Publisher: ‘no quit’ in livestock producers
November 4, 2013
Heavy hearted, I sit down to express prayer and support for all those affected by last week's ravaging blizzard. Most folks are born with courage, but it's a quality that requires exercise and opportunity. Without flexing it on occasion, it hibernates, maybe atrophies or even diminishes. Given the right opportunity, courage blooms and inspires good things, and is truly the driving force in agriculture. Character without tarnish is one that has never been tested. The character of the cowman and sheepman in the upper Midwest region is no doubt beyond being tested.
A 'no quit' determination is a common denominator with livestock producers. We like the word freedom and cherish our independence. We defend our unrelenting pursuit of excellence, and we carry a sense of responsibility and accountability many aren't fortunate to get to experience – as land stewards and food producers. The fragility of life is placed in our hands and we dutifully accept the challenge – and the subsequent rewards and punishments.
The first of October we were harshly reminded that the romance of cowboy life is capricious, only existing a few days of the year at best. The rest of our days and seasons are spent sleepless, restless, sore, but honorable. Few anymore are the brave who continue to seek another tomorrow in the cattle industry. Sometimes the simplicity of a new sunrise is the primary reward for the pleasure of living the life we do. Each brisk morning comes to us at midnight, fresh and perfect, it hopes we've learned something from yesterday, and carries onward with the anticipation of a new challenge day after day.
Neighbors in our cattle industry are as close as the next fence line, or as far as the next coast. A profound tragedy of this magnitude has launched an unimaginable effort of neighboring. The country is healing itself through contributions of financial relief – from donating livestock to the simplest act of sick riding or making hot meals. We are honored to be a part of this community of heroes, and we express our deepest sorrow for the loss of life. We humbly offer prayers and submit our support, in any way possible for your swift recovery.
Livestock folks tend to pray a bit different. We pray for rain on the range, water in the coulees and reservoirs, maybe a Chinook wind early in spring. We ask for solid livestock who go to work, protection from natural disasters, and Lord willing, a reasonable market to cover the cost of food, fuel and fiber.
Reaching far past the sight of ravaged livestock and lost opportunity, is the glimmering survivor spirit innately common in the American cattleman. We live a life few understand, but most revere and respect – and from coast to coast, border to border, the country is behind your recovery.
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To all of you facing the aftermath, I speak for us all here at Tri-State, expressing our sincerest of prayers for your families and livestock. We send support of courage and recovery to you and your operations, and we are solidly behind the 'Ranchers Relief Fund' to assist in some small way in mending fences and rebuilding lives. The ties that bind are the same ties that carry us now. Long live ranchers.