Marketplace Op-Ed Series: Nebraska Star Beef, an American tune

by Dan Klute, Nebraska Star Beef

This column is part of our ongoing series of op-eds this election season from small business owners working with The Marketplace by TheBlaze. We often hear politicians talk about what small business owners want, and if elected, what public officials could do to help these entrepreneurs. But we haven’t heard enough from small business owners themselves. This series will feature small business owners discussing their business, ‘how they built that,’ and what it has been like trying to sustain and grow their business over the last 4 years. 

“For we come on the ship they call the Mayflower,

We come on the ship that sailed the moon.

We come in the age’s most uncertain hours

And sing an American tune.”

–Paul Simon

Like millions of other small businesses, Nebraska Star Beef has an American tune we’d love to share. It’s a song of faith, family and treating people the way you want to be treated. It‘s about being your brother’s keeper, having a vision with the courage to follow it and firmly relying upon the protection of Divine Providence. It’s about failure—and how you react to it.

This story is about my brother Dale Klute. He’s faced adversity. He’s been down, but never out. At one point in life, he literally had nothing but the shirt on his back, and then built something. Something on his own that had nothing to do with access to highways or bridges.

Dale and I grew up on a family farm in rural Nebraska. The two youngest of nine children, our parents taught us the importance of faith in God and hard work. Mom and Dad lived life in manner that: no matter what comes your way, if you have a strong relationship with God, things will work out. They knew what they were talking about.

The mid 1980′s were a rough time for many famers and cattlemen. Tough weather conditions, low commodity prices, and high costs forced many out of business. Dale was one of those. In a few months, everything he worked for all his life was gone. No one was to blame, Dale was just a victim of circumstance. So what did he do when all this happened, pity party or get to work?  The latter was chosen.

Dale moved to Colorado, started working for a cattle operation, advanced in the company and educated himself in the commodities futures market—something most farmers and livestock producers are scared to death of.  Dale and his wife Shawna started Klute Investment Services in 1995. Having the ability to protect investors from losses, and often times guarantee profits, Dale’s investment business grew. So did his desire to once again have his own cattle operation.

In 1998, Dale partnered with Elmo and Tony Mayes and purchased Phelps County Feeders in Holdrege, Nebraska.  What started out as a 12,000 head feeding operation, soon blossomed into 35,000. Hard work, honesty and integrity were paying big dividends. In 2002, after only four short years back in Nebraska, Dale began an all-natural beef program for more than 40 Whole Foods Market locations in the southwest United States. This relationship lasted until 2010, when Whole Foods asked Dale to supply all their stores with all natural beef. All Dale had to do was to make sure Phelps County Feeders and the ranchers that provided calves would follow the guidelines set up by the Global Animal Partnership. Dale politely declined. The entrepreneur insides him said we can do this on our own. Let’s create something special. So, Nebraska Star Beef was born.

Dale, his son Joe and Tony Mayes started Nebraska Star Beef in 2010. Soon after, they brought on my nephew Steve Johnson to work with product development and marketing. These guys, along with my niece Kayla, have done a fabulous job with our steaks, Fusion burgers and beef jerky. Our business partners Custom Pack and C & C Processing are top of the line skilled artisans. Nebraska Cold Storage and Crystal Creek Logistics are two wonderful small businesses that provide storage and shipping services.

So, why am I here writing this piece?  That’s where the firm reliance upon the protection of Divine Providence comes in. Late last year, Nebraska Star Beef reached the point where they were ready to sell their products. So Joe prayed to God, asking who they should bring on for sales. The answer he got was me. Trust me, I’m nothing special.  I’d been in sales for a company based in Irving, Texas for almost thirteen years. We never had any conversations about me working for my brother, so, when Dale told me the story, I started chuckling. It had been on my heart for several months to be ready for a change in jobs. I told him I was interested and we would work on the details. On March 1, 2012 I became part of Nebraska Star Beef.

The very first morning I went out to sell steaks and beef jerky, I was listening to Glenn’s radio program like I have been since he went national in 2001. Before I had a chance to make a sales call, Glenn announced that markdown.com was changing directions. He asked for small businesses to fill out an application for the Marketplace. I went home that night and filled one out, having a feeling this was meant to be. I shared with my wife what I was doing.  She said, “That’s nice, honey.”  What were the odds we’d be chosen for the Marketplace, one in several thousands? But hey, here we are. God used me as Nebraska Star Beef’s connection to the Marketplace. It wouldn’t have happened had Joe not asked for Divine guidance.

In one aspect, the President is right when he says, “You didn’t build that.” Without the grace of God, no business would succeed. That doesn‘t mean challenges don’t exist. Nebraska Star Beef has entered an arena with some really big dogs, and in their “dog eat dog” world, we’re the Chihuahua. But, that’s okay. Our partnership with the Marketplace has given us not only the opportunity to be in front of millions of potential customers, but also the hope we will not only survive but thrive.

Hopefully, our American tune will be uplifting for all those small businesses who are struggling in these times. We’re struggling right along with you, but everything is going to be fine. We might not be sailing to a new land or exploring outer space, but we’re all here at this time and place for a reason. God has great things in store for each and everyone of us!

"Restoring Hope" has been a labor of love for Glenn and his team and tonight is the night! "Restoring the Covenant" was supposed to take place in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Gettysburg and Washington D.C. but thanks to COVID-19, that plan had to be scrapped. "Restoring Hope" is what was left after having to scrap nearly two years of planning. The Herald Journal in Idaho detailed what the event was supposed to be and what it turned into. Check out the article below to get all the details.

