From the Ukraine to Good Ole’ Texas


I know it has been a while since I have written, but I have taken some time to get used to the transition of being at home all the time. Things have gone very well; I do think being on the road all the time has helped me realize how special children really are and how much you can miss when you are gone. That being said, Mattie and I have become closer than ever these last few weeks and we have had lots of fun together. I still miss being on the road and my friends at Beef Council, but I do know that I will be seeing them in the future!

As I was driving to our camp house the other day something hit me. Besides seeing all the glorious countryside, I remembered another reason why I enjoy driving in the country. Every single person I passed waved at me……… every single one. It did not matter if it was a man or a woman or what they were driving, they all waved. Granted I was driving in the country and I did not pass that many vehicles but every single person waved. Just think of what an amazing thing that would be if we all waved to people we passed everyday instead of getting road rage? How different would the world be?

IMG_2946While at Beef Council, I got to dive into one of the most unique experiences I have probably ever been involved with. The Texas Beef Council works with export teams from different countries, so the staff at TBC is accustomed to meeting people from other countries; well I was not! I was privileged to work with the export team of chefs that even came over from the Ukraine! It was such an amazing experience! Jerry and I met the export team in College Station at Texas A&M University. The export team was there to work with- Dr. Cleere and Dr. Griffin about beef cattle production, yield grade, and various cuts of meat while Jerry and I grilled up some of those fabulous flat irons. If you have not tried them yet, you really should. It’s a great cut! After lunch that day, Jerry and I headed back to Austin but the Ukrainian’s stayed and where able to tour through Texas A&M’s Rosenthal Meat Center and watch some meat cutting demonstrations.

IMG_2938That evening we met up with the export team at The Salt Lick BBQ outside of Austin. If you have never been there before, I suggest going for the experience. Just make sure you have cash because it is cash only. The food is great and the atmosphere is amazing! The evening was a fun filled session. Learning some of their language along with the translator was a blast! We were also given a tour of the restaurant. My favorite part was the giant barbeque pit in the middle of the restaurant that is prominently displayed when you walk in. I have seen a lot of cooking areas but Salt Lick is very unique.

IMG_2949The next day the export team was welcomed at the Beef Council office after they had breakfast at Rudy’s and toured their place as well. Jason Bagley, whose program involves the export teams, went through a cutting demonstration on a variety of different whole cuts and broke them down to selling cuts. We wanted the Chefs to see what kind of cuts are sold here in the United States in hopes that they will consider using some of those cuts in their own places of business. Some of the Ukrainian chefs own restaurants, some hotels, and one even has his own television show. While there was a bit of a language barrier, good food and fun needs no translation. It was great getting to know the chefs and learning about their culture.

This was my last day with the export team, but their trip to Texas was not over yet. They traveled up to the Panhandle where they were able to see some cattle feedlots along with some beef processing plants. This was such a great opportunity and experience for me. It opened my eyes to another country and it increased my sense of adventure. I’m so anxious to travel, explore and see all that the world has to offer. I am still very thankful for all the opportunities I received at the Texas Beef Council.

IMG_2951This week I will be traveling to Colorado to attend the American National CattleWomen meetings. My mother and I are driving together and I am excited for another adventure. Until next time…


James 3:18 – “Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness”


Beef Bootcamp 101….

Bootcamp 1As my last few weeks are winding down at Texas Beef Council, time seems to be going by even faster! Thankfully, I have been involved in so many wonderful events over this semester that I will be able to write about new events and reminisce over the next month.

Texas Beef Council and H-E-B have a great relationship. Quite a few times over this semester I have been able to participate in the H-E-B Bootcamp which is sponsored by the Texas Beef Council. This is an amazing program and every time I was involved I learned something new!

Bootcamp 2Different H-E-B’s Stores from across the State of Texas will bring in close to 20 different managers from their stores to spend a day at the Texas Beef Council. They arrive early in the morning and walk into the joy of breakfast pizza. I will never forget the first event I worked and walking into the office to the smell of the breakfast pizza. It makes my mouth water just thinking about it. If you have never made a breakfast pizza before, you should definitely try it! On our pizza we included hamburger meat, black beans, corn, pico de gallo, eggs, and lots of cheese!

