My View From The Country

A Family Vacation Without Horses Or Cows

My biggest problem with this vacation is simply that it won’t involve cattle or horses.

As you are reading this, my wife, our children and I are on our first vacation that doesn’t involve cattle or horses. I was excited to go, because I knew the rest of my family was excited.

Those who know me best might think I wasn’t totally excited because of the cost. Actually, the one thing agriculture has taught me is to shrug at the loss of thousands of dollars. The truth is that the bigger emotional hurdle to going on vacation is that I haven’t developed my management system to the point where I can leave for 10 days without at least one disaster occurring. It was a lot of work just to get ready to leave.

I was even comfortable with the prospect of wearing shorts in public for the first time in 20 years. It didn’t even bother me that the kids were joking about issuing glare warnings when my legs finally see daylight.

Florida in July might be warm, but I’m looking forward to that as well. No, my biggest problem with this vacation is simply that it won’t involve cattle or horses, and I left the home place not knowing if I knew how to function as a non-rancher.

I must admit that before I got on the plane I had that same emotion that is portrayed in the prison movie, “The Shawshank Redemption.” You know, where a man becomes so institutionalized that he isn’t sure he can survive out there in the real world. If you take away my cowboy boots and don’t allow me to talk about the weather, the market or pedigrees for 10 days, I really wonder how I will carry on a conversation.

I know I should be excited, but I’m already worried about everything that could go wrong at home. Hopefully, all goes well. But I think I’ll need another vacation when I return from this one.


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Discuss this Blog Entry 2

Dave Nichols (not verified)
on Jul 12, 2013

I never could make the transition. After years of our joint vacations, which Phyllis characterized as going "from cow to cow", we take separate vacations.

Her's are with her friends and/or our daughter who suffer similar fates with their beloved husbands. I do go for a week of fishing in remote locations with my brother in law and our CPA. At least 50% of our conversation during these outings concern the cattle business, so I avoid withdrawal pains.

Mark C (not verified)
on Jul 15, 2013

I just got back Florida. Take a drive through central Florida and you will see lots of cattle!

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What's My View From The Country?

As a fulltime rancher, opinion contributor Troy Marshall brings a unique perspective on how consumer and political trends affect livestock production.


Troy Marshall

Troy Marshall is a multi-generational rancher who grew up in Wheatland, WY, and obtained an Equine Science/Animal Science degree from Colorado State University where he competed on both the livestock...

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