Civic Duty…

Many of you know that I spent the better part of last week in Washington DC.  The night before I left, my oldest daughter came into my bedroom and said, “Why are you going to Washington DC?”  She is currently studying civics in social studies class so I asked her, “What does the term civic duty mean?”  To this, she replied “Yeah, Yeah, it’s your responsibility as a citizen of our country to be an active participant.  I know that, but I don’t understand why YOU ALWAYS have to go…Can’t someone else go instead this time?”

I love my girls and I love our farm...

As difficult as it is for my girls to go a few days without me around, I think that it sends a very strong message of personal responsibility to them as they watch me take the time to contribute.  There are certainly days when I worry about the future of our country, but I also feel a tremendous amount of American pride that results in a personal duty to share and to educate.  I believe that every American has a gift to share, and the prosperity of our country is contingent on finding a way to blend together all of those gifts in a wonderful display of teamwork.

Jessica grew up on a cow/calf farm in Eastern Nebraska. She was an Animal Science major at the Univ. of Nebraska with a minor in Political Science. She spent a couple of months interning with me at my cattle feed yard, and now she is in Washington DC with Senator Johanns office. Her ability to learn and share makes me proud and exemplifies the American way...

I am honored to play a pivotal role in feeding my fellow Americans.  My life caring for cattle and raising beef has very tangible results (whether the beef that I grow is feeding my family or yours).  At the end of the day, I feel as though I have contributed in a unique and necessary way. I feel as though I have shared a gift, a part of myself, which makes my community and my country a better place.  I am also honored to share the life that I lead with others so that they can understand how I raise animals and grow beef as well as other products that are made from my cattle.

This is what I grow...This is what I like to eat...This is what I feed to my family and hopefully to yours as well!

Perspective is a concept that I reevaluate daily as it helps me to both better understand my animals and also the people for whom I grow food.  When I travel back to Washington DC each year, I get a chance to gain perspective and insight into how we, as Americans, can come together to reach a common ground which hopefully results in success.

There is a tremendous amount of strength and history in this building...

If I do not leave my farm and travel to the gathering place of hundreds of lawmakers and millions of customers, then they may never realize the truth of how I grow their food. They may never get the experience of learning first hand where their beef comes from.  Conversely, by interacting and reaching out to those fellow countrymen and women, I gain a better perspective of how we can come together to be successful as a team.  As I take a turn “walking in their shoes for a few days”, I gain new perspective and understanding.

Sharing my thoughts in the House Agriculture Committee room with staff members of Congressman...

The bottom line is that both I and my daughters learn an important lesson in civics when I make my yearly pilgrimage to our capitol city.  We are all reminded that the privilege of being an American comes with the responsibility to actively and respectfully engage…

A beautiful sunset against the Washington Monument...A good end to a good day.


Filed under Foodie Work!, General

3 responses to “Civic Duty…

  1. Ben

    Anne – it was great to see you in DC. Thanks for taking time away from the family and feedyard to keep us informed about the good work you and other cattlemen and women across the country do every day. And I appreciate being included in your blog – even if it’s just the back of my head…

    Keep up the great work!

    • Al Svajgr

      Anne, Your exceptional efforts, time and expertise contribute to not only our industry but to feeding the world. Time is a precious commodity, thanks for sharing it! Al

  2. Steve Duke

    A very good post Anne….I think it is very important that every US citizen should be actively involved with our government. I have taken my boy with me several times to visit with both local and Federal representatives. I wish that people would pay attention to issues as much as they do sports. I commend and thank you on teaching your family and taking the time for supporting agriculture!

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