GFP007: Anne Burkholder of Will Feed, Traveling Outside Your Comfort Zone to Gain Perspective and Reduce Stress

Show summary:

Fresh perspective is always necessary. It doesn't matter what type of business you run or even what type of life you lead. Looking at what you do from another person's perspective, and getting their advice based on their experiences can be hugely beneficial for you.  I know it is for me.

I am not a farmer to make money. I farm because I love working outside, I love growing my own food, and most of all I love the community of people that naturally gravitate toward sustainable farming. At the end of the day, my bills come in just the same as everyone else's. We have car payments, rent, student loans, phone bills, the list goes on... If I am going to be able to keep farming and having that positive impact on my food system I have to look at my farm as a business.

In this episode I talk about how I went outside the farming community to get some really good advice. Not only was the advice and perspective helpful to me as I write my business plan, but it was inspirational as well. The professional I met with got me all fired up, and inspired me to take some of the steps that I was fearing to take.

Then in my interview I travel outside my normal realm of agricultural businesses, and I had one of most fun conversations about farming that I have had yet.

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In this farm podcast you will learn:

  • Helpful resources for business advice
  • How a cattle feed lot operates
  • The ratio of cattle to humans in Nebraska
  • How being a psychology major helps you work with cattle
  • You don't have to be a big person to work with big animals

Interview with Anne Burkholder of Will Feed in Cozad Nebraska:

Anne Burkholder is the “boss lady” of the cattle feedyard and spends her days in blue jeans and boots.  In 2009, she was awarded the Beef Quality Assurance Producer of the Year Award for the volunteer work that she does promoting beef farmer education in cattle care (animal welfare), and food safety.  She is a member of the Nebraska Beef Quality Assurance Advisory Committee, a Director of the Nebraska State Beef Council, and an avid advocate for the cattle industry.  She greets each day’s challenges with a smile knowing that she is using the gifts and talents that were bestowed upon her to both improve the welfare of the United States cattle herd and the safety of the beef that they produce.

She is both mentally and physically tough from her days as a competitive swimmer and runner growing up. She uses her degree in psychology to better understand the cattle she works with, and to reduce the stress in their lives.

It was a pleasure interviewing her, and refreshing to here the perspective she brings to farming.

Items mentioned in this farm podcast include:

Take aways:

Never stop asking questions. Never stop learning. Very very important in life. I am glad that I have the natural curiosity that drives me to constantly seek out more knowledge.

Who else can you talk to about your farm business?

Who can offer advice outside of the agricultural realm?

What steps are you taking to reduce stress for yourself, your workers, and your animals?

Call to action!

I ask a question at the end of the episode, "How should I sign off?" Write in with your opinions on how I should end the show.

  • Tag line?
  • Just stop talking?
  • Catch phrase?
  • Fancy jingle?
  • Call to action?
  • I'm open to ideas...

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My skills are ever-evolving as an interviewer. Thanks for taking the time to listen in, and let me know what you think. You can leave a comment below, send me an e-mail, reach me on Facebook or Twitter, or leave a rating in iTunes if you liked the show.