It's a been a long couple of weeks. I don't know if its that I have had too much time to myself because Matt has been working nights/weird hours at the hospital or if it is because the holiday season has my gears turning... but the emotional level lately has been through the roof. I mean at everything! Our dog (did I mention that we adopted a 2 year old Anatolian Shepherd?!?) is generally really good and we got her a little squeaky ducky. She carries it around the house and throws it up in the air for herself and whines at it. Tears. Tears happened and I don't understand it. It is getting ridiculous. Right around the same time I had the most clumsy day at work...pretty much everything that could have been screwed up happened. I wanted nothing more that to go home and cuddle with my pets. Then there as getting and putting up our first Christmas tree. Going through my ornaments that my mom put together for me... most brought with them too many memories and once again the tears. Wow.
At the same time while I am enduring this roller coaster, I have a discussion with a local high school senior that is having a hard time deciding on college, both where to go and what she wants to major in. She's kind of freaking out because she has worked so hard in school the last few years just to get to this moment and now she has no idea what she wants. Basically it came down to the fact of just because you major in a specific thing and get a degree doesn't necessarily mean that you will end up getting a job in that area. Yes, that is always the hope and you may start out there but that doesn't mean it will always be like that. You may grow to hate it! Ha! I gave the example of my dad. Some of you know him and most people wouldn't ever guess that he has a teaching degree! He is a math and science teacher turned quality manager in a lithium ion battery plant. My brother has a degree in computer science and he is a diesel mechanic! So you never know, however you have to love what you do.
Loving what you do though, isn't as easy as it looks. With every job there are the ups and downs but one of my closest college professors, Dr. Gretchen Hill, once told me that you have to love what you do and you will never consider it work. Truer words have never been spoken....
So how does this tie in?
Now I've had this pipe dream for the last 3+ years...and I want nothing more than to finally execute it. What could this girl that has an Animal Science degree with a specialization in Meat Processing possibly want to do and have it be relevant in her Dexter Cattle blog???
My own meat label. I want to be able to sell our beef by the cut eventually in a small shop in town! The town I live in doesn't have a meat shop other than the chain grocery stores/supermarket. I look at the beef that they have in the cases and it makes me a little sad. I want nothing more than to provide a quality product to the community! However, this is not a job that will be profitable right away... frankly it'd take a year-ish before we would even have any product to sell and that's a problem!
We don't have the stock available at home to do it. We only have 5 steers from this year's calf crop. That doesn't go very far when we put beef in our family's freezers first. I don't want to sell anything but DEXTER beef! If I wanted to pick up Holstein calves to help supply the beef, it would be super easy with all the dairies around here. However, that's NOT what I want to do.
That's the key to this situation... I am not afraid of the idea that we won't be able to sell. With the numerous farmer's markets in the area and the push for buying and eating local, I don't think we will have a problem moving product. At all. It's making the jump. Terrifying. But like I said, it's been the dream since I was in college. My degree and my involvement with collegiate and 4H meat judging has just fed the dream.
Have you done this?
I would love to hear from people that have ventured into this area. How did you start? What were your challenges? Please please give me your imput! Email me, call me, anything....
Would you be interested in beef?
If this is something that gets rolling (finally), would you be interested in beef? Should I do this?