Going for the Gold by Way of Cow
Feb 06, 2014
As we are certain you are all aware, it is time once again for the Winter Olympics. With stories of the conditions of Sochi, Russia, pouring out of every news outlet, how could you not be aware? However, we are not interested in regurgitating the double-toilet/no toilet issues the Olympians are facing, nor do we wish to bore you with further talk about very dangerous beer-colored "face" water, electrical wiring connected to the shower faucets, peculiar bathroom rules, or women painting brown grass green. We were unaware that the Red Queen lived in Russia ("Off with their heads…"), but we digress. Instead, we would like to enlighten you on an interesting story about a young woman, her dream of being an Olympic athlete and the cows that got her there.
Kaitlyn Farrington, a 24-year old snowboarder competing in the women's halfpipe, made it to the Olympics by selling cattle. Her parents farm in Sunny Valley, Idaho, and to pay for their daughter's training and travel they would sell a cow at a time. What an amazing support system Miss Farrington has. Well, we certainly know who we're rooting for in the women's snowboarding competition.
The Cowboy Way
Some ranchers prefer to move cattle with four tires instead of four hooves. After all, It's faster, easier, alleviates saddle sores and ensures a smoother ride. But moving cattle the "old-fashioned way" is one of those rare treats that you can't help but smile about. The Eaton family of Ellensburg, Washington, does just that and they make it a real family affair—complete with an authentic circa-1870 chuck wagon and good old-fashioned campfire food. We're not talking about beans and weenies, either.
Between the kids, family members and neighbors the Eaton family managed to move more than 170 cattle to greener pastures just in time for calving. Kevin Barnhart says, "It's a good thing to bring the family out, to help neighbor-to-neighbor, so to speak. It's a little bit of showing the kids the cowboy way, helping others whenever you can." We couldn't agree more!
McDonald's is supersizing their investment in sustainable beef. Bob Langert, VP CSR and Sustainability for McDonald's Corporation, spoke at the NCBA to give cattle producers an idea of what Mickey-D's goals are; however, a clear definition of 'sustainable beef' has yet to be outlined. Despite a lack of total clarity, we're happy to help feed good ol' American beef to 69 million people around the world per day. And here's a fun fact: Did you know that there are 34,000 McDonald's restaurants in 119 countries?! That's a lot of Big Macs.
No Yogurt for You!
Remember the "Soup Nazi" from Seinfeld? Well, Russia is now the Dairy Nazi. According to media reports, a large shipment of Chobani yogurt was refused entry into Russia. Jim Mulhern, NMPF president and CEO had this to say: "There is no rational reason why safe, wholesome dairy products consumed by millions of Americans on a regular basis would not be equally healthful for Russians. It's a shame they want cultural exchanges like the Olympics, but fear cultured dairy products. They'll welcome our Olympians but not their food."
We can't say we're surprised. After all, this is the same country that tried offering a nuclear submarine to settle dairy debt with New Zealand—which has a nuke-free policy. Some things just make you scratch your head.