It’s not clear if Terry Beller chose a career as a cattle feeder or if it chose him.
The passion started even before his memory—perhaps a sign that it was destiny more than choice that has kept him in northeastern Nebraska, where the Lindsay community has always been home.
The hillsides are dotted with pivots. Acres and acres of cropland are interrupted only by farmsteads and the occasional feedlot.
One of those, nestled just outside the all-American town of 350, represents one family’s tenacity—their sheer will to survive the ’80s farm crisis, to weather personal tragedies and to keep on doing what they were born to do: produce beef worthy of celebration.—
Typically, my interview questions center on feedlot receiving and rations and marketing. When I visit with ranchers, we talk about genetic choices, calving and weaning, but this time I got to spend most of the time trying to capture why Terry Beller does what he does.
I mean, not everybody can hop out of bed at 5 a.m. and truly say they love what they do.
But he’s not the only the one. Last year, we told you about Pat DiBiasio, who steps into the freezer to ready the beef for retail customers long before most morning alarm clocks have issued their first decree.
One of the very fortunate parts about working for a company that’s in all segments, from product creation to consumption, is that we get to know so many unique people all with very specific roles in the industry. But they’re more than a job description. I always remember those who are on fire about the work that they do.
This month, you can take a virtual trip with us as we introduce you to people who share your love of the beef business. You’ll meet the chef who has a tattoo of the beef cutout on his arm (talk about dedication) and the guy who has spent every day of his professional career bettering the Certified Angus Beef ® brand, and many (28, to be exact) others.
And we aren’t the only ones who will be blogging our way through November. My friend and fellow ag journalist Holly Spangler blogs over at My Generation, where she’s done a 30-day series each November for a number of years. They’re always informative and easy, fun reads. (That’s my commercial for encouraging you to check out her blog.)
When Holly asked others to join her in 2012, we brought you “Beef’s a trip.” This year, we’ve chosen “Nice to Meat Ya: 30 people you ought to know in the quality beef business.”
If there’s one thread I hope you’ll see, it’s highlighted in this closer from that story I began with:
Every fiber of his character centers on that sense of doing right: by the cattle, by his rancher partners who are more friends than associates and by those who ultimately buy his product.
But Terry says he’s not alone.
“People are so proud to put that delicious meal on the table. It’s a big part of people’s lives to socialize while they’re enjoying great food. It’s something they look forward to,” he says. “It’s just an amazing business.”
May your bottom line be filled with Black Ink,