Anne Burkholder I guess you could call Anne Burkholder an overachiever in the beef industry. Aside from being a wife and mother of three daughters, the first NCBA National Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) Cattle Producer of the Year (2009) and the owner of Will Feed Inc., a 3,000-head feedlot in Cozad, Neb., Burkholder has just launched an excellent blog aimed at consumers that talks about life on the feedyard and doing a job she loves. The blog, sponsored by the Beef Check Off, can be found at http://feedyardfoodie.com, as well as on Facebook under Feedyard Foodie.
“This is my personal effort to ‘put a face’ on the cattle feeding industry,” Burkholder says. “I am trying to positively educate the public on where their beef comes from and what production practices are used in that production and why they are used. Together we can positively and proactively make a difference: one consumer at a time.”
Burkholder loves to write and loves what she does every day to care for animals. “I have been thinking for quite a while about the best place for me to share my story and I settled on blogging because it allows me to really share good quality information in a format that many people are open to. I understand the consumer with no ties to agriculture, because I used to be that person,” says Burkholder who grew up in Florida, met her husband – a third generation farmer – and came with him to Nebraska to join the family feedlot. “This is my way of trying to close the gap that exists between rural America where we make the food, and urban America where our food is primarily consumed.”
Blog targeted to urban “foodies”
Burkholder’s blog is primarily targeted to consumers outside of agriculture. “I am hoping to attract the ‘foodies’ of the world,” she says. “The intellectuals who are concerned about where their food comes from. I would like it to be a source of information to juxtapose against Michael Pollan's movement.
Burkholder is a firm believer that consumers have a right to know where their food comes from, and believes it is part of her job to provide that information. “That being said, there is quite a bit of education that still needs to be done within agriculture regarding animal welfare so if I can accomplish some of that in addition, that is wonderful. I tell my children that it does not matter how good you are, you can always get better. And, I truly believe that the beef industry needs to internalize this philosophy. I hope that my blog will inspire others within agriculture to constantly work to improve their animal care and the safety of the food that they are growing.”