Wondering who is really raising your beef and the face behind the meat at your local grocery?
Meet Debbie Lyons, cattle rancher, public speaker, and mom to five. She is one of the faces behind where beef comes from.
I’ve been following Debbie for a little while now and have always connected with her story because it’s so similar to my own. If you’re wondering who is raising your beef or who is behind the meat in the grocery store, then this episode is for you. According to her Instagram, Debbie is a mom of five, a Kansas cattle rancher, a public speaker, and addicted to steak, coffee, and wine. A quick look around and you’ll find she has an awesome cow dog named “Roo”, a passion for sharing all about their ranch, cattle, and children.
Debbie has been an AGvocate for the last decade. Raised on a cattle ranch then managing one with her husband she is all about the beef and sharing with others about where beef comes from. She takes the time to help educate the public on where their food actually comes from and how cattle ranchers are just normal people like them.
In this interview we dive into:
- How she got started as a cattle rancher and speaker, sharing ‘who is really raising your beef.’
- How she actually feels about where the meat industry is at right now.
- Her favorite things for life and business.
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Debbie is a Kansas State University grad with a Degree in Ag Journalism. She is in White City, KS, just down the road from me and raises cattle with her husband. She also speaks at various events about beef, is interviewed on podcasts and keeps up with her blog, Kids, Cows, and Grass. When she graduated she owned a small newspaper until she had a family. With five kids in four and a half years life was all about being a mom, her and her husband decided to expand the cattle herd enabling her to stay at home with their kids.
Why She Started a Blog
She was craving a creative outlet but it wasn’t until one cousin’s statement sparked the course to her blog, and ultimately the rest of her life. Debbie and her husband were the only ones between him and his sisters that stayed in the ranching lifestyle but family came down to visit and she was feeding all the kids hamburger for lunch when one of the moms came up to her and said her kids couldn’t each have their own patty because it was too much meat in one day. When Debbie asked what she meant the mother told her it was because of all the antibiotics in the meat. Debbie replied that it was home grown beef so there was nothing to worry about. However, after she made that statement she realized that it was incorrect, all beef is antibiotic free. She realized that this mom was only one generation removed from the ranch and it’s lifestyle and didn’t know the answer to that question. As this realization hit her she knew she could help educate the public about where their meat actually comes from. That was almost 10 years ago and it’s now her mission.
Since that day in her kitchen she has taken various avenues to educate and befriend moms who are worried about the meat they buy at the store and what their children are consuming. From standing next to the meat aisle at grocery stores, podcast interviews, and speaking events she connects with moms and educates them, understanding that she cannot expect them to know better if they aren’t being taught better.
She feels that despite the attacks the meat industry has faced in the last decade that we’re entering a time where the public is asking questions about where their meat comes from. This needs to be seen as a positive thing. If the public is asking questions then that means that they’re willing to listen to answers. It’s our job to make sure those answers are based in fact and not fear.
Letting them see how life of a rancher actually is rather than the clickbait that’s in their face every day is just one way Debbie connects with her audience. Through her blog and her social media she shares types of beef, best recipes for certain beef cuts, life cattle ranching, and her children. Each of these topics connect with other moms and have allowed her to be seen as someone they can trust, which is what we really need nowadays! Most importantly, Debbie loves social media because she can show her audience that a real farmer is actually ‘raising your beef’ and that ‘feeding your kids beef’ is safe.
Challenges Debbie Has Faced
For Debbie making time to pursue her creative outlet with her blog and speaking engagements was difficult, as well as finding the right audience and topics. When she first started she’ll admit to talking in agricultural jargon and that is often lost on a non-agriculture background audience. So she had to figure out who her audience was, what was important to them, and how to connect with them on a level that would make the most sense. After some trial and error she realized her audience was moms wanting to learn more about the meat at their grocery stores. So she shares about her kids, beef recipes for busy moms, and even goes to local elementary schools to read books about the farm.
Best Advice and Tools
Debbie’s best advice is to be yourself and learn your audience and speak to that audience. If it doesn’t make sense for your business to speak to moms then that’s okay, just because it works for her doesn’t mean that’s the only audience that is going to work. If you’re using Instagram for your business be sure and connect with your audience when you post your pictures. You can’t post an image and then walk away while your audience is engaging. In order for Instagram to see your account as one worthy to promote you need to be sure you’re connecting authentically.
Debbie prefers listening to podcasts and listen books on Audible in order to pass the time while she’s in the tractor or on the road.
Some of Debbie’s favorite tools are:
- Swipes (to-do list app)
How to Connect with Debbie
A huge thank you to Debbie for coming on today and chatting with us about raising your beef, public speaking, and managing it all as a mom of five. You can hang out with Debbie on the following platforms and we would love it if you could leave us a review on iTunes and subscribe to our channel.
On her blog at Kids, Cows, and Grass
Instagram at Debbiel_b
Facebook at Kids, Cows, and Grass
Debbie and I both love Audible for listening to our Audiobooks while we work.
~ Much Love ~
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