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April 9, 2021 - From the President's Desk

I wrote this three years ago for publication in the Sandhills Cattle News during the calving season in March 2018. Today this letter still seems fitting, except for this March, I’m not preparing for a snowstorm. This message continues to hold true that we still have a lot in common with the past generations of ranchers as we continue to work and improve our practices as cattlemen.

As I take a break from the calving lot and prepare for a potential snowstorm, I think about my ancestors that walked the exact steps that I take now. It is crazy to think how things have changed in these great Sandhills from their time to today.

We have future weather forecasts that help inform when and what direction a storm is headed (the accuracy might be a little questionable). We have four-wheel drive, heated tractors, and pickups to feed the cattle; I can’t imagine going out and getting a team of horses ready to feed. We have insulated coveralls, high-tech layers, and muck boots to their sheepskin coats, long johns, chaps, and buckle-over boots to keep warm and dry.

Imagine what it was like without electricity; I know I take for granted the luxury of instant lights and heat in the calving barn and at home. I am so thankful that shelterbelts and living windbreaks were planted long ago. These conservation practices have been a lifesaver many times. We are also fortunate to be able better to prepare our herds with advancements in nutrition and health.

We still have much in common: hard work, long hours, and worry, but in the end, we learn from the previous generations and continue to improve our practices as cattlemen. My hat’s off to the past, present, and future cattle ranchers of the Sandhills. Here’s to hoping your calving season is successful and smoother than long ago!

I am looking forward to the hope of wrapping up the calving season with warm weather, timely rains, and lots of green grass.

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