After breakfast, they are given an introduction to what the Texas Beef Council is and what it is that we do. Next, our amazing Chef Tiffany comes in and does some cooking demonstrations. This part is really fun because I learn something new every time. Chef Tiffany does a pan broil, a pan fry, a stir-fry, a Mexican pot roast, and an oven finished demonstration. All of these are done with different cuts of meat and all cooked differently. Let us just say that my family is very thankful for these demonstrations as I am cooking a lot more at home now.

Bootcamp 4The participants are split up into separate groups and each group has their own work station set up. They each have different recipes on their stations and have to work together to cook it and have everyone sample it! This is also a lot of fun, as you get to watch how the members interact with each other and even get to taste and see how their final product came out.

After this, the groups are moved outside and given a Grilling 101 lesson. I promise I will write a blog about the famous Grilling 101, but our Grill Master Jerry McPherson does a phenomenal job with this, so first I have to make sure I have all the steps down perfectly! While the groups are letting their grills burn down, Chef Tiffany sits down with them and talks to them about marinade and rubs. There is a really awesome test that she does with jelly beans. The jelly bean test shows them how you can taste something first and then when you smell it, you can actually smell what it is you are tasting. For example, you can taste a sweet jelly bean, and after holding your nose, you can breathe in and know that it is a cherry flavored jelly bean! It is really neat how it works out!

After their Grilling 101, the participants go back to their groups and work stations. They have another recipe to make, which is normally a salad with Beef of course! This recipe is also for a contest, so the groups must make sure that their presentation looks amazing as well as being able to explain it really well. They are then able to eat the goodies for lunch. After the amazing lunches, they are introduced to the nutrition aspect of the program. Normally after this section, the day is over. Every participant has a full belly and definitely full of more knowledge about Beef.

Bootcamp 3Some may ask why we do this program with managers who are not in the meat department? Well, every person that we interact with can impact a potential customer. There could be times when someone who works in the floral department sees a particular cut of meat in a customer’s basket and they can offer a recommendation on how to cook that particular cut of meat.

I feel that the more promotion of beef the better. At the end of the day, it all comes back to supporting the producers that we represent. Without them, we would not be able to have the fine beef products that we currently have.

2 Corinthians 5:7 – ” For we live by faith, not by sight”


“The Rarest of Them All”

If you have never been to Austin Food & Wine Festival, I highly recommend making the trip and trying it out. I was able to attend this year with the Texas Beef Council and it was quite an eye-opening experience. There were so many different types of food and so many things that tasted so GOOD! One of my favorites had to be the pork and waffles. Yes! You read that right…… it was delicious! My reason for being at the Festival was even better.

IMG_2848This event is a brand-new event that the Texas Beef Council sponsored and we were looking for the “Best of the Best” Butcher in Texas. Not only were we able to showcase butchers and their amazing talent, we were also able to shed some light on the industry. All of the activities help consumers become aware that butchers are still out there and they are a very important part of the meat business.

IMG_2846This contest started back in March where we had three regional semifinal rounds. These rounds took place in Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio. At each of the rounds there were four to five contestants competing. For the competition, the contestants were first given a whole shoulder clod and a top sirloin with a time amount of thirty minutes to break the meat down with cuts that they would merchandize in their store. These were cuts that would fall into the full service and self-service case. This was very interesting to watch as each competitor did different cuts because of the different types of cuts their clientele ask for. For the second part of the competition they were given a wide range of cuts that had been laid out and then they had to properly identify the cuts. For the last part of the regional they were given a whole strip loin and had a small amount of time to cut out ten 12oz strips that were cut to order. The contestants had a scale that they could use to weigh them if needed, but the ones that were weighed could not be counted. This was remarkable to see how many actually hit 12 oz. exactly.

IMG_2845The top winners of each regional moved on to compete in the finals. The finals were a two-day competition and took place here in Austin at the Texas Beef Council office and at the Austin Food & Wine Festival. The top three contestants were; Michael Majkszak from Majkszak Meat Market, Shawn Knowles from Old Town Market, and Bryan Butler from Salt & Time Butcher Shop. These contestants had already won $2,500 at the regional events but they were competing for $5,000 and the title of Best Butcher in Texas.

