Yesterday was a major life event for me. Not only did I get to see my agricultural hero speak in person. Twice. I also got to have lunch with her (I took her left over quesadilla home!). As if that wasn’t enough, in the sold out Bell Memorial Union full of local Farmers and Ranchers, she made me stand up, while she spoke about this blog. I’m still not convinced yesterday wasn’t a dream.
I owe the Butte County Farm Bureau for this opportunity. Specifically Jamie Johansson, Irv Leen, Colleen Cecil, Holly Foster, and Louis Venturini. These people all played a part in getting me and Dr. Grandin together, and I will be forever grateful for this experience. Big thank you to Louis for getting me a ticket to the sold out Farm Bureau 2012 Annual Dinner. And to Irv, you know what you did.
Dr. Grandin and I spoke and about the Ranch, how her books have changed how we run our Ranch and treat our cattle, things that the Ranch can improve upon, and about my blog. All I can say is it was amazing. She encouraged me to keep showing the Ranch, and not just the pretty parts. She said people don’t want PR fluff, they want to know what actually happens. She went on to say that the general public does not know the good we are doing in Ag. As Farmers and Ranchers it is now part of our job to open our barn doors and tell our stories.
The point was made that when Ag gets bashed, we tend to shut our doors, when in actuality, we should do the exact opposite. She also stressed that all ag is in this together, that Big Ag needs to stop bashing Little Ag. These are all messages I agree with and am trying to promote and live up to.
I learned so much yesterday. I can’t wait to implement what I learned on the Ranch. The most exciting advice I got from Dr. Grandin was that our cattle should be used to people on foot, people on a horse and people on an 4-wheeler. That way when they make the transition to the feedlot, it won’t be as stressful when they encounter all these things. The Ranch has pretty much stopped using horses around the cattle. They were slowly phased out for a variety of reasons. Over the past couple of years I’ve realized how much I miss riding behind the cattle. I’m bringing it back.
I’m still trying to wrap my head around what happened yesterday. Once I have an opportunity to digest my day, I’m sure there will be plenty of new posts. I just feel so good! So validated! Like I really am doing something to help my industry! Go Team Ag!