Here at Western Grassfed Beef, our staff is like family. We want to introduce our newest employee, Danielle Wood, our Marketing & Communications Coordinator, and give you the opportunity to hear her story:
Until I was about seven, my favorite thing in the world was waking up at 5am, sitting on my dad’s lap while he watched the news, then going out and riding with him on the tractor as he fed the animals. If there was an opportunity to be on the back of a horse I was there or I was crying because I couldn’t be, if there was an orphaned calf that needed to be cared for I became Mother Dani, and if I wasn’t outside with tangled hair and covered in dirt, I probably wasn’t happy.
Feeding Buttercup the bottle baby/orphaned calf - 1999
When I got older and started school I became extremely jealous of other kids. My family rarely took vacations, spent our weekends working, and we had no neighbors (which meant my entertainment was playing dress-up with the dogs or driving around on the 4-wheeler pretending it was a car and the barns were drive-thrus). Riding horses and working cows were fun for the first 30 minutes and then I wanted to be doing anything else.
Then, working cows meant spending the day in the hot sun or freezing cold, inhaling dust or getting covered in mud, but worst of all it meant taking orders from my parents and grandparents. This was the point in my life where I decided I was smarter than these people. They wanted to do everything the “hard” way and I just knew there was an easier way to do things, and as my dad still tells me today “I have something to say about everything.”
My first time roping at a branding on my trusty steed, Grey - 2006
It took until I left for college for me to fully appreciate the way my family had done things and the life that I got to live because of them. As it turns out the “easy” way is rarely ever the RIGHT way. Not having neighbors is pretty nice. You can only take vacations if you can afford them, which means working weekends. Real drive-thrus cost real money, and dogs are sometimes better company than people.
In September of 2012, I started college at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Agriculture Business. I spent the next 4 years 8 hours from home, missing the days of ditching school to go check on the cows in the northern Sacramento valley and spending all day moving cows only pausing to eat a brown-bag lunch underneath a juniper tree with my dad and all the dogs. The biggest surprise to me was how much I missed the work too, don’t get me wrong I definitely don’t want to spend all day building fence. What I missed was being a part of my family’s business and livelihood. Spending my days doing some of the work my grandparents and great-grandparents had done years before.
Matching horses are a must for every Father-Daughter Duo
My Dad (Dennis Wood) & I – April 2016
My family’s lifestyle has influenced every decision I have made in the past 21 years and made me the person I am today. This is why when I had to start thinking about careers I knew exactly what I wanted to do. My family was part of the group of founding ranchers that established Western Grassfed Beef and I knew that I wanted to be a part of that legacy. A part of the business that, like my family, doesn't take the "easy" way out. A company that believes raising cattle means more than just getting a piece of meat to someone’s plate. It means treating your animals with the same care you treat your family, nurturing the delicate land you are working off of, and providing a quality grass fed beef product to the consumers who trust you.
I was taught at a very young age how important a good work ethic is by great examples who demonstrate it every day, so I started on my career path early. My history with the business side of Western Grassfed Beef started small by helping with product demos in grocery stores my freshman year of college, I then graduated to the office as an intern helping with administrative duties and designing the Western Grassfed Beef website. Now I am officially a member of the real world as the new Marketing & Communications Coordinator.
Being raised on a cattle ranch has given me compassion for people and animals, respect for the land, and a love for the agriculture industry. Qualities that all our partnering ranchers have. I am beyond excited to have the opportunity to share these with our beloved customers in my new role at Western Grassfed beef!
At my favorite place in the world, my family’s ranch with my favorite companion, Tally - 2015