IMG_2844For the final competition the contestants were given a full loin and had an hour to break this down to cuts that they would merchandize to their customers. This part was done at the Texas Beef Council office, where they also had to have an interview done as well. At the Austin Food & Wine Festival the contestants were given a 103 Rib, or a bone-in ribeye and they also had to break this down into cuts that they would sell to their customers. Each time this was done they had to explain to the judges exactly why they used those particular cuts versus other cuts. Once again, the contestants did a wide variety of different cuts all based on their clientele. It is pretty amazing to watch them in action and if you have never seen it before, I suggest finding some way to watch. It truly is a work of art!

IMG_2849One of the best things that came out of this contest was all the beef that was donated! After ever regional and the final, all of the beef that was broken down into cuts was then donated to the local community. Not only was the contest fun and enjoyable but we were also able to give back to the local community.

So, who won you may ask? Well, while all of the contestants are winners in my book, the best butcher is Texas is Bryan Butler from Salt & Time Butcher Shop. If you are in the area of any of these butcher shops, I suggest you stop by and meet these gentlemen, they are truly great at what they do! In the meantime, support your local butcher shop!

Psalm 46:1 “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”


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:

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

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

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.”



Mystery Baskets & Cooking Utensils…

IMG_2723It was another beautiful sunny day when I got in the truck to head to good ole Dallas Texas. I knew that this event was going to be an awesome experience. I was headed to the State Finals for the FCCLA Mystery Basket Contest. FCCLA stands for Family, Career, Community Leaders of America. It is an organization that youth can become involved in at their high-schools. The Mystery Basket contest is just one of the many events at FCCLA competitions.

I knew this was going to be a special event because not only was it the State Finals, but I had the privilege of attending almost all the regional events. I had seen most of the contestants compete in order to make it to the State Finals and it was going to be interesting to watch them compete again to see the different dishes that they were going to make. The Mystery Basket event is sponsored by Johnson & Wales University and the Texas Beef Council. This year I had the honor of working with Elena Doerrie and Martin Stout from Johnson & Wales. They are amazing people and if you are interested in going to culinary school they would be excellent people to contact and speak with. I can also help get those contact numbers if needed, or you can check out their website at

For the Mystery Basket contest the contestants are given a bag that normally contains a protein, a starch, and a vegetable. They have no idea what is going to be in the bag until the start of the competition. They are then given twenty minutes to plan a dish and then given an additional forty minutes to cook the dish. Texas Beef Council provides the mystery basket items and additional pantry items that are used to make the dishes. This ranges from fresh produce, to milk, to pasta, all the way to seasonings for their steaks. Let’s just say I learned my way around the grocery store extremely well in the last couple of months! Who knew that butter lettuce existed?!? I am so very thankful that I had this opportunity to learn about some fantastic foods that I had no idea existed. Throughout the year, we had a variety of different items in their bags at the regional events. Some of those items included: carrots, celery, red bell peppers and avocados. More importantly we always included a steak in the bag! For the final event, we pulled out a huge surprise by putting an eggplant in the bag along with our steaks. During the contest the contestants are being judged the entire time, and then at the end the food is tasted and judged as well. At the end of the event the person with the most points wins.   At the finals, we had two separate rounds of students competing. My job was to help make sure the “pantry” stayed stocked between the two sessions along with making sure the students were safe with all of their burners going. I will say this event had definitely intrigued me into wanting to learn more about cooking!

No matter who the winner was, I congratulate all the students that made it to the finals! I know it was not an easy task and it was extraordinary to see how well they performed over the last few months. This was a great event that the Texas Beef Council puts on helping support the youth. I will definitely miss doing this next year.

Psalm 31:24 – “Be Strong and Take Heart, all you who Hope in the Lord”

Sandy Creek…


This is my Happy place.

A place where you can forget about all the hustle and bustle of the daily life. Where all of the inner struggles can be set aside. Where you can sit back and think about all that you have achieved so far and know that you are capable of so much more.

