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The pork chops that changed my life

By Holly Martin

So maybe that might be an overstatement. But I’m telling you, when you’ve eaten something and are still thinking about it over a week later—it’s a good thing.

It’s safe to say that eating is a highlight of my life. I appreciate a good meal. I love cooking a good meal. When I travel, I spend a great deal of my time thinking about where I will eat next.

Many times, a meal at a meeting or event just isn’t something that would change your life. Sometimes I’m surprised. And that was absolutely the case at our Sorghum U event in Levelland, Texas.

Here’s where a good agricultural editor should talk about how great the program was—and it was good. I should say that the farmer panel shared some great insight with their fellow farmers. They did. I should talk about how I learned about the proper times to irrigate sorghum to have the most impact on the crop. I did.

But instead, I can’t get the pork chops out of my head. Two-inch thick, bone-in smoked pork chops that we could cut with a plastic knife. They were prepared by Jeana Kauffman from Jeana’s Feedbag Catering in Levelland, Texas. I kid you not, Jeana is a genius. I will remember those chops for the rest of my life.

The farmers I sat with at lunch were enjoying my gushing as I began to eat. Apparently, there’s a very easy way to tell if a seed dealer is serious about attracting farmers to their meetings in the Levelland area—if they serve Jeana’s Feedbag pork chops, the farmers know they mean business.

We had leftovers and usually, you just say, “Share them with someone who could use them.” Not this time. Those pans of pork chops rode seven hours home in the back of my car to be frozen and savored by our staff for weeks to come. My car still carries the smell of smoke and deliciousness.

Which brings me to the “changing my life” part. My husband and I have never been big barbecue people. We grill, but it isn’t a life-consuming passion. We don’t have a smoker.

I have the strong suspicion that’s all about to change. We have been raising pigs for my sons’ 4-H projects. We need to find a way to smoke the heaven that is pork. I can see it now... I’ll weigh 400 pounds and be happy about it.

Holly Martin can be reached by phone at 1-800-452-7171, ext. 1806, or by email at

Date: 1/20/2014


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