Ready, Set, Go!!

AR1As I sat down to write this, a whirlwind of emotions flew over me. Yesterday, I made out my calendar for my last month of events at the Texas Beef Council. It brings tears to my eyes thinking about ending my internship. This has been an amazing experience that God has blessed me with. I have met so many remarkable people at the Texas Beef Council, and I will always be grateful for this opportunity. I know that I say this a lot, but this has truly surpassed anything that I ever expected an internship to be.

AR5One of the awesome things that the Texas Beef Council has a team of runners, triathletes and cyclists called the Texas BEEF Team; Yes! You heard that right! The Texas BEEF Team represents beef at in runs, cycling events, and triathlons wearing BEEF Fuel for the Finish jerseys. If you are in the racing community and have ever been to a race in Austin, you could not have missed these members. They wear their BEEF jerseys loud and proud. The BEEF team has members not only in Austin but all across the State of Texas. There is also a kids BEEF running team. The Beef Team Kids program helps the younger folks understand the importance of physical activity, good nutrition and community service.

AR2One of the latest events that I got to participate in was an adventure race for the BEEF Team. The adventure race was created by Jackie Dobson and Jamie Doty, who are active members on the BEEF Team. They held an adventure race in several different locations including; Austin, Waco, Houston, and Dallas. The adventure race was more of a scavenger hunt. There are clues and items placed throughout one of the local parks where the race is held at. In order to get points, the members have to go to the main locations and pick up clues that lead them to another destination. The participants will receive points after the obstacle course is completed. There is only a short amount of time to travel across the park, find clues, participate in obstacle courses, and try to get the most points as possible. So, most of the groups you see are running. While this is supposed to be a fun event, the competitive nature almost always takes over. One of the things that I really enjoyed about the race involved the options that you were given. If you were not a big runner, you could walk the race. If you brought a guest that was not a BEEF team member, you could stay with your guest and complete the race. The awesome part of the race is that you were split up into groups of two with someone that you did not know. This was very neat as you saw relationships build over the course of the race and new friendships being made.

AR3While there were winners at every event, everyone ultimately won because they all got to participate in a Grilling 101 and cook their own flat iron steak! Jerry and I would have all the grills set out, so when they got back from their race (hungry more than likely) we would jump into the Grilling 101 and the participants would be eating in no time!

AR4Being involved with helping with the BEEF Team and the adventure races has peaked my interest in being more physically active and I have noticed that I make more of an effort to take the longer route; to walk a little farther. Even though my time with the Texas BEEF Council is winding down, I still have the BEEF Team and I hope to be more active on the team in the up and coming future!

If you would like some more information on the BEEF team, check out the website at:

http://www.txbeefteam.org/

No matter if you are a runner, walker, swimmer, or biker, whatever activity inspires you keep doing it!

That Reminder You Need When You Least Expect It…

Rhome3As another weekend started out, I was excited about going on yet another adventure with the Texas Beef Council. I woke up to a cold front that had blown in and I had forgotten my jacket, however none of that seemed to matter by the time the day was over. This was a very special day and even though it may not have started out that way, it will be one that I cherish for a while. It was a day that we all needed; One to remind us why we do the things we do and who we do them for.

I was super excited when the morning began because we were in Rhome! Rhome, Texas that is. We were on our way to visit Dr. Ron Gill’s Ranch. This was very special for me as Mrs. Debbie Gill has truly been an inspiration, mentor and guide to me this last year. Being able to grow my relationship not only with her but her husband has been amazing!

We were headed to the Ranch to do a Farm to Fork Tour. A what?? You are probably asking yourself. Well, a Farm to Fork Tour is a program that consists of dietitian and students who are working to become dietitian. They all gather in the morning and normally have breakfast. This time they were able to visit the National Cowgirl Museum, which I am sad to say I missed! Our registered dietitian, Hawley Poinsett, gave an overview on the nutritional importance of lean beef. Include red meat in your diets! It is not bad for you and there are 38 lean cuts of beef to pick from. The group was then given an introduction to beef production and how/what beef production is. The group then finally arrived at the Gill’s Ranch. Our grill master, Jerry McPherson, was able to do a Grilling 101 class with the ladies. They were all able to cook their own steaks and have lunch. I am sure you may be curious to know what Grilling 101 is, but it is basically an introduction to the art of grilling. Jerry and I headed out to the next gig we had lined up for the day.

