The Meat Industry: Not Just Cows
So let’s talk for a minute about what you see when you roll down your window on a backroad of Dawson County, Nebraska in late October. The sight of gleaming, golden, endless rows of corn and soy beans fill your view. The smell of several thousand head of cattle hiding in the rolling hills fill your senses, and the Midwest gravel crunches beneath your tires. Now that you know where I live, you can begin to understand why I do what I do and why I love it.
I take pride in knowing that I am a small puzzle piece in the picture of feeding the world. I work for one of the largest protein producing companies in the world: Tyson Foods. We harvest cattle at our facility to feed an ever-growing population. We produce everything from grilling steaks and roast all the way the crucial ingredients found in common everyday cosmetics such as lipstick and toothpaste.
Being a part of this industry gives you a glimpse into a side of life that a lot of people never really think about, but expect. How many people reading this have ever thought walking through the grocery store, “Where does all this food come from?”
What is the culture like in a packing town? Where I work, there is more diversity and culture than you could imagine. At our plant alone, there are over 2 dozen spoken languages and dialects, along with several religious practices. This in turn brings so much uniqueness to the community with stores, restaurants, and overall community involvement. We have everything from your quiet weekend farmers market, to your exciting and fast-paced Cinco de Mayo celebrations.
Overall, I absolutely love what I do and where I do it, and for anyone that ever wants to be a part of this diverse industry, make your way to the middle of the United States and you will find agriculture thriving.
(Photography courtesy of Mason Mieszala)