Cartwheels, cornhole and the beef I eat

I write for a living. One of my tasks is to profile Angus farmers and ranchers so we can introduce them to the people who buy Certified Angus Beef ® brand products. Sitting down to a great steak is one thing, but knowing where it comes from makes the eating experience that much more enjoyable. 

“Who grew the food I eat?” is a common question for many folks. And why not?
In a world of pre-packaged foodstuffs touting convenience over quality, knowing what and from where and by whom has a great deal of value.

I’m happy to report that the beef I eat comes from people who enjoy a good conversation with those around them. People who raise cattle and kids on land they treasure. People who enjoy a game of cornhole and watching kids turn cartwheels in the grass. People who smile and laugh and inquire and engage.

People who can be relied upon to put quality first and foremost.

I spent last evening on the back patio of the Certified Angus Beef headquarters in Wooster, Ohio. The company’s board members — as well as American Angus Association board members and staff, came to town to converse. They were also here to compare notes … share stories with peers … garner information. And eat, of course. You don’t gather a group of ranchers and beef industry professionals without sizzling steaks, burgers and kabobs on the grill.

Certified Angus Beef chefs Scott Popovic (right) and Kyle Miller (left) prepared a fantastic spread. And by the satisfied smiles on the faces of folks seated at red-and-white checkered tables, it was a superb meal. (Bonus points for spotting a third chef in this photo!)

Great steaks and good company may have taken center stage, but what truly stole the show was a volleyball / badminton / wrestling match between kids. In a game of changing rules and ambiguous goals, it didn’t matter if the players were barefoot girls from Ohio or boot-scootin’ ranch kids from Texas and Montana.

Everyone was appreciated. Everyone was given the chance to play.

And everyone found a reason to smile.

Family is welcomed here. It’s truly amazing to work for and with organizations that treasure family and value the next generation above all else. The people in these photos don’t just set out every day to grow the best beef or sell the most product or be the best Angus brand in the world. Their passion starts at home.

Family is not part of their daily decisions. It’s at the root of all they do and say and hope to become. Those are the kind of people I want putting dinner on my table.

I headed home as the sun set — back to our neck of the woods, our version of cattle country — thankful to have made the acquaintance of fantastic folks that until now I’ve known only through 300-word profiles.

They are genuine and their stories are true. And I’m proud to be acquainted with them, however briefly. I will continue to tell their stories and share their dreams and promote their product to beef lovers around the world.

Perhaps one rancher said it best:

We love ranch life. We’ve certainly been blessed by it and I hope it continues for generations to come. Our products are safe, they are being raised in a good manner, and consumers can have confidence in the beef they eat.

 

Click here to read more about the farmers and ranchers who raise Angus beef across America.

Go exploring! You may enjoy these previous posts.

3 Comments

  • comment-avatar
    Robyn June 9, 2011 (8:02 am)

    Excellent post! I feel the same way. One of our neighbors and good family friend is involved with CAB, SoDak Angus.

  • comment-avatar
    Laura June 9, 2011 (10:56 am)

    Beautifully written, Jen! I couldn’t have said it better. Thank you for capturing a great moment in CAB time!

  • comment-avatar
    Andrew Maupin June 25, 2011 (9:19 am)

    Great Article!!
    CAB represents so much beyond just a steak but the quality and efforts that go into making it a product that truly sets the bar high for industry standards. I was fortunate to go on a Beef Leaders Institute tour looking at all phases of the beef production system and CAB is a gold standard at all levels!