#9 Chrissy & Cody Lane – Board Members of Bacon Bash Texas
Chrissy & Cody Lane Podcast Transcript
Neil Dudley: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Pederson’s Natural Farms podcast. We’re so excited you’re here. We look forward to sharing all about this beautiful industry of better-for-you food, meat, protein. We call the podcast the Pederson’s Natural Farms Podcast Powered by Protein because we’re going to talk all things bacon, sausage, ham, consumers, customers, vendors that support our business, employees that make us what we are, and peers, people that are in the industry competing for your attention and your dollar. And we think that’s healthy, and we’re proud of them, so we want to share about them as well. Thank you so much for joining us. Be sure you tune in, don’t tune out. And remember, grab life by the bacon.
Here we are, another episode of the Pederson’s Natural Farms podcast, Powered by Protein. Ladies and gentlemen, if you’re joining us first time, second time, fifth time, we’re so glad you’re here. We appreciate you listening to the show. Today, we have the first couple of Pederson’s Natural Farms on the show. As we go through this process, we’re highlighting consumers, customers, vendors, employees, and peers. Well, these two fall into the employee category, and they’ve been here a long time building this thing with us. Hi, out there to YouTube land; everybody wave at the cameras. We’re glad you’re watching. I appreciate you coming. I don’t even know why I said everybody wave because I think when they cut this video, they only have it on whoever’s talking.
Cody Lane: It’s going to be you waving.
Neil Dudley: Yeah, nobody is going to see everybody else waving. I’ll vouch for them – they waved at you. They appreciate you being here. Okay so, that’s enough of me rambling on. Chrissy, Cody, thanks for coming to the show. I’ve commandeered you into these kinds of things multiple times and I always appreciate you doing it for me because I think people enjoy getting to know you, and y’all are big part of Pederson’s and what we’ve accomplished over the years. For those that have been listening and made it this far, you know this is kind of a Bacon Bash themed month of guests so everybody we’ve had on has some kind of relationship to Bacon Bash. These two certainly do. Chrissy serves on the board with me, and Cody has been on the board but has kind of moved to an advisory role at this point but definitely still interested, well, because he approves a lot of money going to that organization. And of course, Bacon Bash couldn’t do it without the bacon. All right so, let’s start with ladies first, Chrissy, I told everybody- or when we were doing the mic check, I was like say your kids’ names, let’s don’t do that. But every one of those kids has had something to do with this business as well because you bounced them on your knee early on while you were doing invoices and stuff. Just tell us real quick for the listeners, the consumers, people that aren’t familiar with you what you do and how you kind of came to be at Pederson’s.
Chrissy Lane: Currently, I do payroll. I do a lot of HR stuff. I still print all the checks, get all the checks ready to go for Cody to sign, some receivables, insurance, insurance is what we’re working on this morning, stuff like that.
Neil Dudley: Oh, yeah. Do you want to get that insurance vendor on the show? We ought to get them on and talk to them about how painful it is for last minute insurance approvals and that kind of thing. Tell us, let’s paint the picture a little bit about like how you came to Pederson’s because I think that’s a pretty fun story and what the early years were like for you. I mean, I know what it looked like to me. What did it feel like to be you?
Chrissy Lane: I came to Pederson’s one summer. I’d been teaching school at Comanche. It was just a sub job. I didn’t really, wasn’t going to go back there the next year. I hadn’t had a found a teaching job yet. So, Cody fired somebody in the office, so I was just going to come over and work for the summer until I had a job, a teaching job. And that was 17 years ago I think, I don’t know, 18 years ago. Brought two kids, raised two kids in here. Faith was already in preschool at the time, but Ace and Laney both came here numerous days.
Neil Dudley: I can remember Ace sitting in the little vibrator chair right there on your desk.
Chrissy Lane: He was real bad and cried a lot. We had to shut doors a whole lot.
Neil Dudley: I mean, we’d take trips together to Vegas to the NFR. We thought we were really techie. We could dial in, and you’d be doing invoices.
Chrissy Lane: I could do payroll or invoices. Yeah, back then we had to call all the customers, each store by store and take their orders. So, we didn’t have- The only people in the office were me, Cody, Neil, AJ part-time.
Neil Dudley: Shout out AJ Roberts, anybody listening, you might know that guy.
Chrissy Lane: Chad was still in the office, the front office then, and Kelly.
Neil Dudley: Kelly Pucket. I hear from Buddy once in a while which is her son. Hey, shout out to Buddy.
