On the road

From the beginning

My mom does this thing with movies that I’ve just never understood. She’ll scroll through the channels, find a film and invest in it – even if it’s halfway over.

“Mom! We have no idea what happened in the beginning,” I’ll say with a smile and a tinge of frustration.

In reality, it matters none. The lady works a lot and, after long days of handling cattle and keeping a family business thriving, she knows she likely doesn’t have time to enjoy a full movie anyway.

But sometimes, in real life, knowing and understanding the beginning is crucial. History educates our decisions and reveals the big picture. We move forward, stronger because of it.


“Ask questions. You guys are making us better at what we do here,” Cactus Feeders staff said. Our chefs had plenty.

In late April, a few CAB staffers (including me) and 40 chefs gathered in the Amarillo area of Texas for CAB Chef Tour. It’s an impressive affair, one where our education team goes above and beyond to create an experience for culinary folks who serve our product in their restaurants or are considering doing so. It’s a time when the beginning is absolutely necessary.


It takes a lot to feed 50,000 head. Technology and science determine what’s best. We got to take a look at the mill that makes three feedings a day a reality.

Our stops included 2 Bar Angus, a seedstock supplier, near Hereford, Texas, owned and operated by Steve and Laura Knoll and their family. Then it was the coveted packing plant tour before we headed to Wrangler Feedyard, near Happy, Texas.

“It was fascinating, the whole thing. The whole thing was fascinating.”

That’s how attendee George Motz described our walk through the production side of our business as we sat down for dinner the last night. He’ll take those memories back to NYC and share them in his areas of influence. Forty other chefs will do the same.


A nice exchange.

As I sat down for lunch that second day, one attendee said, “Wow lunch yesterday seemed so long ago. We’ve done a lot between now and then.”

Indeed we had and I’d say that’s our goal. To take these 40 plus chefs and give them insight into the side of the business we know and love is an honor, but an obligation, too.


A dust storm may have forced us indoors for Steve Knoll’s insight into the Angus seedstock business but we ventured out for a picture. The Knoll barn is one of those being painted in celebration of the brand’s 40th anniversary and #brandthebarn campaign.

Once home attendee Chad Foust, Sweet Lou’s Restaurant and Bar, Ponderay, Idaho, shared, “This past week I spent a lot time thinking back to everything  we learned/experienced and just how much I did not know about Certified Angus Beef. The entire process just blows my mind on how precise every portion of the steer’s journey is and how uncompromising Certified Angus Beef standards are. I am proud to serve Certified Angus Beef at Sweet Lou’s.”

Thanks for allowing me to tell your story,


blackinklaura Visit Website
Born and raised in the Sunshine State, I grew up surrounded by more livestock than people on my family’s working cattle ranch. A willingness to address a crowd and an eagerness to ask questions led to my passion for spreading the word of agriculture. A lover of words, cattle and those who produce them, I couldn't ask for a better job. A Gator grad, blessed by years of learning and Tebow football, I’m a firm believer that people should be honest, lyrics should be moving and tea should be sweet. I love music, my family, my God, and of course writing for CAB.
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