Why Do We Care?

Wednesday was just another busy day at the feedyard. Plenty of cattle going through the processing barn receiving vaccinations and ear tags. The cowboys were putting off their morning pen riding as long as possible by quizzing the Vet during his monthly visit. Here I am running around like a chicken with my head cut off, getting the morning tasks finished up. I had some paper work to finish up, a medicine delivery at 11, and three cattle trucks arriving at 11:30. Simple enough right?

Come about 2:30, roughly an hour and a half before the feeders finish on a normal day, I heard the batch room operator over the radio, “Guys we will be down for about an hour. Something broke off in the batcher and has made its way into the finish feed leg.” One feed truck driver lets out a gruntled “10-4”, another shouts a sarcastic “Woo-Hoo”, and I can just imagine the 3rd looking at her watch, knowing her kid is waiting at the grandparent’s house. The air lifts shut off at the mill and I once again realize how quiet it can be in the middle of 65,000 cattle.

As I finish up my pen moves for the day and step into the office looking for something to wash down the dust in my throat, I notice one of the feeders a lil irritated by the fact it is nearly 5 and there is still 10 loads of feed to be put in the bunks. Waiting, just waiting…

This brought me back to part of the sermon from Sunday morning when I was last home. The preacher started out by stating that some people look at the glass half full, while others look at the glass as half empty. He asked which we were. Then he asked why we are not simply thankful for the glass. Never though of it that way…

Back to my day at the feedyard. I joked with the feed truck driver, “Ya’ll still on break. Wish my breaks could be this long!” She was not too amused. Then I told her even though she wishes she could be at home with her kid, fixing supper, and getting ready to tuck in for the night, think about all of those cattle in the yard. They are all depending on her for their next meal. She had to chew on that one…

Makes the wait seem a little less annoying when you think of it that way. We work day and night, whatever it takes to get these cattle fed. It is a big responsibility, and we take it seriously. So next time it is raining, snowing, windy, or even sunny, think about all of those farmers and ranchers that are out there making it happen. We’ll be out there making sure the cattle get fed, the crops are in the ground, and there will food produced so you can sit down to a filling meal.

Did you Thank a Farmer or Rancher today?

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Ryan Goodman works in grassroots advocacy with beef cattle farmers and ranchers across the United States. He is a proud alumnus of Oklahoma State University, with studies focusing on cattle reproduction and nutrition. Ryans
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