Chrissy Lane: Laney, it’s funny, last night Laney was given me the play by play of what she feels like I did at work when she first started coming around and she said I answered a phone. I said, oh, I don’t have to do that anymore very much. And she said you entered orders. I said, oh, I don’t do that anymore.
Cody Lane: But she did really give a good impersonation of it.
Neil Dudley: Shout out to Laney Lane.
Chrissy Lane: Answer the phone, “This is Chrissy, Pederson Natural Farms, Chrissy Lane. Yes, just a moment, here’s Cody.”
Neil Dudley: Oh man. I can still do it too. “This is Neil Dudley, Pederson Natural Farms. Can I get the meat department please?” I mean, that was just what you would say when you would call the customer trying to get an order.
Chrissy Lane: So, Laney definitely remembers that. It’s quite funny, I told her I didn’t have to do any of that no more. So, she wondered what I do now.
Neil Dudley: Right. Well, it is funny, it’s interesting, it’s cool the evolution of a business. And as you grow it over time, it’s interesting, how do we know what we’re going to be doing 10 years from now? I mean, those things will just evolve and change. As we added people, as we grew, as we got good people to take care of stuff, you had to start even letting go of some of those jobs so you could do other things. All right, Cody, we’ve told your story a bunch of times so why don’t you tell me your version or the version of how Bacon Bash came to existence? I mean, I want to say I was there, but I just dang sure wasn’t. What do you remember? How do you remember it?
Cody Lane: I don’t remember exactly how it all came about. I know that at the time that Chrissy and I and Scott Cooney and Luke Thedford, we were doing a lot of these barbecue cook-off things. And so, we were- and I don’t know exactly how it all came about, but it came about, hey, why don’t we, instead of doing a brisket cook off, why don’t we do a bacon cook off? And from that, everything snowballed to where it is. And from the very get go, my goal, and I think y’all’s probably too, you’ll probably agree with this, was to create something, to build something up that was self-sustaining, that it would grow to a point where we would get enough sponsors and get enough people involved that even if some- even as some sponsors came and left, it would still roll on. And we had the one charity that we started out with, and I’m sure you’ve talked about that, that we started out with initially, and then we added the children’s diabetes portion of it later. And I think that it could keep growing. My goal is to sponsor those, and if we decide that there’s more charities we want to go to later, then leave that door open to do more. So, I mean, I don’t know exactly how the- the first few years wasn’t- there wasn’t a lot of sponsors involved, but we had a lot of fun.
Neil Dudley: But those were fun years. I think I had a megaphone the first year and everybody was about ready to kick it up my tail end – put the megaphone down, Neil!
Cody Lane: Then the second year it rained us out. We all had a-
Neil Dudley: A big storm, everybody went into the little Niki barn, drank vodka, came stumbling out. It was wild. It was a lot of fun times. I think that’s just a picture of how you kind of build things and start them, and you got to find that group of people that wants to kick it off and do the work. I mean, we’re picking up cigarette butts in the street for hours on Sunday. That’s what it took.
Cody Lane: Like I said, we got something started. Now we have enough involved people and interested people and volunteers that come and help that it’s not such a burden on just so few people. Now it’s a little bit of work for a lot of people instead of a lot of work for just a few people. And so that’s what makes it sustainable.
Neil Dudley: And I’ve got the 2017 banner kind of here as a backdrop behind me; I don’t know if you can see it, but as you’re clicking through, you’ll see them in the background of Chrissy’s video. And for those that are just listening, there’s a big banner on the wall that has our 2017 sponsors. And it’s big. I mean, it’s got a lot of people on it. So, all of those people just need a quick shout out or just the sponsors of Bacon Bash, the people that come, the people that donate auction items. All of those things have helped us raise over half a million dollars in the life of Bacon Bash, which turns out to be a big number in my mind. I keep, I’ve always said my big, huge goal would to be somehow to raise a million in a year. And I don’t think it’s impossible. We just have to keep doing the thing, providing people a good experience, and genuinely wanting to help people. Chrissy, what about that? So, when we’re helping people, you get to make some of those phone calls to those scholarship recipients. What’s that like?
Chrissy Lane: Yeah. The first time I did it, I left crying. It’s a very much more emotional experience than I ever thought it would be, calling. They’re very, very grateful for anything that you give them. They cry and say how life-changing it’s going to be for them to get the Dexcom reader. That’s the ones that I called about was the two Dexcom winners a couple of years ago. It’s fun. That makes it all fun.