My happy place is where expectations are not in sight. A place where there is no one expecting something from you. A place where all of the worries that you have can be removed from the present mind. A place where you can sit and the silence can speak so many words. You can listen to the breeze blow through the trees and the birds sing as they fly around. Where the fish jump in the pond and the ripples float all the way to the shore. Where the ducks will land for a swim, while the turtles pop their heads up.

My happy place is where you can walk in the sandy creek and watch your bare feet sink. Where you can lay on the sand hidden away from the rest of the world and watch the clouds drift by. Minutes ticking by to hours as you lay there forgetting everything, only listening to the sound of nature. Where the start of a four-wheeler engine disturbs the silence and just for a moment you are taken back to the reality of things; until you look around and realize that the happy place is still there. A place that reminds you of all the wonderful things God has done for us and continues to do for us on a daily basis.

This simple place is my happy place. A place where you only get one or two channels on the old television. Where cell reception is fuzzy depending on where you are standing. Oddly, I look forward to no cell reception. Being happy. Where memories have been created. Where new memories are made and shared. Where your daughter learns the same things you learned when you were a child. Where the generations all come together and enjoy each other’s company because you never know when it might be the last time.


Find your happy place.

Find the place where you can let the world go and find the joy in the little things. Find your happy place and take the time to go there often. Find your happy place and share it with your loved ones. Find your happy place and do not it go. Life is too short to be always burdened about what comes next.

Take the time to live in the present.

Enjoy that happiness and see things, really see things for the beauty of what they are. I have had my ups and downs, my trials and tribulations just like everyone else. It is the way you look at the outcomes of things that shapes you as a person. It has taken me some time to understand this but being at my happy place makes everything clearer.

So find your happy place, wherever or whatever it may be, enjoy it and take the time to appreciate it and all that it does for you.



Isaiah 40:31 –    ” but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”



Good Ole San Antonio Texas….

As I climbed into the big truck to head out of town April 1st, I knew it was going to be a great weekend with the whirlwind of events we had planned. The Texas Beef Council team was headed to good ole San Antonio Texas. I was pretty excited about this event as I have been to San Antonio before but I have not experienced the Riverwalk or downtown San Antonio. We were headed to the Alamodome to set up for the H-E-B Slim Down Showdown Finale.

I am pretty sure you are probably thinking, “H-E-B Slim Down Showdown? Now what is that?” Well, it is an awesome opportunity that H-E-B puts on for their employees as well as people from the surrounding community. Slim Down Showdown (SDSD) is a 12 week competition where the contestants are competing for $10,000. While some may consider this a competition when they first begin the program, this is more of a life changing event. After a while it no longer becomes a competition but a better way to live a healthy life. The kick off of this event started 12 weeks ago on January 10th with a 7 day Fit Camp which included fitness and nutritional training along with cooking and meal training.  What an awesome way to kick start a program; with a group of people who are there to help you and support you on this new journey.

At the end of the 12 weeks the contestants came back for a final weigh in. This took place at the Alamodome. As we arrived at the Alamodome, we were able to drive in to set up our booth. It was a pretty awesome feeling driving in and setting up knowing that in just a few hours we would get to witness and hear some of the greatest stories about the changes that these contestants had made.

Morning came and we arrived at our booth. Texas Beef Council is a sponsor for this great event, and we were also there to inform consumers about the benefits of beef in the diet. Did you know that it is recommended to consume 25 to 30 grams of protein at every meal including breakfast, lunch, and dinner? This also helps cut those afternoon sugar cravings. If you are interested, there is a really neat challenge called the 30-day protein challenge. If you would like more information on this program please check out

The hours flew past at the booth while we were meeting people and sharing information. I looked up and the time had finally arrived. We were going to be able to see the contestants and they were going to announce the winners. Before the contestants came out, they each shared part of their story. Learning about the reasons they were doing this program was heart-warming. From wanting to be around for their children, to building more confidence, each story touched my heart in some special way. As the contestants walked out, the physical changes were very obvious. For me, it was the changes on the inside that brought me to tears. You can only imagine all the blood sweat and tears that they endured during the 12 week program and each and every one was so proud, happy, and thankful.

