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How Do You Keep Things In Perspective When The Going Gets Tough?

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From the unpredictable drought to the volatile markets, it’s best to think with a positive perspective.

Earlier this week, I asked readers to answer the question, “How much snow did you get over the weekend?” Some readers reported up to 6 in. of snow, while others had just under a half-inch of rain. Meanwhile, others asked, “what’s snow and rain?” It’s been so long since some of us have seen moisture with this drought, it’s hard to remember what a blizzard or downpour looks like anymore!

In Mitchell, SD, we received about 9.6 in. of snow, and while my husband, Tyler, and I were outside doing chores in the storm this weekend, we talked about its potential impact. We are just getting started with calving season, and it certainly takes a little more management to calve cows in a blizzard than on a mild, sunny winter day.

For some reason, the snow made me unbelievably chipper. I was all smiles and laughs as we trudged through the heavy, wet snow to get the cattle fed, roll out straw for bedding, chop out waterers and pen up heifers ready to calve. Meanwhile, Tyler seemed a little bit down.

“Don’t you like the snow?” I asked, deliriously happy, as I pictured that much-needed moisture soaking into the soil.

“Well sure, Mandy, I just don’t like the mud that follows,” he replied.

And, there lies the real point of this blog, perspective. Tyler is usually pretty upbeat, but there's no doubt about it, wet snow and mud can put a damper on anyone’s spirits while out doing chores and calving cows. I admit, I can sometimes fall into the trap of looking at the glass as half-empty, especially on days when things just don’t go right. I’ve learned that the cattle business has plenty of highs and lows and, instead of getting down about things, it’s important to keep looking up and thinking forward.

Instead of getting bummed about the snow and mud that plagues ranchers during calving season, picture the moisture helping your pastures to green up this spring. Instead of complaining about the high cost of feed, get in touch with your nutritionist and explore lower-cost options. Instead of criticizing politicians in Washington, D.C., pick up the phone and call your elected officials to let them know the challenges you are facing back home. Keep things in perspective and the day-to-day chores will seem a lot easier and more enjoyable, too.

How do you keep things in perspective when the going gets tough? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

As promised, today I announce the winners of the three, limited-edition western art prints signed and numbered by the artist. Congratulations to: Julie Feldhaus, Roger Huckfeldt and Amanda Emery. You all win a copy of “The Overseers,” by Jack Sorenson. Thanks to all who participated!


Discuss this Blog Entry 6

John R. Dykers, Jr. (not verified)
on Feb 14, 2013

I remember the inexorable passage of time, so enjoy this moment whatever it is, as this too shall pass. Fate will give us long enough repose!

Bill (not verified)
on Feb 14, 2013

Is it against the law to feed animal parts to fat cattle in feed yards?

on Feb 14, 2013

From USDA:
The United States has a longstanding system of three interlocking safeguards against BSE that protects public and animal health in the United States, the most important of which is the removal of specified risk materials – or the parts of an animal that would contain BSE should an animal have the disease – from all animals presented for slaughter in the United States. The second safeguard is a strong feed ban [bans on the use of meat and bone meal for livestock feed] that protects cattle from the disease. The third safeguard—which led to this detection— is our ongoing BSE surveillance program that allows USDA to detect the disease if it exists at very low levels in the U.S. cattle population and provides assurances to consumers and our international trading partners that the interlocking system of safeguards in place to prevent BSE are working.

Julie Feldhaus (not verified)
on Feb 15, 2013

Wow Thanks so much! I was having a bad day and then Sue called and told me I won! Between winning and the computer guy my day got better!!

Bill (not verified)
on Feb 21, 2013

What if someone told you animal parts were being trucked to a feed yard in Colby Kansas would some one investigate?

on Feb 21, 2013

It is against the law, and if you have such information, you should report it to the authorities. But we are skeptical that "animal parts" would be transported to a feedyard for the purpose of being fed to cattle. The animal proteins (meat and bone meal) that were in use before the ban were in a granular processed form representing something like soybean meal and were sourced from animal renderers. Raw meat products have never been fed to cattle to our knowledge.

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BEEF Daily Blog is produced by rancher Amanda Radke, one of the U.S. beef industry’s top social media “agvocates.”

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Amanda Radke

A fifth-generation rancher from Mitchell, SD, Amanda grew up on a purebred Limousin cattle operation in which she and husband Tyler are active. She graduated with a degree in agriculture journalism...

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