We left the house at 5:00am Sunday morning to drive to Lincoln so that my favorite 10 year old could play in the Cornhusker State Games Volleyball Tournament. As usual, I took my lap top along so that I could write blog posts while Matt drove (it is 2 and ½ hours from our house to Lincoln).
As we headed east along I-80, I asked my family what I should blog about this week. My two favorite smart alecks (age 40 and age 12) replied “Leprechauns”. As I stared at my husband and my daughter with a surprised expression on my face, I was informed “Yeah mom, you know, leprechauns demonstrate that short people can still make a difference!”
Well, anyone that has met me knows full well that I am “short”. In fact, the smart aleck twelve year old that was riding in the back seat and pontificating about leprechauns is already several inches taller than I am. As a result of her superior height and vast middle school experience, she already believes herself to be omniscient. Being fully aware of this, I am actually very pleased that she thinks that I “make a difference”.
Making a difference is one of my life-long goals. This desire drives me each and every day, and is one of the reasons that I have chosen to open my farm to all of you. As I work tenaciously to offer good care to my animals and raise safe and healthy beef for you, I also recognize that there are thousands of other farmers who spend their days the same way that I do. I want to not only make a difference in the lives of my animals, but also inspire others to dedicate their lives to raising food animals.
I had a visitor come through the feed yard last week who teaches in the Animal Science Department at the University of Hawaii. He smiled as he watched me move new cattle out of the home pen and down to the corral to be vaccinated.
The sight caused him to reminisce about the majority of his students (young girls of city origin destined for veterinary school) who are afraid to work with large animals. He remarked, “you are living proof that a smaller woman can care for and handle large animals like cattle”.
Yet, the effective and appropriate care that I offer to my animals has nothing to do with magic. It is based on understanding, empathy and leadership. What I may lack in brawn, I make up for in brains. I feel that one of the most important things that I do is to mentor others in their quest to humanely raise cattle for beef production.
I love it when people visit my farm with a desire to learn. Sharing ideas and experiences creates a unique pot of gold that benefits all of us in our quest to make a difference! Now, if I could only convince my two darling smart alecks to be a bit more respectful toward their favorite “height challenged” difference making leprechaun want-a-be!