A little over a year ago I realized America was in trouble. I didn’t agree with the direction the government was guiding our country so I started emailing my thoughts at a frantic pace. When the results of the election ushered in a tide of liberalism and socialism I decided to attend an activist training (Brad referred to it as my “riot enhancement” training). At those meetings an explanation of how we could maximize our opinions with a website, Twitter, and Facebook was suggested. I was a good student and did what I was told.
Then there was the incentive to tell my ranch story. For several years, as a beef producer I’d been witnessing attacks on our industry along with other animal agriculture groups. Through our beef industry’s training program; Master of Beef Advocacy, cattle ranchers are trained to positively explain our beef industry to the public. I was told to get on the web, use Twitter and Facebook to tell my story. Again, being a good student, I did as I was told.
At first I thought, “What story? I don’t have a story.” My story is just like…Joe’s… well, maybe not, his family sold out and moved to town. Well, my story is just like Ruby's grandparents…but maybe not, after they passed away their kids all moved to town and they sold the farm. Well, maybe my story is just like Mary Jean and Bill's they used to farm, well, no it’s not like theirs either because they moved to the city and now lease all their ground out.
I guess I do have a story and it goes like this:
Once upon a time there was a man who had a dream. He had perseverance, he had tenacity and he wanted to own a parcel of ground.
He left home at the tender age of 17 and made his way into a land he knew nothing about. He didn’t drive a car, didn’t take a bus, didn’t fly. He rode his horse the 180 mile trip.
There were no McDonalds, no Wendy’s no Arby’s.
There were no laundry mats, motels, Quick Trips or roadside stops. No electrical outlets to plug a microwave, electric skillet, or frig. He didn’t have an ice chest or thermos- no bag of ice. No peanut butter crackers, chips, Pepsi or Coke. No Dial, no shower, no towel. When he reached his destination on the eve of the land run, he didn’t pull his Xbox out to entertain himself into the night. And what was a television? Or a radio?
No he didn’t have much. Just a great big dream and tenacity.
Today I’m trying to protect that dream. The dream that for the past 116 years has been perpetuated by Oscar’s child, his child’s children, their children, and theirs. A dream that wasn’t mine, or my brother’s, or my husband’s or my childrens. Non the less a dream perpetuated; a dream turned legacy.
Emotion. Passion. Here lately I’ve been accused of possessing an abundance of both.
I plead guilty. The passion and emotion I have for my country- for my ranch is overwhelming.
It’s not an option for me to sit idle as our president and his cabinet turn our country upside down-drag our constitution through the dirt- and silence and ignore the voices of America. My founding fathers wouldn’t like that.
It’s not an option for me to sit idle as groups such as the Humane Society of the United States gather funds to be used for deceitful intentions. Funds raised by playing on the emotions of television viewers. Funds which ultimately are used to place anti-animal agriculture lobbyist in each state of the nation. Funds which will ultimately be used to legislate animal agriculture out of business. No, I can’t sit idly by while that happens. My granddad Os probably wouldn’t like that. I'm thinking maybe some training in tenacity and perseverance? Nah, I've had a good teacher-one I never knew...but blood runs deep and I'm a good student.