With Thanksgiving right around the corner, turkey is top of mind. While I’ll certainly be tucking into some bird, I can’t help but feel a great sense of gratitude towards the beef ranchers I’ve met this past year. Here, an interview with rancher, mother, and blogger Naomi Loomis.
Beef people are the best people. Having toured multiple ranches and processing facilities, broken bread (and cut into steak!) with the men and women who bring beef from pasture to plate, and visited the National Cattlemans Beef Association in 2018, I say this with great conviction. While I’m appreciative of all farmers, those who have a hand in raising beef hold a special place in my heart.
Naomi and I met in person at the NCBA this spring and I’ve admired her from afar ever since. Our lives may be different, but at the end of the day, we’re both moms trying to make ends meet and raise happy, healthy, children. Another common thread: our conviction that beef is a wholesome, nutritious choice for our respective families and clients!
Naomi’s passion for advocacy rivals her work ethic, and she manages it all with grace. When I think I’m having a particularly challenging day, I think of her and the many roles she plays within her family, her ranch, and her community. Suddenly, the day’s tasks feel significantly less daunting. Naomi graciously took the time to offer some insight into her life.
Naomi, you’re a woman who wears many hats – wife, mother, rancher, influencer – and the list goes on! Tell us, what does your typical day look like?
My days are spent wrangling ranch children, ranch animals, driving kids to school, managing a feedstore, volunteering around our community, blogging while maintaining my duties as a ranch wife, ranch mom, ranch hand, ranch rodeo producer and whatever else will fit in the cracks. I would love to say that I have a “typical day” but the truth is, I don’t have a normal schedule! I do know that I start my day with a cup of coffee and a prayer!
What is the biggest challenge you face as a rancher?
One of the biggest challenges to me is the costs of just being a rancher. These costs include but are not limited to: feed, land taxes, repairs, veterinary care, family living, and fuel. It is a challenge to make sure that our ends meet and that we will be in the black at the end of the year. Having just one paycheck a year makes that a challenge.
As a Master of Beef Advocacy, what is the one myth about beef you work hardest to dispel?
The myth that I work hard on telling is the life cycle of the beef animal. It is important to tell our story about how beef is raised and what their life cycle is. A lot of people don’t understand that calves start on a ranch, with their moms.
You’re a busy mom. What’s your go-to, crowd-pleasing beef dish?
My go-to dish would be enchilada casserole. It is simple, the kids love it and I always have the ingredients in the cupboard.
Thanksgiving is all about turkey. Tell me: does beef make an appearance at the table in the Loomis household?
What are YOU most thankful for this year?
I am thankful that my blessings are bigger than my problems.
Can I get an amen on that last point!? Thank you, Naomi!
Is there a farmer or rancher for whom you’re particularly thankful this year? I’d love to hear about him or her in the comments below!
Happy Thanksgiving – Enjoy your food. Enjoy your life!!!