Neil Dudley: Yeah. That makes all the hot October days working, being tired, worth it. For anybody that’s listening that has maybe a Type 1 kiddo or something, you’ll understand the difference a Dexcom unit or even any continuous glucose monitoring unit makes for that family. I mean, now you get a chance to have an alert, maybe a good night’s sleep that you hadn’t experienced in a long time as a parent. The kids probably get to do some of those sleepovers and things they hadn’t done before. That’s where the real fulfillment comes in. And we had Owen and Sandi on earlier.
Cody Lane: I was about to say, we need to make sure you get Owen and Sandi for the real story about how it started.
Neil Dudley: Owen told his version. Everybody has a version item. It’s funny how it’s just it doesn’t really matter exactly what the real- but it happened. And I think we shouted out to Kent Wenzel, he was around, Scott, you, Owen and Sandi, Stacy came along in there and played a role, but to make it happen, it took all of us. Oh, where was I going? Oh, Niki Warms the Cold, anyways, there’s a whole episode earlier on talking about that journey Owen and Sandi went through, and I think if anybody listened to that, they’re going to keep listening to these because that’s a pretty cool story and it certainly touches your heart.
Cody Lane: And anytime that we’ve ever lacked motivation or doubted, hey, is this worth it or anything like that, you just go spend a few minutes with Owen and Sandi and you see their passion, and all of a sudden, you’ll be rekindled, you’ll be fired up again.
Neil Dudley: And just keep lifting up those we’ve lost like Niki and Lexi, and their memory is not going to fade as long as Bacon Bash is around, as long as Owen and Sandi are doing what Niki Warms the Cold. And think people can relate to that because they probably have people in their lives that they think about when they think about what we’re doing kind of in their honor. All right, cool. So that’s for everybody listening and watching, thanks for coming. We’re not done, but that is kind of the Bacon Bash thing. While I’ve got Cody and Chrissy here, paint a picture of what y’all’s daily work environment looks like. I think you probably live in one of the most unique office situations and working relationships out there.
Chrissy Lane: I don’t know if they can both see us, how close we are currently, but this is how close we are all day long basically. Our desks are a little bit further, not much.
Cody Lane: I feel like we’ve kind of told this story before. In fact, we did it a few years ago kind of, but I don’t know who heard it or who didn’t, but yeah, we always share the same office. I mean, I don’t know how long we’ve done that. Actually, we grew, so we started growing, we ran out of offices. So, Chrissy, there was no one that wanted to- And I had a bigger office, which was slash the conference room, which is a conference table with a desk on the side that was my office. And somebody had to draw a short straw to move into the little cubby corner of my office. And I think no one was going to draw straws so Chrissy by default had the short straw. So, she had to move in with me and I like it.
Neil Dudley: You could spend an hour, probably not an hour, maybe 30 minutes talking about that room, just the room, what its lifecycle has been. I mean, it’s great. I used to sleep in there when I was up here cooking hams late at night.
Cody Lane: Yeah, it had a shower in there and now it has turned into a closet.
Neil Dudley: Anyways, I think a lot of people that might be peers in the industry or are running other businesses that listen to the show are going to relate to that how a lot of times, oh man, he’s the president, well, his office is actually just a folding table and a folding chair. It’s not always what it’s cracked up to be. It is lonely up there, making those decisions and being in charge of the company’s direction and fully responsible for all that goes on.
Cody Lane: I wouldn’t say that I was lonely. I mean, Chrissy is always just right over there. She loves to listen in on all my conversations that I talk through. I talk on the phone, I tell- people ask me what I do for a living, and I say talk on the phone, which is half true, other half is I’m emailing probably. But there’s some people, occasional visitors. She loves it when I have visitors in the office too.
Chrissy Lane: Yeah, I’m very good at tuning out. He’ll ask later what’d you think about that? I didn’t hear a word of that.
Neil Dudley: I don’t even know what you were talking about. That’s a pretty good skillset really. I feel like I’m able to do that with the kids. Oh wow. Stacy looks at me like do you know they’re talking to you? I’m like absolutely no clue.
Cody Lane: I’m able to do it when I watch TV. Other than that, no.
Neil Dudley: All right so what’s in store for Pederson’s that everybody’s going to be interested in potentially? What do you see coming in our future? Is there anything you could share or would share, Chrissy or Cody?
