This week the National Cattlemen's Beef Association is on a 5 day campigan to defend the beef industry against misinformation. Most folks never get the opportunity to see where food comes from. But the fact is, the food at the center of your family gatherings and holiday celebrations started on a farm or ranch like mine.
I am a cattle farmer from York, SC. We have a 200 head cow/calf operation. Our cows are crossbreeds that are bred to purebred Angus or Simmental bulls to give us growthy, healthy calves. This is a family owned and operated business with all the work being done by our family. We raise our calves until they are between 500 and 700 lbs and then sell them to feedlots in the Midwest. The feedlots then feed the calves out until they are between 1000 and 1300 lbs. The calves are then sent for processing and are soon found in a grocery store near you.
In addition to raising beef cattle I am also employed full time as an Environmental Outreach Coordinator for the county. Our family farm began generations ago with my husband's great-great-great-grandfather, Mr. Love. The operation has changed and evolved over the years to included dairy cattle, sheep, small grains and beef cattle. I also grew up on a family farm in south Georgia. That was started by my great-great-great-great-great grandfather, Mr. Price.
Raising cattle is in our genetic makeup. Each generation has raised cattle to help feed our families and friends. It's not as much of a job as a labor of love. We do everything we can to ensure our cattle are a safe, wholesome, and nutritious product. We take special steps to ensure that all of are cattle are kept in low stress environments with enough space to be comfortable. Many people don't understand the beef industry as a whole and assume the worst of the ideas out there. Take the time this week to meet with a farmer and find out more about how your food gets from the pasture to the plate.
Farming is not a 9 to 5 job; it’s a way of life. I’m proud to be an American farmer and I hope you’ll join me in saying thanks to other American farmers and ranchers for providing our food this holiday season.