What Fuels Your Passion?

It’s been a busy week around the ranch. I’m down to just one more herd with Spring vaccinations. All of my bulls, except two stubborn headed things, are turned out with the cow herds, and I’ve been working quite a bit with my new horse. Got on him for the first time the other day and walked him around the arena. No bucks. Either a sign of good ground work by me, or he’s waiting for the second ride. Wait and see. Wait and see.

Today I want to turn the table on my readers. I always write about how much I love ranch life and how passionate I am about raising cattle, but I want to know about you. What fuels your passion?

So many people go to work behind a desk, in a office, go home to their family, and use their off-time to pursue different passions. In some ways, I feel you are so lucky to be able to have a separation between work and home life. You may not be able to shut work out, but at least you have a getaway.

As for myself, I feel so danged lucky to have opportunities to pursue my passions and dreams, and have the opportunity to do this on a daily basis. Ranch life is my passion. This is why I don’t consider myself a “cowboy.” In my mind a cowboy is the guy we hire to help move cattle around the place, gather em for workings and weanings, and then he goes home to rodeo with his buddies. For me, I want to know more than how to handle cattle. I want to learn about their nutrition, reproduction, marketing, industry trends, and everything else that raising cattle can consume.

I work to share my story about ranch life, not because I want to convert everyone to rural life (there’s a Chris LeDoux song about that), but because I want to share with everyone the things I am so passionate about.

SO, I turn the tables today, and I want to hear from you. No matter what your passion may be (including non-ag subjects), What fuels your passion?

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  1. My husband, who I called ‘my Cowboy’, always corrected me when I called him a cowboy. He was a Cattleman, he said. And rightly so. He managed a feedlot less than 40 miles from our nation’s capital, but he also ran purebred cattle and took care of the herd, which, of course, involved breeding decisions, calving, weaning, culling, vetting, etc. My job, as an ag journalist for a farm weekly, keeps me at my computer but also keeps me traveling around the mid-Atlantic region to shows, fairs, farms, meetings, conventions, seminars, etc. I love my job! I get to tell the stories of the folks who keep this great nation moving and alive. The men and women who feed us and clothe us. My job is to help keep my farmers abreast of what their fellow farmers are doing to improve and increase production. My passion, my mission, if you will, is to educate non-ag people where their food and fiber comes from, how it is produced, and acquaint them with the people who produce the products they need to live and how they do it with knowledge, technology, science, instinct, enthusiasm, just plain hard work – and love.

  2. I wouldn’t trade ranching for the world. My cowboy also hates being called a Cowboy- as he doesn’t like the connotation behind it. He’s a rancher and a horseman; both of those being students of the “game” if you will. He wants to understand and handle his cows with respect and cowmanship and the horses the same. there is something to be said for being able to walk away from your job, but there’s also more rewards in getting up at 1am to pull a colt or a calf and know you’ve brought a life into the world. Or to ride for 12 hours with no break moving the herd to another pasture, or sorting pairs. It’s such an intangible thing to explain to people.

  3. It is so refreshing to read Agriculture Proud. I’ve learned a lot about ranching, but mostly I enjoy the enthusiasm you greet each day with, whatever it may bring. Hard work shapes a person, I believe, in all the right ways.
    My passion is educating people I meet about the difference between natural skin care vs. products that contain harsh chemicals and oil industry by-products, such as mineral oil and petroleum jelly.
    Many of us grew up trusting brands such as Vaseline Petroleum Jelly, Bag Balm, and other petroleum-laden lotions and balms. However, before these products entered the market, people were already making their own balms and remedies at home. The products my husband and I make are based on old fashioned, tried-and-true remedies for dry, cracked skin.
    Imagine that, folks use to save up their beeswax on the farm, mix it with lard or bear fat, and heal their hard working hands. Farmers have always had to be resourceful, make do or do without, and they still do, especially now with our current economy. Unfortunately, as big business came into play, new and ‘improved’ products appeared on the market, time savers, money savers, and people strayed from their traditional cures and remedies.
    Unfortunate because the new products, which are laden with cheap chemicals, are not as effective as the homemade variety. Ineffective and potentially harmful, yet nicely packaged in attractive containers with an array of colors and artificial fragrance oils, these products take up the majority of available store shelf space. Meanwhile, our little balms and lip balms meekly wait for people to discover them, tucked behind some huge display, and sometimes intermingled with the big store brand, which some folks think is our company. Yes, we do have a honeybee on our label, but no, we don’t distribute our products to every grocery store in the nation.
    This is my passion, to return to the roots of skin care, side-step all the ineffective, over-marketed harmful products, and put effective, natural products back into the hands of people who are suffering from chronic skin conditions. Ahhhhh, another day on the ranch…..

  4. Art. Being creative. Watching people be creative. Doesn’t have to be artists. I think anyone good at their job is also creative in someway. I love to see the thought process, it makes me think. And my dogs. I love training them and just watching them be dogs. Doing what comes naturally.

  5. My passion is fueled by watching baby calves, a feed bunk lined with steers that have feed all over their nose and the smell if cattle eating alfalfa hay!

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