By Scott Stebner on May 20, 2016

Food, family and farming

rancher and horse

There is a rejuvenated interest in food. Americans are beginning to ask more questions about how their food is prepared and how it was raised. This renewed interest has coined the term “farm to plate.” Many have heard this term, but few might understand it as well as Pat and Alli.

Pat is a part-time cattle rancher and his wife, Alli, is a well-known chef. At first glance, one might view their professions as existing at opposite ends of the food supply chain – Pat grows food and Alli prepares it for the table. The reality is they are far from opposites; they work in harmony along the supply chain to ensure a delicious and healthy product reaches the table of their family, friends and home cooks everywhere. Ranchers and chefs are joined together with a common bond of living an incredible culinary experience.

While chefs like Gordon Ramsay or the Pioneer Woman get their fair share of media attention these days, one common theme you hear is great food starts with a great product. That begins with ranchers like Pat. 

“I take ownership of the food I produce, which means raising a good quality calf that will grow up to be a good quality product,” Pat says. “I enjoy the opportunity to ride through each herd, quietly observing the cows and their calves, checking the interaction between mamma and calf, as well as looking to be sure there are no injuries or illnesses.”

If you can tell if a chef cooks with his or her heart, the same is true that you can tell when a rancher uses his heart to care for their cattle. Just as every chef knows about every ingredient in their meals, Pat knows everything about his cattle.

rancher and horses
"I enjoy making sure our cattle are well-cared for," Pat says. "From checking to see that they have plenty of vitamins and minerals to good feed and hay in the winter months when they are home. I enjoy taking care of them.”

A huge part of his heart for raising livestock is producing safe food that both professional and home chefs can elevate to the next level.

“The food we produce is what we feed our family,” Pat remarks. “We know what our animals are fed and how they are treated. We do not mass medicate, but instead administer meds only to animals at the time of an illness to get them back in step with a healthy lifestyle.”

After all, the beef he sends off to the market is the very beef that ends up in Alli’s hands as she prepares meals for their family or her clients. Chefs like Alli are passionate about cooking and knowing ingredients.

One of those ingredients is quality beef, personally prepared, produced and raised by a Kansas cattleman who ranches with his heart.

Want to learn more about beef? Visit these pages:

Looking for tasty beef recipes? Try these!

  • Scott Stebner

    Based out of Kansas, Scott Stebner is a husband, father, teacher, and creative agricultural communicator who creates cinematically-styled environmental portraits to empower the agricultural community. His work can be seen from national magazine advertisements and newspapers... Read more