A Little Bit Western

Happy Canada Ag Day!

Feb 13, 2018

I’ve done the math (ok – I haven’t, but it sounds cool) and I’ve determined that February is arguably our busiest month of the year. It seems especially fitting to me then, that Canada’s Agriculture Day takes place when we are up to our Muck boots with calving and bull sale prep and the latest and greatest weather fluctuations.

The theme for this year’s Ag Day celebration is The Future is Bright. There are certainly challenges within the ag industry as a whole and there are obstacles specific to whichever sector you are a part of. But I see so many reasons for there to be a strong future ahead, especially for those willing to work hard.

The strength of Canada’s agriculture sector is its people. Agriculture is a multi-billion dollar economic force but for the thousands of farmers across Canada, agriculture isn’t exactly a get-rich-quick scheme. Rather than money, what motivates me on our ranch are people who are passionate about their farms and what they do. I’m inspired by people who are moving toward their goals, people who love to improve their environment, their cattle, and their businesses. Meeting people, learning from them and their stories — that is my ag currency.

When I see so many opportunities for young enthusiasts to become involved in agriculture, I know the future is bright. There are numerous initiatives, apprenticeships, and mentoring programs available to help transfer experience from one leader to another. I’ve had many mentors, both formal and informal, and am humbled to be a mentor for the Cattlemen’s Young Leader program. When I visit with my program partner Rachael, I am encouraged to hear how articulate, professional, and keen she is, and I can’t help but feel excitement for what lies ahead for the beef industry!

And of course, I can’t discuss the future without thinking of our children. Our young kids have responsibilities and are expected to help us on our ranch and it’s been enjoyable to see how their own interests are sprouting. One of our kids is a natural with animals, another has an aptitude for numbers, statistics, and pedigrees. Our daughter likes to understand the logic behind our production practices. I guess the baby is the only one that doesn’t show a real preference for chores yet, but so far he’s gotten in on fall run, cattle shows, and now his first calving season, so I suppose he’ll catch on too.

Whether or not our kids choose to pursue a future in agriculture is completely up to them. But I do know that their farm background will only support them with whatever path they take and they will be able to explain how and why their food is on the table.

The future is bright for Canadian agriculture today. It was bright yesterday and it will be bright tomorrow too. Happy Agriculture Day, Canada!


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