AgProud: The Quality of Agriculture with PNW Rancher

Another entry for my month-long series featuring the diversity of modern Agriculture. We’re hearing from farmers, ranchers, and consumers from across the country about why they are proud to be a part of Agriculture. Today Erica Beck from the Pacific Northwest shares her thoughts. Why are YOU Agriculture Proud?

If I had to sum up in one word why I’m proud to be involved in agriculture? Quality.

I am proud when my family’s yearlings top the sale at the local livestock yards. Not because of the money. Topping the sale means we have high-quality stock.

I am proud when the horse I’m riding makes a great cut to head off a cow. It means my horse and I are reading each other and the cow correctly, that the time invested in riding and training has shaped my mount into a quality cow horse.

I am proud when I can crawl up in a combine, learn to drive it in an afternoon and harvest wheat for a week. In order to have a quality wheat crop, it has to be harvested at the right time. I may have been slow. I may have nearly lost my lunch right before the first time I ran the combine solo. But the wheat got harvested.

I am proud that all the cattle ranches I’ve worked with place top priority on their livestock. High quality feed, vaccination programs and doctoring when needed. Waking up every two hours to check heifers during calving season and long days of haying in the summer. It is about the animals. Always.

Finally, I am proud of the people. Hard work ethics. Willingness to help others. Real, down-to-earth and genuine with a deep-seated passion for what we do.

My name is Erica Beck, and I’m proud of my history in cattle ranching and the future I hope to live in this business. I grew up on a commercial Red Angus cow/calf ranch in Iowa and feel more blessed every day for my roots.

After deciding to move west a few years ago, I now work in agriculture communications while pitching in part time on a friend’s ranch. In all my agricultural experiences, I’ve found quality to be a driving force behind many of the people and businesses in this field.

Whether it’s those planting the seeds and caring for the livestock or all those who have a hand in bringing food from the gate to your plate, pride in the quality of work, livestock, produce and end product is a binding tie in agriculture.

Erica Beck can be found in Washington state and online at her blog, on Twitter, and Facebook.

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