Beef farmer teaches food executives a few things at Back Creek Angus

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 25, 2014

SALISBURY — If you take a drive through Mount Ulla you can’t help but notice the vast variety of farms that are present.
One of those farms is Back Creek Angus (BCA). BCA raises Angus seedstock, as well as sheep and chickens. Joe Hampton works full time as the superintendent of the Piedmont Research Station and Robin is the district director for the United States Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency.
Joe and Robin are very active in many agricultural organizations, therefore it was no surprise when they were approached by Certified Angus Beef (CAB) and Sysco Foods they graciously welcomed them to their farm. Sysco Foods is one of the largest food distributors in the country, and sells CAB.
CAB is a nonprofit entity which is owned by the American Angus Association and was established in 1978. Therefore more than 160 people from Sysco Foods, including administrators, chefs and salesmen came to BCA farm to learn more about beef and specifically CAB. They were educated on production chains of the beef industry from seedstock, cow/calf, stocker and feeder.
They learned how beef is produced and managed so that farmers can supply a safe and nutritious product, as well as where the specific cuts of beef come from. And, of course, were taken to the pasture to see the animals themselves.
For Joe and Robin it was an opportunity to educate people on farming and particularly the beef industry. Most of the people that attended the event are out selling beef every day, therefore it is important that they are educated on what takes place when producing those products.
With the Internet these days, anybody can put something out there whether true or false, and agriculture receives some publicity that is bad and downright fictitious. As farmers it is our responsibility to tell our story and show that we are producing safe quality products.
For some of the Sysco representatives it was the first time they had ever stepped foot on a farm and saw the hard work that it takes to produce food. Over the years, there has been a separation between consumers and farmers. Events like the one held at BCA helps to close that gap.
In the end, the goal is to help producers, industry personnel and consumers better understand what agriculture is and what takes place to ensure that we can meet the needs in the future.
Thomas Cobb is the livestock/dairy/field crops agent for Rowan County Cooperative Extension. For more information, call 704-216-8970 or email