What happens when a student from a rural community goes off
to college and is struggling to figure out what they want to do? Does the
student continue to work their way through their education, guessing at where
they are heading? Does a snap decision take place with the hopes they are on
the right trail?
No. The student doesn’t flounder around, blindly pushing on.
The community rallies behind them, and it goes something like this.
When I first started my college career, I was so certain
that I would become a mechanical engineer. After finishing my freshman year, I
knew that nothing about that prospect made me happy, and only that I wanted to
be back in agriculture. Unfortunately, after progressing through most of my
junior year, I was still blind in where I wanted my education to go.
After hearing that I had changed majors, but was still
struggling to decide what I wanted to do, Gabrielle and Will Homer, owners and
management at Painted Hills Natural Beef, asked if I had any interest in
interning with them, learning about the beef industry, management and sales. I
would be exposed to a little bit of everything and might be able to get a grasp
on what my future could hold.
Given this amazing opportunity, I jumped at the
Three months ago, I began interning at Painted Hills Natural
Beef. Walking into an office full of unfamiliar faces, I was quickly greeted by
Gabrielle, and introduced to the crew. Before long, unfamiliar was a thought in
the breeze, and I was welcomed in to begin the process of learning what the
While working and studying at the office, I learned about
the history and need for the company, what we provide for cattle ranchers, and
a background behind the beef market.
I learned about pricing, marketing, cattle procurement, and
the management behind a company that cannot slow down for small inconveniences.
With the privilege of travel, Will and I went across the PNW, journeying to
Boise, Pasco, Richland, Seattle, Salem, Brownsville, and the areas in between,
stopping to talk with feedlot managers, retail stores and processing plants. I
witnessed the entire process, from ranch to repast, and all the management,
support and logistics to make it happen.
From buying cattle, setting and analyzing prices, and
fostering consumer relationships, I learned what it means to be in the beef
business. I am not sure what I expected walking in, but I can say in certainty
that I am extremely glad that I had the opportunity to work at Painted Hills
Natural Beef, meet many new people, and gain a little clarity in where I want
to go from here.
Painted Hills Natural Beef