Beautiful skies, rolling hills, and cowboys herding cattle in the distance add up to a picturesque peek into the cattle industry.
The people that work the ranches and care for these animals are my kind of people. Their love for family and their love for the land defines them.
Over the years I’ve spent developing recipes and sharing them with you here on the website, I’ve been fortunate to visit with many farmers.
I’ve learned a lot about the ways farmers, ranchers, and everyone else in the meat-producing industry actively work to ensure sustainability.
Sustainability isn’t just a buzzword in their world.
Why eat beef?
Ranchers are all about defined and measurable sustainability. Did you know that there is a US Roundtable for Sustainable Beef?
The mission of this group is the continuous improvement of sustainability across the U.S. beef value chain.
Earlier this summer, I spent a weekend back on my friend Debbie’s cattle ranch in Kansas and came back home with an even greater appreciation for the work these beef producers do.
97% of the cattle farms and ranches in the US are worked by families. There is a bit of a misconception that the industry is all factories and giant corporations – that simply isn’t true.
I’ve shared a bit in the past about Debbie Lyons-Blythe, but let me remind you how awesome she is.
Debbie is the current chair of the board for the US Roundtable and let me tell you once more, these people are passionate about sustainability.
Debbie is a full-time cattle rancher in the Kansas Flint Hills. Debbie raised her five children and continues to work on the same ranch that was homesteaded in 1890 by her husband’s great-great-grandfather.
We spent Saturday enjoying the 16th annual Symphony in the Flint Hills. This was an unforgettable experience and I can’t recommend it highly enough if you are anywhere near the area next year.
70% of natural wildlife habitat in America is on private land, much of which is owned by family farms and ranches.
Agriculture today has a very deep history. 6th, 7th, 8th generation farms aren’t unusual. If the farm isn’t sustainable, the families will suffer and the ranches won’t survive.
Debbie shared her definition of sustainability with us years ago and it holds true today: “take care of the land, take care of the people, take care of the animals, and make money.”
Cattle ranching isn’t an easy life. It is hard work. For most ranchers that means working from sun up to sunset: doing whatever it takes to get the job done and making sure that it is done right.
I, for one, am so very grateful for the work that these families do in order to provide the foods that my family enjoys eating.
Favorite Beef Recipes
Have I mentioned lately how much my family loves a great beef dinner?
From Slow Cooker Steak Fajitas to Stuffed Bell Peppers, Balsamic Glazed Meatloaf (oh boy, I have a new meatloaf recipe coming on Thursday – it’s so good!) to Garlic Butter Steak Bites, Filthy Burgers to Mexican Lasagna, there are endless ways to cook, serve, and enjoy beef!
The Best Taco Meat You’ve Ever Tasted is an easy weeknight staple at my house. We serve it on tostadas, salads, tacos, or rolled up in tortillas with cheese and lettuce.
Have you tried Carne en su Jugo? Tender pieces of flank steak are simmered in their own juices creating a rich and super flavorful broth to create the Carne en su Jugo recipe (a.k.a. Meat in its Juices) that my family loves so much.
This is not a sponsored post. I remain impressed with the work the cattle industry does to ensure sustainability. Seeing how much the ranchers love what they do and hearing how fortunate they feel to be able to do it, is an experience that I wish everyone could have.