Glenn Beck discusses patriotic, religious program filmed at Idaho ranch

On July 2, commentator Glenn Beck and his partners will issue a challenge from Beck's corner of Franklin County to anyone who will listen: "Learn the truth, commit to the truth, then act on the truth."

Over the last few weeks, he has brought about 1,000 people to his ranch to record different portions of the program that accompanies the challenge. On June 19, about 400 members of the Millennial Choir and Orchestra met at West Side High School before boarding WSSD buses to travel to a still spring-green section of Beck's ranch to record their portion of the program.

Read the whole article HERE

The current riots and movement to erase America's history are exactly in line with the New York Times' "1619 Project," which argues that America was rotten at its beginning, and that slavery and systemic racism are the roots of everything from capitalism to our lack of universal health care.

On this week's Wednesday night special, Glenn Beck exposed the true intent of the "1619 Project" and its creator, who justifies remaking America into a Marxist society. This clever lie is disguised as history, and it has already infiltrated our schools.

"The '1619 Project' desperately wants to pass itself off as legitimate history, but it totally kneecaps itself by ignoring so much of the American story. There's no mention of any black Americans who succeeded in spite of slavery, due to the free market capitalist system. In the 1619 Project's effort to take down America, black success stories are not allowed. Because they don't fit with the narrative. The role of white Americans in abolishing slavery doesn't fit the narrative either," Glenn said.

"The agenda is not ultimately about history," he added. "It's just yet another vehicle in the fleet now driven by elites in America toward socialism."

Watch a preview of the full episode below:


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Acclaimed environmentalist and author of "Apocalypse Never" Michael Shellenberger joined Glenn Beck on the radio program Wednesday to warn us about the true goals and effects of climate alarmism: It's become a "secular religion" that lowers standards of living in developed countries, holds developing countries back, and has environmental progress "exactly wrong."

Michael is a Time "Hero of the Environment," Green Book Award winner, and the founder and president of Environmental Progress. He has been called a "environmental guru," "climate guru," "North America's leading public intellectual on clean energy," and "high priest" of the environmental humanist movement for his writings and TED talks, which have been viewed more than 5 million times. But when Michael penned a stunning article in Forbes saying, "On Behalf of Environmentalists, I Apologize for the Climate Scare", the article was pulled just a few hours later. (Read more here.)

On the show, Micheal talked about how environmental alarmism has overtaken scientific fact, leading to a number of unfortunate consequences. He said one of the problems is that rich nations are blocking poor nations from being able to industrialize. Instead, they are seeking to make poverty sustainable, rather than to make poverty history.

"As a cultural anthropologist, I've been traveling to poorer countries and interviewing small farmers for over 30 years. And, obviously there are a lot of causes why countries are poor, but there's no reason we should be helping them to stay poor," Michael said. "A few years ago, there was a movement to make poverty history ... [but] it got taken over by the climate alarmist movement, which has been focused on depriving poor countries, not just of fossil fuels they need to develop, but also the large hydroelectric dams."

He offered the example of the Congo, one of the poorest countries in the world. The Congo has been denied the resources needed to build large hydroelectric dams, which are absolutely essential to pull people out of poverty. And one of the main groups preventing poor countries from the gaining financing they need to to build dams is based in Berkeley, California — a city that gets its electricity from hydroelectric dams.

"It's just unconscionable ... there are major groups, including the Sierra Club, that support efforts to deprive poor countries of energy. And, honestly, they've taken over the World Bank [which] used to fund the basics of development: roads, electricity, sewage systems, flood control, dams," Micheal said.

"Environmentalism, apocalyptic environmentalism in particular, has become the dominant religion of supposedly secular people in the West. So, you know, it's people at the United Nations. It's people that are in very powerful positions who are trying to impose 'nature's order' on societies," he continued. "And, of course, the problem is that nobody can figure out what nature is, and what it's not. That's not a particular good basis for organizing your economy."

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:

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Dr. Voddie Baucham, Dean of Theology at African Christian University in Lusaka, Zambia, joined Glenn Beck on the radio program to explain why he agrees with Vice President Mike Pence's refusal to say the phrase "Black Lives Matter."

Baucham, who recently drew national attention when his sermon titled "Ethnic Gnosticism" resurfaced online, said the phrase has been trademarked by a dangerous, violent, Marxist movement that doesn't care about black lives except to use them as political pawns.

"We have to separate this movement from the issues," Baucham warned. "I know that [Black Lives Matter] is a phrase that is part of an organization. It is a trademark phrase. And it's a phrase designed to use black people.

"That phrase dehumanizes black people, because it makes them pawns in a game that has nothing whatsoever to do with black people and their dignity. And has everything to do with a divisive agenda that is bigger than black people. That's why I'm not going to use that phrase, because I love black people. I love being black."

Baucham warned that Black Lives Matter -- a radical Marxist movement -- is using black people and communities to push a dangerous and divisive narrative. He encouraged Americans to educate themselves on the organization's agenda and belief statement.

"This movement is dangerous. This movement is vicious. And this movement uses black people," he emphasized. "And so if I'm really concerned about issues in the black community -- and I am -- then I have to refuse, and I have to repudiate that organization. Because they stand against that for which I am advocating."

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:

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