Cody Lane: Well, the simple answer to that is more. We continually try to position ourselves in- to be more secure. So, there’s two things that I focus on when I’m trying to make any type of long-term decisions. And those two are is it going to make money? Of course, that’s the easy one. Everybody looks at a return on any kind of investment. But the one that I look at a lot equally is security. How much security is it going to give not just the next two to three years, but the next ten years? How much-? So sometimes I weigh a return on an investment along with how much security we’re going to get out of that. So, is it going to better position us to make an even more profitable decision later down the road? So, and right now there’s, I would say that we’re looking at some fun, oh, we’re looking at some fun plant things, potentially some equipment things that are going to be fun. But in general, just more growth in the same channels that we’re currently in. And a lot of that hinges on you and your sales team. So, what do you got planned for the sales team?
Neil Dudley: Everything. And Cody’s talking about that a little bit, but I encourage if you’ve listened this far into this conversation, go back and listen to some of those episodes previously, because they are painting a lot of the picture of what we’re up to, what we’re going to be doing. Gary Dial comes to mind with just talking about fresh pork and that aligns so much with what you were just saying, creating profitability and security. Now the profitability might be a thing that right now we’re battling, because-
Cody Lane: Times are tough.
Neil Dudley: That’s just the truth. I think it’s a fair thing to paint a realistic picture of business that no business I’ve ever heard of or know of sails on a calm sea all the time. So, part of it is going to be just figuring it out and having great people. I love working with you guys, outside of the fact that we’ve known each other our whole lives. You don’t put up with any of my BS, or if you do, you call me on it eventually. And you’re always- it’s like I tell people this all the time, I’m allowed to mess up because the Pederson’s family will fix it, and I’ll do the same thing for somebody else. You got to be able to try hard, go for the big thing, and know if you don’t make it, we just pick it up, keep going. What about you, Chrissy? What’s in the front of your mind outside of insurance? Do you got anything?
Chrissy Lane: We’re still dealing with COVID and COVID illness and now mandate vaccines or not, or incentivize it, or mask or no mask, or a quarantine or- Yeah, that’s a lot of it now.
Neil Dudley: And you’re having to think through those tough problems or how do we keep employees, right? How do we keep employees? How do we afford to pay them what it takes right now in this very tight labor market? I know you’re thinking about those things a lot. COVID, can we pay them if they’re having to quarantine, who’s dictating that? We are a food plant, how do we make sure our food stays safe? I mean, folks, if you’re listening, there’s a lot of stuff going through the brains of these two people every day to make sure we’re putting out wholesome, safe, awesome product. And I’m so glad they’re here doing it. Any parting things you’d like somebody to know that might be listening or have we covered it all?
Chrissy Lane: I got nothing.
Neil Dudley: Come to Bacon Bash October 16th.
Cody Lane: If your name’s on the back of this poster behind us, we-
Neil Dudley: We need your money again.
Cody Lane: We need your money again.
Neil Dudley: Right. Good job. All right, okay, that’s it.
Chrissy Lane: If it’s not, we want it on the new poster.
Neil Dudley: Yeah, that’s right. Or if you’re listening to this and you have a heart for type 1, contact us, look up baconbashtexas.com. A lot of these links and stuff will be in the show notes of the podcast, or somehow, we’ll put them in the comments of the YouTube videos so you can look these things up. All in all, Pederson’s is clicking right along. We’re going to be here a long time. We look forward to sharing more about our business, what makes this business go, and the employees are a huge part of it. That’s why I was so glad to get you guys on. We got every month, there’s an episode dedicated to the great employees of Pederson’s and the expertise we have really. If you think about it, we’ve got people that have worked in this industry, the better-for-you food industry, organic, natural, all those kinds of claims-based protein space for a lot of years, and there’s expertise there that you just gain from pure time of doing it. So, if you’re an employee listening, we appreciate you and you bring value to this company every day. All right, folks, catch you next time. Listen, subscribe, go do all those things. We need to get the word out. Thank you.
Hey everybody, thanks for listening to this episode of the Pederson Natural Farms podcast. If you don’t mind, go hit that subscribe button and check us out at pedersonsfarms.com. Thanks for listening.
(2:35) – How Chrissy ended up at Pederson’s and her role evolving
(6:29) – Cody on Bacon Bash
(10:07) – Making calls to scholarship recipients & The charitable outcomes of Bacon Bash
(12:57) – Cody & Chrissy’s working relationship
(16:01) – What’s next for Pederson’s?
(20:05) – Wrap Up
The Pederson’s Natural Farms Podcast is produced by Straight Up Podcasts & Root and Roam