Last week in my blog entry, Ready for a Fresh Start, I alluded to my plans after graduation and promised to make my official announcement this week. With only a few more days of class before I walk across the stage to receive my diploma, I'm both excited and nervous for the future to unfold. One of my favorite poems by Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken (1915), captures the challenges a farm kid faces when juggling big decisions between ranch life and big city career dreams. Frost writes:
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth.
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth.
I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-- I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
To me, I relate to this poem as it's about an individual having to choose between two distinct paths. For me, I had to choose between what I have always known and loved to new adventures in cities unknown. Like many young people, I thought that I had to move away to have a successful career, yet I was deeply saddened at the idea of abandoning my roots in beef production. That's why I'm excited to announce that I have planned the future to capture the benefits of both paths. I plan to pursue my dream of being a freelance agriculture writer and speaker, working on behalf of America's food producers. I have teamed up with the wonderful folks at BEEF to continue my work with the BEEF Daily blog and newsletter, and I'm eager to share my adventures along the way with all of you. In addition, I will be moving to my hometown of Mitchell, S.D. to play a new role in the family's seedstock operation. With a strong will of determination and a leap of faith, I hope to have a career AND stay directly involved in production agriculture throughout my life.
I want to thank all of you for sharing this last year of college with me, and I hope you will allow me to grow and learn as I transition into this new chapter of life. A reader told me that this is the beginning of a new kind of education, and I plan to share the hard knocks on this blog along the way. As I transition to working in a multi-generational cattle operation and launch my career as a speaker and writer, I'm sure I will have a lot of ideas to run past you. And, as you're planning upcoming conferences, I hope you'll keep me in mind to be your next speaker! It's certainly going to be an interesting summer, and there is going to be some exciting changes here at BEEF Daily, as well! We will soon be incorporating podcasts for your listening pleasure, and starting in June, we will be hosting several exciting contests and prizes. Don't miss a minute of it! Thanks again for being a part of my Cinderella story. I couldn't be happier to have this support system as I begin a new life in the "real world!" -Amanda
Quick BEEF Daily Fact: Only 30 percent of the nation's 2.1 million farms will pass to a second generation, and less than 10 percent will reach a third generation. Source: Legacy by Design: Succession Planning for Agribusiness Owners," Kevin Spafford.