My personal reason and passion for sharing agriculture


I’m not always the most candid when it comes to sharing family stories on this blog, but I think this weekend deserves an extra note.

There’s nothing that stirs me up more than the issue of being safe around the farm and livestock. 6 years ago this weekend, my mom left this earth as a result of an accident while sorting cattle on our ranch. It was a week after she moved me into my college dorm Freshman year. I was busy all week and didn’t make a great effort to call home all week. It was a horrible time the following months as my family back home adjusted to life without her and I was adjusting while 3-hours from home for the first time in my life. All I can say is thank the Lord I had long-time friends with me at college.

This week, my youngest brother and step-sister are moving into their college Freshman dorms.

There’s nothing we could have done, but the accident has made me much more aware of the importance of safety when handling livestock on the farm or ranch. I wrote about it on this blog a while back. (Link)

It’s been a long 6 years, but I have such a greater appreciation for life and my passion for agriculture is so much stronger, because I know that when you love something in life you should pursue it with all you have. Time in this life is not forever.

Agriculture is my passion. It’s what I love. It’s also what my mom grew to love. She didn’t know farming as a kid, but grew to love cattle ranching as she worked side-by-side with my dad and family until the day she passed. I think that’s why I find such a passion in sharing my experiences with farming and ranching with those who haven’t had the opportunity to experience it in person. And probably why I take a little more offense and react a little more defensively at times than I really should. Yeah, I take it personally.

After 6 years, I continue to receive many condolences for my family’s loss. That’s all good, but what I really want to see is more people embrace their passions, do what they love in life, give it their all, and share their passions with others.

Tell others why Agriculture is a matter of importance to you. We all have a personal reason why Agriculture is important to each of us. Lay down the facts, figures, and quoted phrases once in a while and tell others why Agriculture is important to you. If we show others that we’re real people more often, it might help open a few more doors.

That’s part of my personal story. I hope to hear part of your’s someday.

12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prizefor which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. — Philippians 3

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14 Comments

  1. I am sorry about your mom, Ryan. Anniversaries like these are awfully tough but you have our thoughts and concerns.

    You’re not “less than candid”, you’re private. That’s a good thing in this age of confessional media. You can hold back anything you like because we realize that when you do share, it is a privelage.

    Your blog is valuable. You have taught me a lot, changing my shopping to look for farmer owned brands and become more critical in reading farm reports. And I’m a city guy!

    God bless you, Ryan.

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  2. So sorry for your loss Ryan. A cousin of mine lost his life in a farming accident as well, but it involved a tractor flipping, which is more common to hear about. I always think about being careful around bulls and boars, but it’s hard to remember to think about safety when you’re just working around cattle like you do everyday. Thanks for the reminder.

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  3. Thank you for sharing your story of great loss and the strength you give to agriculture.I stopped running my own farm 10 years ago to teach livestock handlers skills that enhance safety with methods that are low stress to the animals and the people.The common belief here in Australia is that safety is about building bigger,better infrastructure ( some of it so unsafe I will not get in there).Being safe on a farm is having the skills and training to assess and recognize the risks,then take care to minimize that opportunity for an accident.You now inspire me to keep on teaching Low Stress Stockmanship to as many people who are open to learning there is a better way.You are a great Agvocate Ryan.

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  4. We have no idea why things happen in this life and why we have to go through the trials. What we do know is there is someone who will pick you up and carry you through them. Your mom would be proud of you and what you’re doing. I know because I’m a mom. You’ve discovered what your purpose is…now make every second count until you,too, hear, “Well done good and faithful servant!” Matthew 25:23

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  5. This is why blogging is so important to farm families. Stories of everything that happens to us is our legacy we leave for future generations. I would suggest a post or 3 dedicated to your mom telling all about her. When you have children and grandchildren, they will know her through your words.

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  6. So sorry for your loss, but your passion shines through in every word. Thanks so much for sharing. Hubby & I didn’t grow up on a farm, but a farm was in his family and run by tenant farmers. Hubby helped on the farm growing up and realized it’s in his blood. We now live on a farm in Indiana, raise black angus cattle, fatten out feeder pigs, and grow corn/soy beans/hay. I learn something new from him everyday and I share it on my blog. His passion for agriculture and my tech talent & social media/blogging passion work well together. We’re also raising three boys, and I wouldn’t want to raise them anywhere else. Thanks again for sharing!

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  7. Sorry to hear that about your mom. It is good to read of your confidence in Christ.
    I didn’t grow up on a farm but have developed a love for agriculture through journalism and my many contacts and friends in agriculture. I hope to work in it again someday.
    I enjoy your blog. Keep up the good work.

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  8. Ryan,

    I am constantly amazed at how God works. The Bible quote that you used in your post was just read this weekend in a memorial service at my church for a friend who passed. I think God is knocking on my head a little louder these days to stop procrastinating, give my worries to Him and to trust Him unconditionally with my hearts desires. I’ve had difficulty all my life giving everything completely over to Him because I have always needed to have some control, and felt I needed to do things on my own. God however has always had the control and the better plan for my life.

    Thank you for sharing your story and for once again being yet another light for which God is showing me His way.

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  9. “That’s all good, but what I really want to see is more people embrace their passions, do what they love in life, give it their all, and share their passions with others.”

    There’s so much wisdom in that. Thank you for sharing your story and your passion with us. You lead by example. As we say in Kansas, to the stars, Ryan, through difficulty…

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