Last week was the Beef Cattle Short Course. It is always a very educational event and time to reconnect with other ranchers and friends. This year was even more special because I was asked to meet 30 young ranchers and talk about advocacy. It was inspiring. There is so much talk about the age of the rancher and here we had 30 aspiring youth who want nothing more than to make a difference in the ranching industry.
Dr. Billy Zanolini – Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist – delivered his message for the first hour. He actually put the kids thru a “mock” interview from someone who knew nothing about the cattle industry. So the conversations were intense and they volleyed back and forth over why ranchers……..brand, dehorn, castrate, etc. Dr. Zanolini really made them think about their answers and how their answers might be perceived by our suburban neighbors. Dr. Zanolini was impressive.
My presentation was on advocacy – how we might better argue for our cause – American ranches and farms. We talked about the tools we all have in our advocacy toolbox. First and foremost is our story. If we want to reconnect to our urban friends – we need to tell our story. Our story requires commitment – character – being well informed and knowing our facts – being able to identify our target audience – and serving others.
Ranching most definitely has a future – a very bright future. I know – I have just looked into the faces of our future!!