Generations of Strength

Yesterday we all saw the news of the raging wildfires in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. As most of us in this area (Central MO), I’m sure we were more concerned with the weather coming in–and for good reason. After last nights storms passed through I got the kids back to sleep and then went to bed not thinking about the fires consuming the other states.

This morning I woke up to a heartbreaking story on my Facebook feed. The kind that made me cringe and left me with no appetite all day.

http://amarillo.com/news/local-news/2017-03-07/4-killed-overnight-texas-panhandle-wildfires

Four young ranchers were lost to soon. The story I read this morning was about a man and woman. Cody Crockett and Sydney Wallace. A third name was released this afternoon, his name was Sloan Everett. I didn’t know these individuals. I’ve read numerous stories on facebook and other media throughout the day about them . It has been said they were out trying to save their cattle. This evening I’ve also read reports of another man who lost his life due to the fire–Cade Koch.

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Cody and Sydney- Top Sloan-Middle Cade-Bottom Photo Courtesy of KCBD News Channel 11

 

I have to say I’ve never met an industry more wrapped around values, strength, gratitude and hard work. Farmers and ranchers often get a bad wrap for not taking care of their crops and stock as well as those who know nothing about the industry would like us to.

Just yesterday after reading dozens of stories about the avian flu found on a chicken farm in Tennessee I was in disbelief of the comments knocking the family farms and the way we raise our animals. Granted there were plenty family farmers politely responding to the comments and graciously asking those with concerns to ask us questions. Most of the comments were along the lines of the filthy conditions we raise our animals in and how we are about the money and doing anything in our means of making more money even if it affects the quality of their food. This couldn’t be farther from the truth.

These four amazing individuals from the Texas panhandle- CODY CROCKETT, SYDNEY WALLACE, SLOAN EVERETT and CADE KOCH are proof of how well we take care of our stock. Proof of how much those animals mean to us. Granted, I don’t know the story. I assume they were out there doing whatever they could to let their herd loose granting them a chance at survival. I would like to think most ranchers would do the same.

I think those not involved in the industry can’t comprehend how much our stock actually means to us as farmers and ranchers. Most may just see a cow or a bull that they think is a cow. I personally see a certain cow that is maybe first to the bunk every morning or a cow who is an amazing mom. I have a cow that has such a huge spot in my heart because I raised her from a bottle calf. My father in law named her sugar and her tags in her ear read in huge letters- SUGAR and she is one of best mommas. Or the #8 cow who is spunky and full of life and has a white patch on her left side. 8904 who is the only white face cow who has a soft spot in my heart. Heck even the bulls have their own temperament and personalities.

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I pray so hard for the families who lost these precious people. They are husbands, brothers, sisters, daughters. They are someones everybody and it truly truly leaves a pit in my stomach. I can’t imagine what their family and friends are going through. I do know that we need to pray for them. Pray for them so hard.

Along with the lives of these individuals thousands of acres have been destroyed along with plenty of cattle ( I have yet to hear a figure). We need to pray for those who have lost either.

Outsiders looking in who know nothing about our marvelous industry may think so what, its a few head of cattle and some grass that burnt. It’s more then that. It is ranchers livelihood. Their passion. Something they may have worked for years building.

If it’s one thing I do know—those facing this awful tragedy will come out on the other side with their head held high. One thing I do know about farmers and ranchers is that we are strong. We work together to help those in our industry that need us. We face so many challenges–mostly due to weather and this strong wind did a doozy on some fellow ranchers this go around. So I urge you to pray, to listen to their stories, offer encouragement or help if possible.

Ranchers are generations and generations of STRENGTH. We will continue to provide great care for our stock that feeds the country even through the tough challenges we face.

Rest in peace dear ranchers. May God be with your families and friends and may he be there for those who have lost their cattle and acreage.

 

 

21 thoughts on “Generations of Strength

  1. Wonderful story. Very well stated. Those people who criticize us have no idea what a farmer goes through on a daily basis. Love the story about the cows names and personalities. That is so true.

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    1. May the ache in our hearts be eased by the knowledge that they were doing what they loved and that there is aplan♡ God bless all involved.

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    2. I am not a farmer or rancher but I have close ties within our family. That said I would like to say that these people are special. They do this job because they love it, not because of the big money they make. I peak of the individual rancher, not the assembly plants that produce these food animals. Think about that every every time you put a steak or chicken before your family.

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  2. So sad to loose these precious people. I’m sure they were doing their best to protect what is so precious to them and their families. God be with their families and comfort them at this time.

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  3. We love what we do and hurt when we are criticized for what we do for a lively hood . Do they not realize without our ability to farm you starve. Even plants are raised by a farmer or rancher.! Lovely hurt felt article. May families find some peace of heart.

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  4. My husband and I pray for them too. As farmers and/ranchers you grow
    To love your live stock, give them names, help birth a calf, cry if they die. I just can’t imagine the pain of losing loved ones. I know the pain of losing calves, cows, and bulls, especially the ones you raise. Our prayers for the family and friends AND the community. We forgive those who just don’t know the life of a farmer.

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  5. This brought tears to my eyes. We breed Boer goats, and every one of them has a name. Every goat is special and has his or her own personality. And my heifer, her name is Onyx, that we raised from a bottle calf last year, has a huge white tag in her ear that says “Onyx” in big black letters. We ride together, we celebrate triumphs together, and God knows, we mourn together. Praying for our fellow farmers and ranchers out there.

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  6. I read about 3 of the 4 young people last night and how they lost yheir lives in the fires. I couldn’t sleep and just prayed they didn’t suffer , that God took them all quickly.
    My heart and many prayers go out to the families of these 4 loving cowboys/girl
    and all those affected by the wildfires.

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  7. So your story is heard, it was very well written and touching, and you are right, this is sooooo sad!!! Growing up in Nebraska and working on Farms our whole lives, I do understand what you are talking about when it comes to our animals, I have had special cows and goats myself. People that don’t grow up around the industry don’t get it, they have no clue what we do to help keep these animals healthy and safe, yes they do live their lives to feed us in the long run, but, we care about them and in some cases, we find that special one that touches us in a way, that when it’s time to load up and head to the sale barn….That they don’t get loaded ever!! It is heart wrenching to hear about then events unfolding in Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas. Prayers are sent to all those involved!!! Words can’t fix what what has happened to these families, but hopefully they can find some comfort. Some of these families have lost everything, some families won’t recover. This industry is hard enough without something like this happening. God Bless everyone involved, the Families, Firefighters, EMTs, Police Officers, Rangers, down to the every day person just trying to Help!!

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      1. My heart goes out to all the families may God watch over each and every one of these hard working individuals. May he bring peace to those who lost love ones. For one I will be praying without ceasing for us all. To God be the glory.

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