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Posts Tagged ‘leaders’

Where did your footsteps take you today and what kind of footprints did you leave behind?

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This past Sunday Matt and I got to attend a special church service. The little church (very near where we farm and ranch in Kansas) celebrated 125 years! His grandparents were pastors there at the time they were killed in a car accident in the 1960’s. The message of the sermon was about footprints. My mind immediately began racing about the steps we take and footprints we leave in our farming and ranching choices. The bulletin for the service was titled “Celebrating Northbranch Heritage”; every farmer’s heritage is determined by his choice of footsteps.

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(I didn’t have a picture from when the kids were little of boots – but this one is darn cute!)

I can’t help but think of how BIG some guys feet are and how ADORABLE toddlers are when they try to stand in the boots of those big men! Those young people are shaping their hopes and dreams based on the footprints we leave. Are we constantly stumbling? Are we walking proudly? Are we taking scary paths? Are we taking time to let them follow closely?

Just to lighten this up a bit…I guarantee, several times a week, we step in a pile of poop. When you have cattle in pens, there is bound to be a footprint in a cow pie. There are various ways to then clean those boots or shoes – just make sure you do before heading in the house! And I know I have attempted to step over an electric fence, only to lose my balance and get a zap on my inner thigh – yep, go ahead, laugh along with me! It’s all one can do when that happens! I hope our kids see when, in life, we figuratively “step in the poop” and learn from our mistakes! I also hope they notice that younger kids are already looking to them as an example and they REALLY need to carefully select their path!

Matt and I have been blessed with some pretty amazing footsteps to follow & we have blazed our own path a few times & all we can hope is that our “heritage” is meaningful in some way decades from now. Regardless, those who know us, are not a bit surprised by the spot in our path where there are tons of prints all in one area…those are the times we are dancing!

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At first glance, what do you think are the occupations of the gentlemen in this picture? Maybe business executives? Accountants? Professional communicators? Health care professionals? Or, maybe owners of multi-faceted businesses??  And, where do you think they might be from?

Actually, these men hold each and every one of those jobs listed above, along with many more depending on the daily task at hand. How can that be you ask?  Because a farmer or rancher has to be able to do any one of those jobs on any given day. And, they happen to be from different states, all across our great nation.

When any of us head into the grocery store or out to the restaurant, or even to the farmer’s market, it is not uncommon to at least have a fleeting thought about some of the production work that went into growing the food that is there.

What many people often don’t think about is all of the work farmers and ranchers have to do off of the farm in order to have the freedom to continue doing what they love to do. Some days they may visit their banker or insurance agent. Other days can be filled with purchasing supplies and inputs. But why on earth would ranchers be standing around at a meeing in suits? Aren’t they more commonly seen in jeans & boots? Of course they are!

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Common workwear often includes camo!

Today I was in Washington, D.C. with other beef producers discussing the beef community’s challenges and opportunities at hand. Think about teachers or health professionals or country music performers. Each profession has an organization for people with similar interests. In today’s world, those of us raising cattle for beef cannot stand idly by and let others determine our fate. We have to step off the ranch or feedyard – in our boots –

My boot is the fun black one with the super comfortable square toe!

and educate others as to what really needs to happen to keep healthy, safe, nutritious beef as an everyday meal option.

It is completely my honor to serve with absolutely “stand-up” men and women from all over the U.S. with as much passion as I have for beef and the entire beef community.

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