J.T. Korkow: Family, Friends, and Neighbors
The Big Picture
One of the greatest advantages of living in a rural area where agricultural production is the primary base of the economy, is the gracious attitude and friendly spirit of its residents. As much as we each like to try to be self-sustaining, and not have to rely on others for our needs, there are times we have a need and have to depend on others for assistance. Whether for labor, tools, equipment, or moral and/or financial support, one cannot put a value on having good friends and neighbors. When I was a teenager, my dad told me that it was far more important to have good friends than it was to have money. Without any doubt, I can say that principal is true. And to have a good friend or neighbor, you have to be a good friend or neighbor. In my visits to the metropolitan and urban areas of our country, that concept is alien to its inhabitants. I really don’t know what concrete and pavement does to people, but it isn’t a good thing, in my opinion.
As all of us in the rural areas are wrapping up our summer season work of putting up hay and harvesting small grain, I thought it was a good time to acknowledge some folks that have assisted me in my endeavors this past year.
A few months ago, I was traveling across country when I noted my pickup was overheating. When I stopped to investigate the cause, I found my fan had completely become dismembered and went into the radiator, thus draining all the coolant. Being in a fairly remote area of no cell service, it appeared I was going to have a long walk. Within 20 minutes, a local rancher, Lewis McGill, stopped by on his way to rescue another down vehicle, and just happened to have tow rope in hand. He immediately hooked onto my outfit and towed me to his ranch and parked me in front of his shop. Before I finished my call to my son in Miles City to get a new fan and radiator coming, he had the old parts already removed. Three hours later I was driving home in my repaired rig. Cost of labor – $0.00. I never got a chance to thank you properly, Lewis, so a big “thank you”–I owe you one!
More recently, neighbors Barry, Patrick, and Philip Emmons were headed back to their place from finishing putting up hay on their last field. I had a 170 acre patch of hay I was working on and had about 15-20 acres that had been down for a few days I was struggling to get to. They pulled in and had it raked and baled in about half an hour. Thank you, gentlemen!
It is hard to include all my friends and neighbors that have helped in many ways, but Gordon, Waylon, Dick, Kirk, and Clint, I sure don’t want to miss you fellas and all the help you provided this year. Thanks a bunch!
It saddens me when I think of the many people I meet that are not close with their family or are in some consternation with a member of the family. Yet, it has been my observation, that when the rest of the world fails, that blood is thicker than water. And there is no doubt, the world will fail us at some point in our life, and keeping that tie with the family may well be the only strength we can draw from. With that, I want to especially thank my family for their support this past year.
Having lost one of my best friends this past year, I learned a valuable lesson to not take any of our friends, neighbors, or family for granted. I am the world’s worst when it comes to remembering special occasions and getting cards and letters sent, or telling someone I appreciate them when it is appropriate. I get caught up in the world thinking of only myself, as we all can do, and pretty soon that is what we find…we are by ourselves. If you haven’t acknowledged family, friends, and neighbors in your life, take the time to do so this week!
Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. Matthew 7:12
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This is a win for not only the American independent cattle producers and feeders in the US, but maybe even more importantly the beef consumers across this nation!