“I want to be the beef expert when I walk in the room….no matter who is in the room.”

That’s the guy you want selling your final product. The expert. Not just the one who knows enough to be dangerous; not the guy who is selling beef because it pays the bills; not even the one who thinks he knows all about beef. Nope, you want the bona fide expert.

The MBA event kicked off at Rishel Angus.

CAB is helping to create a few more of those. Our third Master of Brand Advocacy (MBA) course kicked off at Rishel Angus near North Platte, Neb., earlier this week. And by central Nebraska standards, we’re practically neighbors (albeit 50+ miles apart) so I got to tag along.

That opening quote came from one of the attendees when they were asked to go around the room and tell why they’d applied to be part of this three-week, intensive education program. (There is a waiting list to get in, by the way.)

Another gentleman leads a team of foodservice salesmen (as many of them did) and said, “I want to become a resource for them, so they can learn how to sell beef, not just take orders for it.”

You know how a good auctioneer can really make an auction. Think about the power the protein sales force has. They can have a frontline impact on the price of beef, how your product is perceived by consumers and ultimately the demand for it.

We know that. So we invite these people to step into your world for a week. They learned about a seedstock producer’s role by visiting with Bill Rishel. They saw his cattle first hand and then even tried their hand at buying a few bulls.

Then they split it up and went to commercial Angus ranches for an even more personal “day in the life” experience. At the Pioneer Ranch, near Tryon, the smaller group got to know Rusty and Rachel Kemp. They tagged along while they turned on windmills and checked on the last of the herd yet to calve. They even got to pet a fresh calf. That may seem like a simple thing to those of you in the trenches, but it was a highlight for many who had never seen a cow in person, er, bovine before.

Pioneer Ranch, Rusty & Rachel Kemp, near Tryon, Neb.

Rachel told how she tags every single calf and talked about vaccinations and judicious use of antibiotics, saying, “They’re like my babies. You don’t ever want to see them sick.”

Rusty shared the ways they take care of the land and how that’s improved over the decades, often saying, “When I was a kid…” And all the while their two little cowboys tagged along, winning over everybody, myself included.

This might just seem like a “warm and fuzzy” day out on the range, but I heard many quote-worthy statements that were enough to prove it was worth it and it worked. I’ll share some of those next week, but in the meantime, you can hear from a few in their own words via a clip from the local TV station:

Pasture-to-Plate from KNOP

The week rounded out with a packing plant tour and a feedyard visit, but their education will continue with a weeklong meats lab and a sales session.

It all comes back to that one goal that CAB’s David MacVane summed up so nicely on day one: “You’re not here to be brainwashed Certified Angus Beef. You’re here to learn the beef industry.”

That should make YOU very happy.

May your bottom line be filled with black ink,