This article is presented in partnership with the Missouri Beef Council.

Farm life has always been the way of life for fifth-generation farmers Caleb and Luella Gregory. Emmett, their young son now marks the first of a sixth generation to be involved in production agriculture. Both Caleb and Luella grew up on farms in central Missouri. The passion and commitment learned early on continues on their farm in Pike County.

“It’s not always an easy life, but it is a great life,” Luella explains.

Farming has always involved volatility and its own unique challenges, but for farm families, it is all they know.

“This past summer, we had record drought conditions in our area. It called for extra care. With little pasture and grass, we had to make decisions based on what was best for our cattle. We supplemented with grain, to make sure they didn’t go hungry,” Luella says. “Our cows eat before we do. They are top priority and it is a 365-day commitment.”

Luella’s commitment allows her to advocate and tell the story of beef production firsthand. She is a professional educator, author, and cook. Luella leads classroom efforts in a program through Missouri Farmers Care, called Ag Education on the Move™, where elementary students learn about the journey from farm to store.

“I want young people to recognize the dedication and steps involved in their hamburger and carton of milk. Students learn through a hands-on component while exploring science, reading, math and more. Curriculum meets standards in the classroom and allows them to explore today’s agriculture in a fun and interactive way,” she explains.

Outside of the classroom, Luella enjoys pairing the important message of farm families and beef with her love for food.

“My love for cooking and agriculture also creates a unique and natural opportunity to talk about the process behind the ingredients we know and love. I have a passion for highlighting recipes while sharing stories of modern agriculture,” she says.

In the case of beef, it is a natural fit to highlight production and address common questions, considering Luella’s background and life on the farm.

“Beef has a tremendous flavor profile and versatility in the kitchen. It freezes well and is the star of the show in both busy weeknight meals, and on holidays or special occasions.

Aside from its flavor and nutrient content, the journey of beef from pasture to plate is one that is personal to the thousands of farm families who commit to a kind of life we all benefit from.

“It’s a way of life passed down from generation to generation,” Luella says. “We are given the task to care for the land and livestock in the best way we know how, so that we can leave it in better shape for our children and theirs.”

Steak Chili

Ingredients >

  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cans chili-style beans in sauce
  • 1 can (15-ounce) tomato sauce with basil, garlic, and oregano
  • 1 can (15-ounce) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can (15-ounce) dark red kidney beans
  • Pepper to taste
  • Garlic salt
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 pounds flank steak, cubed
  • Olive oil

Directions >

  1. In a deep stockpot, brown flank steak, garlic, and onion in oil over medium heat. Add remaining ingredients. Let simmer until heated through and ready to serve (at least 30 minutes). Can be cooked on low until it reaches desired thickness. Garnish with shredded cheese, green onions, and mini crackers.
  2. Another steak or beef cut can be substituted. Cut steak consistently