We have family traditions, festivals to celebrate our heritage and community gatherings. We have meetings, conventions, reunions and events we never miss. We find comfort in connections we make and look forward to events that we enjoy.
There is a tradition many in the livestock business practice and don’t realize how unique it is; we raise our own meat and we share it.
I grew up eating corn fed beef bearing my family’s brand. Some of the steers we harvested were halter broke, cared for and lead through the show ring by sister or I. Sometimes when Grandpa harvested a beef he would call up and say, “I have beef to give you!”
My Dad’s family raised hogs for many years. When we had family gatherings we often ate home raised pork. Grandma has been furnished with beef and pork raised by her family as long as I can remember.
While in High School, Sister had a lamb that hurt his back. After show season, Bobo soon became a nuisance. What do you do with one wether that has a bad back? Mom got the idea to put him in the deep freeze. Sister and I thought it was a great idea. Since then, Mom and Dad have homegrown lamb in the freezer. Sister makes it home more often than I and Mom regularly sends meat with her when she leaves.
Years ago one of Mom’s 4-H kids decided to raise turkeys. Mom was the first to sign up and buy home raised and dressed birds. Another year, Mom’s 4-H Club members went together, harvested a hog and gave it to our family as a Thank You for being a 4-H Club Leader. Yes, it was a 4-H project that did not make it to the fair and it was delicious.
Today I eat grass fed beef raised on our ranch. Jim’s siblings frequently take home a cooler full of meat when they come to see us. They say nothing tastes as good as home raised beef. Family and friends that visit from afar are always impressed with the taste and flavor of our meat.
I think it’s a unique experience to eat home raised meat and a tradition we should be proud of. Agriculture producers are blessed to have access to high quality meat, eat home raised livestock and share it with our loved ones.