Monday, November 22, 2010

We Have An Image Problem!

Last week I visited an elementary school on the southwest side of Fort Worth, Texas--the same Fort Worth that is recognized as Cowtown. I was asked by my friend, Suzanne, who is the counselor there to speak at their career day on my work as an agricultural journalist. Suzanne also figured out real quick, when she learned about my work that I had connections to get her a pickup truck and cattle/horse trailer at her school's vehicle day last week, too.
     So on Thursday, Lesli Groves (some of you old Simbrah breeders will remember her and her photography work) and I loaded up in her truck and pulled her trailer into the school parking lot. The kids were so interested in where the horses rode, why they were hauled, how you feed them in the trailer and etc. None of these kids owned a horse, a few said they had ridden one and some had grandparents who had horses. It amazed Lesli and I how many really had no personal experience of riding a horse.
    Then the next day, I returned and visited with 3rd and 5th graders about my career. I also used this platform to mention how beef producers raise the safest, healthiest and most economical beef in the world and that they are truly people who care about their animals. Everything went well through the first three classes and then I was blindsided.
     A fifth grade girl in the last class I visited with, immediately pointed out to me after I mentioned the above that she had heard that beef was not safe because of the large amount of antibiotics in them. Thankfully, I knew how to address her misinformation because of a speech my daughter did last year on being an advocate for agriculture and because of the Master Of Beef Advocacy program.
    As cattlemen, you know you do not use antibiotics in your cattle, but only when necessary because they are costly and it takes time to administer. I was able to relate this information by comparing it to when this young lady is sick and what steps her parents might use.
     If you have not taken the Master of Beef Advocacy (MBA) class, then I strongly urge you to do so. It's 6 one hour sessions that you can do online!  I recently wrote about this training in Southern Livestock's October 1st and 29th issues.  You can go to and search their site with the keywords mba to read. 
    We are feeding a world that is now three generations removed from the farm and that is being bombarded with misinformation about our industry daily. This was a wake up call to me that our opponents are doing a much better job of spreading their mistruths than we are our truths. And they are reaching the youngest group of consumers, who will soon be the ones making the buying decisions.
     As Simbrah breeders and cattlemen, you have a responsibility to learn how to address these mistruths and the MBA program can help you do that just it. We all need to put a face on production agriculture and tell our story.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Nolan Ryan Beef

As many of you know Nolan Ryan Beef was largely started to promote and find a marketing outlet for American Breeds sired carcasses, which of course includes Simbrah!

The product is also completely fed, harvested, packaged and shipped from South Texas. Markets for the beef are growing and I suggest you go to their website and view where Nolan Ryan Beef is sold. Of course Super S and Kroger Food Stores, along with Sun Harvest and Super Target have it. Black-eyed Pea Restaurants are also carrying the line of high quality, guaranteed tender cuts of beef.

The website provides a lot of information on the line, the standards required, how it is raised and the markets it fits.

I would suggest every Simbrah breeder become familiar with these specifics and see how your steer calves could be part of this great chain.

And of course Nolan Ryan Beef is served in the Ballpark at Arlington, home of the American League Champion Texas Rangers.