By now, you’ve undoubtedly seen the devastation that the freakish ice/snow storms, the wildfires and hurricanes have left in their wake. Social media allows the public to see how disasters (man-made or natural) touch the lives of the cattle community and both urban and rural communities. But what else is it showing you? In the wake of these disasters, it’s showing you something amazing:
We Care. It’s what we do. It’s who we are. Our livestock is our livelihood; we care for them because they are the reason we do what we do. That’s it, folks.
Whether it’s freezing cold, pouring rain, or hotter than the hottest dog days of summer, we are out making sure that our livestock is taken care of, watered, fed, sheltered and safe. Ranchers put their livestock’s needs ahead of their own. They have to eat and drink just like humans do. They need safe shelter from all types of weather, just like we do.
We live and breathe by the weather forecast. If possible, we prepare. We use what we can to our advantage. Think there’s a break in the storm? Ranchers help fellow ranchers move cattle to safe ground in flood conditions. Those calves like to come right in the middle of some of the strangest weather, and farmers and ranchers are out there in whatever conditions, making sure that mama cow isn’t having a difficult birth.
Sometimes we face unavoidable circumstances that result in unspeakable tragedies. When a disaster strikes, we do what we do best: come together. Friends from across the country reach out and help because their fellow ranchers and farmers are in need. When wildfires took hay supplies, people sent hay from across the country. When winter storms took livestock, ranchers sent their own or helped raise funds to help others to rebuild.
We make a family affair, because there’s always a lesson to be learned. Generations of cattle families are made because the family that ranches together stays together. You learn something, you build character, and hone life skills. Everyone young or old, boy or girl, brother or sister, husband or wife has a job. They learn, they make memories, they prepare, and they do it all together. We are forever learners, because every single experience offers a lesson. Is it hard work? Sometimes. Is it always fun? Nope. But it’s definitely what we make of it. It’s not hard if we’re working together. It’s a lesson in life and it’s an unforgettable experience.
Social media helps us share that story. We know what we do, but so many others don’t know. People all too often want to see the negative, but it’s up to us to share the positive. We care, because it’s in our nature. We care, because it’s what we do. It’s about reaching out, lending a helping hand and coming together to make the future better.
Photo credits to Debbie Gill, Kasey Wallace and CK Cattle. All photos used with permission.