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The Texas Beef Council: Behind the Scenes with Molly McAdams

Welcome to Postcards from the Kitchen, where we explore the stories, people, and places behind the food. Today, we’re going behind the scenes for Part 2 of our visit with the Texas Beef Council. This time, we talked with Executive Vice President Molly McAdams. She’s sharing the important work they do to support cattle producers and educate consumers about the beef industry.

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You can listen to the full interview on our podcast, Postcards from the Kitchen, on Apple and Spotify or visit our YouTube channel! 


Advocating for Cattle Producers

At the heart of the Texas Beef Council’s mission is advocating for cattle producers and bridging the gap between them and consumers through a checkoff program. This allows the council to speak on behalf of hardworking ranchers who are busy with the business of ranchig. “It’s a really great model,” says Molly. “There are a lot of cattle producers out there, but they’re busy taking care of their animals and stewarding their land.”

Their job specifically is research, promotion, and education about beef. And their audience includes consumers, retailers, and chefs who play vital roles in the beef supply chain. “It’s a fun job,” says Molly,” but it’s really a calling.”


Hard Work, Wildlife, and Biscuits

The daughter of a horse veterinarian, McAdams grew up in agriculture and first worked at the Texas Beef Council in her twenties. After a career path that led to HEB, and later to consulting, she’s now leading the organization with firsthand ranching experience to her credit. Her husband’s family has been ranching in Texas since the early 1800s, and in addition to the big ranch in East Texas, they’ve got a small ranch they call the “Little 12 Bar” near San Antonio. “My husband calls the herd at the Little 12 Bar his experimental herd,” says Molly. “It’s not big enough for very many cattle, but it’s a microcosm of what actually happens in the industry.”

Their family ranch is home to cattle, horses, and dogs, and is a haven for wildlife like feral geese and an owl that’s made a home in a tree near the front of her house. “I love watching all the wildlife and seeing just what happens on our little piece of land. It’s something that happens all over the country on open lands. Other species get to proliferate because they're open and they're open because of cattle. And I love that I get to tell that story too.”

BiscuitsMolly can empathize with her stakeholders because she knows how hard the work is, and just how much the ranchers put into it. When we spoke, Molly was getting ready for a weekend vaccinating the herd. “This will be the third Saturday in a row that I’ll be up at 5:00 a.m. cooking breakfast for our little crew,” she says. “You’ve got to feed them well, right? I’ll make biscuits and make sure they’ve got something to eat that will stick to their ribs.” Molly also keeps the branding iron hot and as a trained meat scientist, knows how to keep the knives sharp.








A Shout Out to Meat Scientists

Meat scientists don’t get the recognition they deserve. But they understand the anatomy of the cow (and so much more) better than anyone else.


It's so practical,” says Molly. “You learn about meat chemistry. You learn about meat biology. You learn about the growth and development of animals that we care for - that we then harvest for food - and the importance of the nutrients that come from animals that are harvested for food. You learn about animal welfare and all of the steps that come up to actually having meat on the family dinner table that is wholesome, that's safe, and that's nutritious.”


Leadership that Bridges the Gap

Molly’s past experiences, whether they’re learned from professional roles or life on the ranch, have prepared her in all the best ways for her current leadership role. She’s focused on team building and a culture of growth. “Creating a powerful team of experts is very rewarding,” she says. “And folks who work here are passionate about beef. They're passionate about our industry. You can make headway fast with passion players.”

Her immediate focus is on the culture of the organization and allowing people to develop their strengths in a way that positions it for success well into the future. It’s also on succession planning. “I’m a big believer in succession planning,” she says. “Even if it’s 10 years down the road.” Under her leadership the organization will continue to attract talented team players, who will support Texas ranchers and bridge the gap between ranchers and consumers.

Learn more about the Texas Beef Council 


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