Sunday, August 5, 2012

Feed your Dreams and Starve your Fears

I awoke at 3AM yesterday in order to make it to the airport alone to board a plane and make it to Washington DC to talk with the United States Personal Chef Association  This was a first time for me to drive to the airport and fly alone. I was able to starve another fear and feed another dream. I have lived to tell about it.

I do not do many activities outside of the agriculture circle. When asked if I would be the farmer/rancher/feed yard owner representative to talk with the personal chefs about the beef industry with Daren Williams from NCBA, of course I said yes. We had an insightful discussion about how beef is raised, the nutritional value of beef, and how the beef industry is helping the environment. It was so wonderful to meet these members of the beef community.  As I was preparing for this conference I began to realize the close ties beef producers have with chefs. I hadn't really thought of the close links between the two groups.  We share the same consumers, that have the same questions and concerns about our product. I feel proud to have this group of people out there that take a product that we have so much pride in as producers and use their talents to prepare a piece of beef that people enjoy eating with their friends and family.  I feel like I should send a thank you to a chef.

As we were preparing to go to lunch for burgers.  We had the opportunity to meet a famous chef from the Food Network, Mary Beth Albright.


The flight home on US Airways was a little challenging.  I starved the fear of flying independently as the flight was delayed three times.  They finally loaded us at around 6PM, even though we were supposed to leave at 4:20PM.

They then realized we were missing one of our 50 passengers.  They went looking for her and retrieved the 90 year old woman from a plane going to Tallahassee.  When they loaded her she was confused and sweaty, but found her seat quickly. I was thinking great it is now 6:30, lets fly.

I was thinking if Jake was with me he would say this truck is awesome, we need one for the feed yard.
The pilot then gets on the sound system to report we were over our weight limit and would need to off load some fuel.  I laughed out loud, followed by laughter from the other passengers.  But he wasn't joking.

We finally left around 7:30PM. I then got lost leaving the airport and was fortunate to circle through the airport twice looking for 576 west, because I live west of Pittsburgh. I now know you have to take 576 east and I still don't know why - but that's okay.  I feel accomplished because I faced another fear of traveling alone and have a funny story to tell.  Even better I was able to share a story of raising beef for beef lovers. It was a terrific adventure to Washington DC and a privilege to meet all of the personal chefs. Thank you for the opportunity!!


  1. Janice, thanks so much for making time to come to DC and meet with the chefs. You did a wonderful job sharing your story and connecting with these imprtant members of the beef community.

    1. Daren, it is always a pleasure to work with you. Thanks for the opportunity to meet an outstanding community of people within the Beef Community. I had a wonderful day. See you next time.

  2. Janice, When I signed up for this workshop I wasn't sure what to expect. I certainly never expected to have the opportunity to meet you, hear your life story and have a *really* direct connection to a beef source. You helped clarify many "myths" we face on a daily basis as our clients question the quality of the beef we put on their plates. Thank you for stepping away from your family and "farm" to help educate us at the USPCA conference. (Chef Catherine, Personal Chef, Lavish to Lite Bites, San Antonio, Texas)

    1. It was so exciting talking with the Chefs that enjoy beef as much as I do. It was a pleasure to attend the USPCA Conference. Thanks for cooking and eating Beef! I hope we can stay in touch. I visited your website it is beautiful.