Things are likely to run smoothly when Bernardo Barbosa is on the job. Barbosa, who is in his 28th year at CRI Feeders, is respected among his peers and employer for his hard work, reliability and unique talent.
Barbosa’s day begins in the early morning hours. He checks with his maintenance crew to see what needs to be tended to — whether it be working in the mill, servicing tractors, fixing water leaks or repairing fences.
Maintenance is never-ending at a feedyard as repairs and upkeep to infrastructure that houses thousands of feeder cattle is constant. What sets Barbosa apart is his sheer talent with a cutting torch and welder which, accordingly, is his favorite part about his job.
“If I build something with my hands, I’m excited to show it to somebody when I get it done,” he laughs. “If it works.”
One of Barbosa’s largest welding projects was building large, hydraulic squeegees for the feeyard’s tractors. The machines operate efficiently to help move snow from cattle pens. This equipment proves to be crucial for the feedyard during the winter months.
The project was challenging, but Barbaso says, that’s one of the most enjoyable things about his work.
“I like the challenge to do different things every day,” he says. “Doing different things keeps me motivated. And, at the feedyard, you put to practice what you learn from all the people that you have worked with.”
He enjoys the people in the industry because they value what each employee brings to the table.
“They respect what we do, and we all work together to get it done,” he says.
The Amarillo area beef and dairy communities presented a check for $81,500 to the Snack Pak 4 Kids (SP4K) Beef Stik Program. The money will provide beef sticks to hungry students through the Snack Pak weekend hunger program. The check was presented at the second annual Beef 4 Kids Classic golf tournament.
"Our local agriculture community continues to step up to serve their communities," said Dyron Howell, SP4K founder. "This year we served 60% more kids due to the economic impact of COVID. We expect that trend to continue throughout the school year."
The SP4K Beef Stik Program launched in October 2017. The program was designed to provide more protein for hungry students in the Texas Panhandle.
“Ten percent of the sticks we need for the entire will be funded by this golf tournament,” Howell said. “When we first started, kids would get about 10-12 grams of protein in their bags each weekend, which is woefully inadequate. Today kids are getting 68 grams of protein in their bags. This is protein they desperately need to be successful both at home and school.”
Beef provides ten essential nutrients and vitamins, including protein, zinc and iron – three key nutrients that are essential for proper growth and development of children.
“TCFA is grateful for the strong partnership with Snack Pak and the opportunity it has provided the beef community to help provide high quality beef to students in our communities,” Wayne Craig, Cactus Cares executive director and chair of TCFA’s industry relations committee. “Cattle feeders have a commitment to serve our community, and it has been an honor to be a part of this partnership to reach out and help our neighbors.”
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TCFA would like to thank the sponsors and golfers who made this event possible. Major sponsoring organizations include Amarillo National Bank, Baptist Community Services, Cactus Cares, Capital Farm Credit, Cargill, Caviness Beef Packers, Champion Feeders, Elanco, Five Rivers Cattle Co., HF&C, Hi-Pro Feeds, JD Heiskell, Kemin Industries, Micro Technologies, Nutra Blend, Panhandle Surgical and Tyson Foods.