No matter what county in Alabama you find yourself in, a field full of cows is somewhere nearby. Farmers in every county in the state raise cattle, and Alabama is No. 16 in national beef cow production.
As demand for versatile, easy-to-cook, delicious beef continues to rise in the U.S. and around the world, cattle farmers like Darrell and Linda Lee of Winston County rise early each day to ensure the world has enough beef.
The Lees and their children and grandchildren — all of whom work on the farm together — can’t get enough of lunches, dinners, snacks and sides that feature beef.
“Our farm is run by three generations — us, our two sons and their kids work with us every weekend, and we all eat together,” Linda said. “Whether it’s farming or cooking, everything around here is a family affair.”
While Darrell farms and serves as Winston County Farmers Federation president, Linda, a retired first-grade teacher, is the main childcare provider for their four grandchildren. They’re on the farm just about every day learning about cows and the process that brings beef to tables across the world. None of the grandkids are picky eaters, said Linda, who believes that stems directly from knowing about how their food is produced.
Every weekend, the Lees gather together to work and eat.
“Whenever they’re working together, it’s not work — it’s fun,” Linda said. “They don’t know any better. They don’t care about getting dirty, and work is fun because it’s with family and friends. They all have a great work ethic.”
When the day’s work is finished, everyone gathers in the kitchen and pitches in to make a big family meal.
“Our sons grill; our daughters-in-law do the trimmings; and kids help with desserts,” Linda said. “Most of the time, we eat beef.”
Linda said she feels good about buying and serving beef to her children and grandchildren because she knows the care and hard work that goes into raising cattle in America.
“We know what’s been raised on our farm,” she said. “It’s pure, and we take good care of the cows because our family eats it, too.”