Finding a New ‘Normal’…

Monday afternoon I spent time in a BMG feed yard before heading to Lincoln to the University of Nebraska.  That evening and Tuesday morning found me hanging out with graduate students in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.   Tuesday afternoon I lectured on campus before driving back home in the evening.  It was a fun couple of days on the road, and I always find that I learn something every time that I leave my farm.

The topic of my lecture was “Sustainability, Responsibility, and the Art of Balance”.

  • Sustainability provides one of the biggest buzz words of 2017.
  • Responsibility often finds it’s way into current conversations about food production.
  • The Art of Balance applies to both the discussion of agriculture’s needed commitment to people, animals, and planet; as well as my own personal agricultural journey.

I really enjoy college public speaking gigs.  Our students are our future and if I can find a way to inspire them and aid them on their journey, then I am playing a positive role which refills my cup. While on campus, I fielded many questions about closing the feed yard and my new life and job with the Beef Marketing Group. My answer generally started with the words “I am finding a new normal…”  When you make a life change after twenty years, things look different on a daily basis.

I am happy to report that I am thriving amidst the chaos of change.  You’d have to ask my new boss about my performance on the job, but I can say that I am learning and finding my place as a new member of an awesome team.  I am spending some quality time in the five feed yards that I consult with relative to the Progressive Beef program.  This helps to fulfill the feed yard junkie part of Anne.  While I do miss the daily chore interaction with bovines, I am a short month away from moving cattle from a neighboring ranch to our grass pasture and sharing some of those chores with my foreman and my favorite pair of blonde cowgirls 🙂

Likely the best thing that I can report is that I have regained the natural optimism that makes me Anne.  This reclamation comes from attaining a better sense of balance in my life.

  • Time spent with family.
  • Meaningful volunteer hours spent with high school students who need support as they learn accountability and the art of making good choices… 
  • A healthy commitment to exercise that improves both my mental and physical fitness.
  • A work environment that leaves me feeling as though what I do is meaningful, while also allowing me the freedom from worry at the end of the day.

I believe that life is full of purposeful paths. Sometimes it takes some soul searching to figure out which fork in the road to take, but I believe that God has a plan. There is a sense of freedom that comes from packing your FAITH and following that plan.  Over the past few months, I have found a sense of peace that eluded me for several years. Two years ago, I wrote a post entitled “I Saw God Today”. I think that I am finally to a place where I can live George Straight’s famous song. I know that it is up to me to hold myself accountable to maintaining that balance on into the future; but I can report that finding it has provided a sweet spot 🙂


Filed under General, ILS Beef / Beef Marketing Group

4 responses to “Finding a New ‘Normal’…

  1. Julie Reiling

    I enjoyed your lecture on Tuesday at UNL. I told my teenage daughter all about your talk. I wish she could have been there to hear it. She’s planning on going into Animal Science in college, partly because of the market calves she feeds out to show in our local fair and partly because her Dad is a professor in Animal Science. I’m in Food Science but coming from an agricultural background I think it is important to advocate for agriculture. I am not as articulate or as knowledgeable as you and other bloggers that I follow. But I can share your stories through social media with my family and friends that need this kind of information. It has and does make a difference. Thank you. And good luck with your finding your new normal!

    • Thank you for coming to hear me speak! And, thank you for all of your kind words as well as helping to share the message. Together, as a team, agriculture will become stronger. You play an important role, so keep up the good work!

      Let me know if you and your family ever get out by Cozad — We’d love to give you a tour of the farm!


  2. I never thought of you as a loud speaker, but I’m sure you’re a fine orator. Video a key part of your lecture some day. See if it makes a splash or goes viral.

    • Yes — video is a great mode of communication and education. You are correct that I need to become more comfortable with it. I am currently learning how to draft video scripts so I am slowly headed in that direction 🙂

      Hope that all is well back East!

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