What a whirlwind few days!  It went by so fast, but I have to say, this was such a well organized trip sponsored by Certified Angus Beef ® brand.  I was picked up by Margaret, who works for Certified Angus Beef ® brand, and she could not have been nicer.  There were four other bloggers on this trip (I’ll write about them more in detail in tomorrows blog), so she shuttled us one by one from the Kansas City Airport to our hotel.  I had a couple hours to kill before we were to meet downstairs to leave for dinner, and I still needed 3,000 more steps to get in, so I got to walking.  I got my steps in but that was it – it was so hot – about 95 degrees and sunny.  I stopped at a gas station on my way back to stock up with $1 water bottles instead of paying $5 for a hotel room water.

Our dinner on Sunday night was at Q39.  They are known for “chef-driven” barbecue – and the food was stunning.  I have never had Kansas City BBQ, and really the only difference I could tell is that their sauces are a bit sweeter and not as spicy, but delicious nonetheless.

This restaurant serves Certified Angus Beef ® brand and we were treated amazingly well – from the managers, to the chef, to the server, we had such attentive service.  I loved how passionate our server was about the menu, this is her explaining the different bbq sauces.

Can we all just take a moment and look at this jumbo short rib.  Our hostess ordered two for the table ($30 each!) and it was probably the best short rib I’ve ever had.  This was a meal in and of itself – served with classic BBQ sauce and a white bean cassoulet which I need to recreate at home, and seasonal vegetables.  I had to laugh because at the end of the night, there was still nearly every vegetable on each plate, and we each ate one to say that we had a balanced dinner.

I got the combo plate for my dinner, although

Thanks for amazing service Q39!  From the bartender. . .

To the cooks in the open kitchen.  I highly recommend if you are anywhere near Kansas City or Overland Park (their second location just opened up!) that you try this out.  Have you ever had KC BBQ before?

We basically started having meat sweats by the time the dinner was over.  We spent the night in KC, then got up super early to head to the Blythe Family Farm in White City, Kansas.  I believe it’s population is less than 500 people – although I just did a quick google search and as of 2009, the population was 40.  There are definitely more cattle than people!

Because of our tight schedule, Debbie Blythe decided to have lunch for us at her house.  Our only other option would have been to drive 20 miles to Pizza Hut!  

What can I say about Debbie Blythe other than her passion, graciousness, hospitality and all around caring person (all of which I discovered in the first hour meeting her) makes you want to be a better person.

Her mother was the first woman president of the National Cattlemans Association in the 1970’s which sparked Debbie’s interest in having a cattle farm.  Her husband is an investment banker, and they have five children, one of which is working full time at the farm, and another son just started working at Certified Angus Beef ® brand in Ohio.  

Lauren, I thought of you because their dogs name is Roux!

Fun fact:  I’ve never owned a pair of cowboy boots, and I am pretty sure that I have never even tried on a pair, but these are super cute!  Debbie loves all of her boots, and one of her sons made her this display that sits in the foyer of their house.  Both art and practical!

Our first stop of the day was to the Tiffany Cattle Co.  Shawn and Shane Tiffany are such salt of the earth men, if that makes any sense.  They have a passion for what they do, and strive for a work/life balance, having 8 children between them.

They spoke at great length about how they care for the cattle in their care, and that while they are entrusted by their customers to take obviously make the most money for the cattle, their number one concern is the cattle and they go to great lengths to provide the cattle with the utmost care.  Side note:  we all noticed that there were barely any flies on the property and that’s because they figured out a way to utilize a biological fly management program.  

I stole this picture off of their website of Shane and Shawn.  Such a great tour!

We went on the grounds and he showed us different kinds of feed the cattle eat.  Cattle are very repetitive and love a schedule, so they rotate the feeding of the pens so that as they go down the line, each pen is fed roughly within 15 minutes of their expected feed time.  Shawn described it as follows:  “Do you ever start to get hunger pangs around noon, but then get busy and an hour and a half later you aren’t hungry so you just skip that meal?”  Same goes for cattle – if they don’t get fed at a precise time, they may choose to skip a meal and that isn’t good for the animal or the customer who owns it.

While I realize that may look like cow poop, it’s actually a corn combination of food – Shawn dug deep in the pile for us to feel it and it was really warm and that wasn’t because it was hot out – it also was a bit “wet” which also helps hydrate the cows.


Cattle usually walk away if people come by, but this one was curious about me and I got really close!

After the feed yard tour we went back to have lunch at Debbie’s house – she made an amazing spinach salad with mandarin oranges, toasted nuts (and a ton of red onions!) but I was able to push those to the side.

And ground beef (and onion!) sliders with cheese.  I was a good guest and ate two, and I can’t believe I am going to say this, but I didn’t taste the onions in the sandwiches.  But they still don’t belong there. 😀

But this my friends, was a corn casserole that was insanely delicious.  I need to contact Debbie to get this recipe (you can follow her blog here for some amazing recipes) but I went back for seconds on this.

And she finished the lunch with homemade brownies and vanilla bean ice cream, both (in case you were wondering!) were insulin worthy!

Stay tuned for tomorrows post about Branding the Barn!  In honor of Certified Angus Beef ® brand 40th anniversary, they are branding 40 barns across America, and the Blythe family is the 16th of 40.  Here is the finished product, which was completed after we left – that’s Debbie and her husband Duane and her twins Tyler and Eric.  

Life is short – lick the bowl!

p.s.  Thanks to my sponsor, Certified Angus Beef ® brand for this amazing free trip!  All opinions are my own. And you’ll know that because I reference my dislike of onions. 😀