If you think about it, America always has had a certain affection for the underdog or over-achiever. Sports has plenty of examples of this. Look at Butler's run in the recent NCAA college basketball tournament. "Hoosiers" is a classic movie made in 1986 that chronicled a small Indiana high school winning their state basketball championship in 1951. And, Ohio State fans remember Jay Burson as a player who had a very successful basketball career in the late '80s despite being barely 6 ft. tall and 156 lbs.

I use these examples of sports success because I believe they relate to agriculture and the beef industry in particular. Everyone can think of examples in their local communities of farmers and beef producers who work hard at their various enterprises and get the most out of their available resources.

As we are in the early stages of this year's breeding season, I would challenge beef producers to get the most out of their available resources. When it comes to using many of the current beef improvement technologies that are available to us, the most common excuses given as to why a given resource is not utilized is the fact that our average Ohio cowherd is relatively small (less than 20 head) or that the producer just doesn't have the time to implement a practice because of other farming demands or off-farm employment. I would challenge that these are weak excuses at best. Ohio State football fans know that Archie Griffin is the only two-time Heisman Trophy winner because he didn't listen to the naysayers who said he was too small to be a great running back!

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