Thinking out loud here. Where’s the disconnect when it comes to food? I’ve said it many times in the past few years that most Americans are disconnected from agriculture and that we farmers, ranchers and those of us involved in agriculture need to advocate, share our stories, and work to fix that disconnect. That people need to get out and talk to a farmer to learn what actually happens on today’s farms and ranches and to learn more about where our food comes from.
But, now I want to turn the table and pose a different question. Why are farmers and ranchers and those of us involved in agriculture so disconnected from most Americans?
For example, take a millennial guy in an office in New York City. Is he disconnected from agriculture or is agriculture disconnected from him? #FoodForThought
Turns out I was writing about the Montana Stockgrowers Association LONG before I ever even knew I would be moving to Montana and working with this great group of ranchers. I’ve now met Heath and Kiley Martinell and their children and know much more about how they contribute to the Montana ranching community.
This post showed up in a Google search today and I think it’s well worth a reshare. Some #FoodForThought through the words of an awesome ranching family.
Many of us do not have the opportunity to pass on land to future generations, but we do have the ability to pass on our passion for the lifestyle of production Agriculture.
Heath sums it up well when he says “Ranchers have a true appreciation for the land and their livestock” We have to love what we do to go to work every day, and not many businesses allow us to work daily with our family. How many people can say that?
What else sticks out for you from the Martinell family’s message?
No lie, this cropped up in my inbox a few weeks back. I hope you see the same humor in it that I do. A Hollywood casting call is looking for that perfect ranching family. They will all need to have rugged good looks, witty humor, chase grizzlies by day, write poetry and play the harmonica by night. Let me know if you find them.
[Entertainment Group] is now casting for authentic and colorful cowboys and their families that live the throwback cowboy and ranching lifestyle. They should spend more time on their horse then they do in their truck!
The following are examples of the types of families that we’re looking for and the lifestyle elements they should embody:
All members of the family need to live a classic cowboy lifestyle and have rugged good looks. Family should have outgoing parents with at least 3 kids, ages ranging from 17 – 35, that are all great looking cowboys and cowgirls. Active grandparents are a plus.
Family needs to be working stunning ranches with diverse terrain and challenges – chasing grizzlies and wolves away from cattle, the struggles of raising crops and making a profit, battling weather elements to keep livestock safe and alive.
Family and staff of the ranch must be involved in the country lifestyle: hunting, fishing, trapping, building cabins and structures, herding cattle, sheering sheep, farming, rodeos every weekend, etc.
Members of the family and staff should have fun hobbies and skills like singing, play the guitar or harmonica, write and recite poetry, cook the best BBQ in the county, make their own clothes, raise bees or have wild animals as pets, raise bulls, or be an aspiring bull rider or rodeo participant.
All members of the family need to have big, strong personalities with great and unique looks.
We’re looking for dynamic, engaging and uninhibited families that live the lifestyle.
If you know this family, someone’s looking to bring around the camera crew! Maybe the casting call isn’t horrible, but the context of the request sure made me laugh. I’m not suggesting there aren’t some great and talented ranching families out there, but many of the films we see from Rodeo Drive California are romanticized and scripted for audiences. This makes me wonder, what would ranch life really look like if someone followed my family around with a camera on a normal day…
By Lura Roti, for SDSU Extension & South Dakota State University College of Agriculture & Biological Sciences
Three weeks after the Oct. 4 and 5 disaster, the economic impact on ranchers and their families – like the livestock death toll – remains a climbing estimate. Digging out from the two-day blizzard that wreaked havoc on much of western South Dakota and killed more than 25,000 head of cattle, sheep and horses will take much more than snow removal, said Dan Oedekoven, Director of the South Dakota State University West River Ag Center.
“Ranchers have some real financial struggles ahead of them – and it goes beyond the immediate loss of income from calves they no longer have to sell this fall,” Oedekoven said.
A cattle producer himself, Oedekoven explained that most ranchers are part of a family business that is several generations old. With each cow killed in the storm, that rancher not only lost the calf that would have been born in the spring of 2014, the family lost future access to valuable genetics.
Jim Krantz, SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialist agreed with Oedekoven, explaining further the long-term impact lost genetics will have on western South Dakota ranchers. Continue reading →