Reaching Consumers through Recipes: Debbie Lyons-Blythe, Mother, Blogger, Agvocate
It’s the first word that comes to mind when I think of Debbie Lyons-Blythe. She’s the mother of 5, an advocate for agriculture, blogger, and central Kansas cattle rancher. But that didn’t happen overnight.
Growing up, Debbie’s mom ran their family’s Angus ranch while her dad worked in town. That tradition lives on: Debbie takes care of 500 cattle daily while her husband works in town but helps her in the evening or on weekends.
Debbie and her husband are the proud parents of 2 girls and 3 boys, who lend a hand on the ranch when they can: Meghan, 19; Allie, 17; Trent, 16; and identical twins, Tyler and Eric, age 15.
“I can’t say enough how blessed we are,” Debbie said. “Our kids are hard workers, and they love working on the ranch. They just finished building 2 miles of fence. But as we put it, they’re not building our fence – they’re building their fence.”
Helping ensure a future in agriculture for her children is one important reason why Debbie became involved in the agvocacy movement. She writes content on her blog, Facebook, and Twitter accounts to help educate consumers about modern agriculture and how their food makes it from the farm to the table.
Debbie said while she loves connecting with others in agriculture through social media, her main goal is to connect with those who are buying groceries. She wants to educate them about their food choices, helping bridge the gap between the knowledge we often take for granted in rural America and the average consumers’ experiences.
“That’s where recipes blossomed into my blog,” Debbie said. In conjunction with the educational agriculture messages she shares on her blog, Debbie also posts recipes to help encourage consumer choices at the grocery store. She said she tries not to miss an opportunity where she can remind readers that being a part of modern agriculture requires constant attention and effort.
“I look at Facebook like it’s my job,” she said. “I don’t just post on Facebook that my children’s Christmas program is tonight. I say, ‘Gotta get the cows fed and bedding down before we go to the Christmas program tonight,’ to remind people that farming is a 24/7 job. I remind them that I can’t go anywhere, do anything, unless my cows are taken care of first.”
Debbie said being an agvocate doesn’t have to take an exorbitant amount of time or equipment.
“I think you can incorporate social media into everything you’re already doing in a day,” she said.
Debbie’s social media involvement started with drafting blog posts and sharing photos from her phone, and now, it’s become a regular part of her day. In the winter, when she comes inside to warm up with a cup of coffee, she brings it over to the computer and drafts a blog post. In the summer, when she’s bailing hay, she grabs her phone and Tweets to shares photos with her followers.
We couldn’t be more thankful that individuals like Debbie who are helping educate consumers about modern agriculture. A big thank you to Debbie for taking time from her (incredibly) busy schedule and for sharing this wonderful Beef Enchilada Soup Recipe with us. It’s easy to see why it’s one of her readers’ favorites! Visit Debbie’s blog, Facebook, and Twitter accounts today!
Beef Enchilada Soup
- 4 lbs ground beef, browned & drained
- 1 large can tomatoes (crushed, diced or sauce--whichever you prefer)
- 1 can black beans
- 1 can kidney beans
- 1 can sweet corn
- 1 small can green chilis
- 1 can enchilada sauce (we prefer mild, but any can be used)
- 2 cans beef broth
- 2 envelopes taco seasoning
- Put ingredients into crockpot on low for the day, or on high for a couple of hours. It can also be cooked on the stovetop. The key is to heat through and allow flavors to meld.
- Top with sliced flour tortillas -- this is important! They act like noodles and are delicious. Also offer shredded cheese, avocado, cilantro, sour cream, or additional seasoning.