I am so incredibly humbled and overjoyed for all the contestants at this year’s SDSD. While not every contestant won the money, I believe they were all winners in the end. Watching this contest helped me open my eyes and put a new perspective on life. You only have one body and it is very important. Make sure you take care of it, so it will take care of you. If you would like some more information on the H-E-B Slim Down Showdown please visit

You can even read some of the contestant’s blogs on the website. I suggest taking some time to read a few of them to learn about all the hard work they put in.

“But it’s the little things, the little things not expectation, That make life worth living, worth living “ – JJ Grey & MoFro – The Sun is Shining Down

I felt that these lyrics from this song fit perfectly well with the SDSD challenge. It is the little things that the people changed about them that is the best part of all of this.

Until next time….

Song of Solomon 4:7 –  “You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you.”

The Road Goes on Forever…

Literally…. When driving across the State of Texas, the road goes on forever. Yet with each mile marker passed I was blessed with an opportunity to see the raw beauty by God’s handiwork. This year has been an amazing one and I am so thankful for the opportunity He has given me to see the beauty in the little things, because when it comes down to it, it is the little things that mean the most. One day this week take the time to take that detour home, roll down the windows, smell the fresh crisp air after a rain storm, pull over and take that picture with the bluebonnets, do NOT miss all the amazing things that surround us.

As I climbed up into the Beef Council Truck to head out of town Friday, I will admit I was a little nervous. I have never been to South Texas and was not quite sure what to expect. But climbing into that truck with the trailer loaded down gave me such a sense of pride, that any doubts or mixed feelings were soon thrown out the window as I knew this was going to be another great trip. I am so fortunate to work this Texas Beef Council internship, to show the producers and consumers all the wonderful things we are doing for them.

I was headed to Rio Grande City to help assist in the cooking for the Beef 706 program. Jerry McPherson of the Texas Beef Council and I got the opportunity to pull the grill out and cook some steaks. (On a side note, if an opportunity arises and there is a chance to eat a steak cooked by Jerry, do it! This is a must! He has a special touch and the steaks are always amazing.) The flat iron was the cut of steak that we cooked. Did you know that the flat iron is the second most tender cut of meat next to the tenderloin? If you have not tried this cut yet, it is a must do as well! Picture it, the grill smoking outside the auction barn while the steaks sizzled. The aroma of the steaks drifting to the front door as all the attendees started to arrive, mouthwatering, stomach growling, eager and ready to start their program.

The BEEF 706 program is an AMAZING opportunity and if it occurs in an area where you are producing cattle, you definitely should attend. This specific program has three separate sessions. At this particular session, the attendees were broken up into groups. As a group, they had the opportunity to go out and study the steers before a mock auction was performed. Each group bid like it was a live auction, hoping to be able to purchase the steer they thought would perform the best. These steers are then taken and will be put on feed to continue out the rest of the program. There are two additional sessions to this program. Later on, the attendees will get the opportunity to tour a feedlot and see their cattle on feed. They will also get the opportunity to visit the Kane Beef processing plant. In the end the groups will be able to assist in the fabrication process and will be able to tell how their steer ranked against all the other groups. In the ranking process, the cost of the steer, how much the steer sold for, and the quality and yield grade are just some of the many factors that are taken into consideration.

This is an awesome experience for our producers to be able to really tell how much genetics, frame size, and muscling play a factor into their everyday decisions. While I was only at the first session today, I highly recommend it to anyone that is producing cattle. Whether that producer is a seasoned veteran or someone who is fairly new to the cattle business it never hurts to hear about the current information that is being taken into consideration when the cattle are sent to the auction barn or processing plant.

I survived my first trip to South Texas and I am ready to go back…….even though that road does travel on forever! If you are ever down in Rio Grande City, stop by the R.Y. Livestock Sales. Mr. Sam Rodriguez is the owner. Sam and his wife are so nice and welcoming. If you are want more information about the BEEF 706 program, be sure to check out or reach out to one of your local Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Agents.

While I was driving home, George Strait’s song “Take Me to Texas” came on, it just reminded me of how amazing the State of Texas is and how amazing the Lord is.

Until next time…


“And these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

1 Corinthians 13:13