It was eight years ago that I first stepped foot on a ranch, the same one that is now home to family. At that time, I was going down with my then co-worker (future girlfriend and now wife) as I was the only one from the office that accepted a Memorial Day ranch party invitation. Being from the north suburbs of Chicago and having no prior experience with agriculture, I didn’t know the difference between a steer and a heifer. So, while my future father-in-law was quick to put me to work, I was slow to be of any meaningful help (I even closed a few gates on myself).
Nonetheless, I was enthralled not only by the land but by the life and those living it. I distinctly remember attending my first Mass in the small town of Clayton and the congregation praying for rain at the close of the service. It struck me how many of the things I had always taken for granted—rain and wind in particular—were the very things this hard working community depended on to live. I have seen firsthand that an agriculturist has to be resilient and smart to care for their land and animals. It’s certainly not an easy life, but it’s a rewarding one.
Naturally, as our family grew and my wife and I have continued our roles at Word on Fire in the suburbs of Chicago, we yearned to have a deeper connection with my wife’s family and the ranch they call home. So, when my sister and brother-in law presented us with the opportunity to partner on a direct-to-consumer beef business, it didn’t take us long to say yes.
Within months Bell Road Beef was born, and we split our duties based on our strengths. My brother and sister-in-law, admittedly, shoulder the more difficult part of the business: running our social media accounts and everything related to raising and shipping premium, dry-aged beef. Meanwhile, my wife and I took on the online portion of the business: website, design, marketing, etc.
We’re a little under a year into this adventure, and while it’s been a lot of work, it’s been fun and rewarding. The pandemic has accelerated our plans and we’re doing our best to scale to meet increased demand. In addition, the current crisis has accentuated issues within the beef industry— in particular, bottlenecks at packing facilities that have caused beef, poultry, and pork shortages. These issues are evident to the average American consumer, and they are now looking for more and better options.
The current market situation presents a tremendous opportunity for those looking to sell directly to consumers. Many industries have accelerated their eCommerce platforms and are able to sell their goods successfully in ways they never thought possible. The demand for agricultural products is certainly there, and we want to help you capitalize on this opportunity to utilize all of the novel tools and ideas to get your product easily in the hands of your ideal customer. We’ve created a simple PDF showing the formula we’ve used to exponentially grow our business in this unprecedented market, and we’d love to help you grow yours.
If you’re not working in agriculture, thank those who work so hard to bring you healthy, quality food. And don’t forget to pray for rain! Thank you!