Today is the last day of “The Month of Love” and the last of my heart-themed posts. I had planned to write about something about cooking with your family (which you should do), but I’ve had a change of heart (pun absolutely intended!). Today, I’m getting a little more personal.
I find it extremely fitting and symbolic that on this last day of February, I write my final blog post for BeefBites.org. In the next two weeks, I’ll transition from the Missouri Beef Industry Council to a new career in advertising and online communications here at home in Maryville, Mo. In more than two years with MBIC, and nearly four years in Missouri’s beef community, I’ve learned so much, grown personally and professionally, and hopefully accomplished some successes for my beloved farmers and ranchers.
It’s all about the people
We all hope to leave our mark, to make a difference, to be remembered as someone who accomplished great things for the cause about which we are so passionate. Of course that’s what I hope I’ve done. Of course I hope I’ve moved the needle in beef promotions and in how and to whom the beef story is told. But what I leave this role with, more than anything, is a very, very long list of amazing people who made a difference to me.
- Living life in a way that gives all our glory and praise to God.
- Sharing our passions, missions, and lives with those we love.
It’s all about serving people, folks. It’s about working together, learning from one another, touching lives with our stories and listening to theirs. It’s about building friendships and bonds that make us better people, caring for others when they need it, and leaning on friends and family as we go through life’s transitions. It’s about enjoying experiences and making memories with those people. It’s about learning which people are blessings and which are lessons. And it’s about growing. Growing together, growing apart, growing up, growing in God, and growing into the people we want to be, all thanks to God’s plan, and to the people with whom we surround ourselves.
Community of servants
If I’ve learned nothing else over the last four years, I’ve learned this: the beef community is full of servants.
- Farmers and ranchers work hard each and every day to provide food for families across the globe. They serve their animals before themselves daily, and sacrifice some major life conveniences to make growing our food their very top priority. They are stewards of their land and lifestyle, serving future generations with something a little better than they found it.
- State Beef Council staffs work with limited staff and budgets to be good stewards of checkoff dollars, to share the beef nutrition and production stories on behalf of cattle farmers and ranchers.
- NCBA and national staff serve states through resources, research, staff support, time, energy, and expertise, to serve one consistent, unified beef success story with many different facets.
- Advocates serve agriculture by telling their stories, by connecting in person and through social media, to flip the switch for just one unsure beef eater (or anti-beef eater) at a time.
- ALL of these folks serve as blessings in my life. I’ve built friendships with and learned from people across the country. I’ve made long-lasting memories with some of the very best friends I never thought I’d make in my work life. And I received guidance, gratitude, encouragement from the best of the best across that entire list up above.
While I step away from this role (but don’t worry, I’ll be starting my own personal blog soon!) hoping I somehow made at least one difference to someone, please know it’s YOU that has made the difference in my life. It’s YOU that I’ll miss working with every week. It’s YOU I’ll think of when you all get together for conventions and meetings. And it’s YOU who help make the beef community a network of friends that have impacted my life more than I could have ever imagined. Thank YOU, and thank God for putting YOU in my life.