beef Quality Assurance guidelines for cattle handling, herd health, record keeping, cattle nutrition, cattle transportation, and environmental stewardship.
The most important thing I want you to take away from this post is that 91% of beef is raised on family farms. These families work day in and day out to follow these guidelines and keep their cattle healthy and their land productive.
Through my work I’ve had the opportunity to get to know, tour, and spend time with your ranchers. I have been to their homes. I have seen their calving sheds. I’ve walked their feedlots and even been through an entire slaughterhouse from start to finish.
You can trust me when I tell you that cattle care and land stewardship is the top priority for these families. Their livelihood depends not only on caring properly for their animals, but also their land. They all want to be able to pass their beef operations down for generations.
These ranching families cattle care experts and environmentalists before those terms were even coined. The beef that farmers and ranchers raise and sell that you end up eating in your own home or at a restaurant is the same beef they feed their own families. It shouldn’t be surprising that they want the best care for their cattle to ensure that everyone has nutritious, safe, and delicious beef.