Lessons learned on the farm

Through social media such as blogging and Twitter, I’ve had the opportunity to meet people I wouldn’t have otherwise met. These are people who I share a common thread with – agriculture. Through social media, I recently connected with Shannon Latham, vice-president of Latham Hi-Tech Seeds in Alexander, Iowa. Shannon invited me to write a guest blog for her company’s website – The Field Position – http://www.thefieldposition.com/. The blog post celebrates national beef month. Here’s what I wrote:

Guest blog by Teresa Falk, freelance writer and creator of Rural Route Ramblings blog

Growing up on the farm I was surrounded by animals. As a young child the much bigger cows and bulls were intimidating at first, but I soon grew to love them. Helping dad feed the animals, spread straw or guard gates were part of our everyday chores on the farm. These chores taught us responsibility and the importance of working hard.

Every winter when the cows calved I would pick my favorite calves and give them special names. But deep down I knew not to get too attached to the calves because as my dad often reminded me – the cattle were not our pets. They were part of our livelihood. I was well aware that my favorite calf would eventually grow into a heifer and may end up on my dinner plate or someone else’s. And I was OK with that. I knew that the animals we raised on our farm would provide nutrition to others. I grew up eating beef and continue to because I know it’s part of a healthy diet.

I get my love of animals from my dad. For his recent 60th birthday we had a party on the farm where we served his own beef. As I told the guests, when you come to a beef cattle farm, you can expect to eat beef. My mom made this delicious recipe of Barbecued Beef served on a bun.

Barbecued Beef

1 (4 lb) beef chuck roast
1 cup ketchup
1 cup barbecue sauce
2 cups water
2 tbsp. vinegar
2 tbsp. brown sugar
2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. salt

Place beef in roaster and into oven. Cover and bake at 350 F, turning occasionally, until done.
Remove from oven. Cool and shred beef with fork. Place shredded beef in slow cooker. Combine all ingredients and pour over beef. Let simmer in slow cooker for awhile to heat and blend flavors. Serve on buns. Enjoy.

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