Rhome.jpgAs we traveled to the city of West, we discussed the upcoming event. I knew it was going to be another Grilling 101, however I did not know how much of an impact that specific event was going to have on me. As we arrived at Brookhaven Youth Ranch, the boys had already started their 5K run! After the 5K run Jerry and I (mostly Jerry) were going to do a Grilling 101 for the boys. At the time, I was so focused on getting everything set up for the event that I did not really know the importance of exactly where we were. I knew we were at a youth ranch but this youth ranch was a special one. Brookhaven Youth Ranch is for teenage boys who have been in unpleasant situations. It was not until we gathered around to do the Grilling 101 that I really began to understand the situation. These boys were so excited to have us there! They could not wait to grill a steak, and some of them had never even tasted a steak before. This was probably the biggest Grilling 101 I had done so far so it was quite an experience as well. Everything turned out amazing and the boys really enjoyed themselves. It was so great to see how one small event can impact them so much and they were also all so very polite!

Rhome2Now the event was special, but it was not until last week that I realized how special the event was. Last week the thank you letters all came in. They had even made some out to me personally! It was reading the thank you letters that really made that day special for me. To see how one small act could make such a positive impact in their lives. Our small event could have potentially changed their lives for the better. It was not just about the steaks they ate, it was about showing them that people cared for them. Having people who care about you beats everything.

So, do not forget that while sometimes life’s events may seem to all run together and you may not be quite sure why you are doing something, think back to the people you are impacting. You may be making great changes in people and not even know it. This internship has been better than I ever dreamed it would be. Even if this was the only event I did all year this still would have been the best internship. Being able to have a positive influence in someone’s life, especially someone who has been through so much, is a humbling experience. I mean how can it get any better than that?

Until next time …

“So when you’re on your knees and answers seem so far away
You’re not alone, stop holding on and just be held”- Casting Crowns

“For with God nothing shall be impossible” – Luke 1:37

On The Road Down Memory Lane…

Do you ever get that special feeling when you know you get to travel through your home town? Do you wonder what has changed, what is the same, and how your old friends are? Do you play through all the old memories in your mind and wonder where and how time has flown by that fast? Does it make you realize that maybe you should slow down and take some time to enjoy the little things in life?

BQA AlvinAll those thoughts and many more ran through my mind as I got in the truck to head to Alvin. I knew we were going through my home town of Wharton and I knew it was going to be yet another amazing event. As we hit all the backroads through all the little towns, the memories came rushing back and flooded my mind. Back to a time when these roads were my daily drive. Back to a time when things were very different. I sifted through the choices I had made, the paths that I took and all the hard work and difficult decisions I made to get me to where I am today. It reminded me yet again why I am so thankful for this opportunity that God has given me. I smiled when I realized that it is always in my best interest to go out and work hard. You never know who is watching and to smile! It’s amazing how much a simple smile can impact someone so much.

Alvin BQA2Alvin, Texas is where we were headed to do a Beef Quality Assurance program or also known as a BQA. This is a program made for the Cow-Calf and Stocker Operations. This program is put on by Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association, Texas Beef Council, and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. The BQA program is a volunteer program that helps explain the best management practices for assuring food safety. There are specific guidelines in the program that help avoid residues and foreign objects, helps avoid damage to the carcass, and helps promote humane management and handling processes. The program normally begins in the morning and is split into four main parts. The four main parts include; food safety, cattle and beef quality, environmental stewardship, animal handling and well-being.

At this particular BQA, the amazing Dr. Joe Paschal of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service spoke to the producers. In addition to Dr. Paschal, Jessica Chase, the Brazoria county agent, and Phoenix Rogers, the Galveston County agent, also presented parts of the program. It was an awesome experience to be able to watch this program and for the local agents to be able to interact with their local producers as well. It is very interesting to see how the information I am learning in my classes at Texas A&M contain the same exact information being taught to producers as well! We were able to pull out the grill and cook steaks for the producers before the rains came pouring down. I was also able to work on my grilling skills and by the time this internship is over, I should have mastered how to cook the perfect steak! Thank you Jerry McPherson , the Grill Master of The Texas Beef Council!

BQA3The Texas Beef Council put on another amazing event with this program. It is great to see all the producers that come out and are eager to learn how to improve their cattle herd. If you are interested in this event and would like some more information please reach out to Jason Bagley at the Texas Beef Council or visit the website at

TexasBeefCheckoff.com

Or you can also check out the Texas Beef Quality Assurance website as well at

TexasBeefQuality.com

Or you can always reach out to your local Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Agents.

Until next time….

Philippians 4: 13 – “I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.”