Weather is a safer topic than politics

This week, our nation will choose the next man or woman to lead this nation for the upcoming four years. This election, more than ever before, has become an extremely divisive, polarizing and troubling, with two flawed candidates squaring off and frustrated Americans dealing with the repercussions of the last eight years — unaffordable health care, burdensome regulations and social and racial divide, just to name a few.

On top of that, Americans are being encouraged to triple-check their news because the mainstream media can no longer be trusted to report facts; instead, their sole focus seems to be to push their own personal agendas and ideologies, and folks are left wondering how to sort fact from fiction.

With a voicemail inbox full of recorded advertisements telling me how to vote, a barrage of useless memes and ongoing political fights bogging down my Facebook newsfeed, and non-stop speculation over polling results taking over the daily news cycle on TV, I’m ready for Tuesday to be done and over with, and for the nation to move forward once again.

In church on Sunday, our pastor asked us first to vote, and second to pray. Pray for our elected officials to make decisions that will positively impact our nation. Pray for the American people to find peace. Pray for those who may be struggling to keep their businesses afloat and who might be facing challenges going into the holiday season, to find ways to succeed. Pray for the sick, the ill, the elderly, the vulnerable, the opposed, the forgotten — pray for those who need it most, and skip the political rhetoric. When in doubt, pray.

I thought that was a good reminder for me to take into this election week, and his third reminder to parishioners was this: it can be taboo to talk about politics with friends and family, so when in doubt, talk about a safe topic, like the weather.

I think I’ll take his advice on that, and I won’t ask you about your thoughts on this election. Instead, let’s talk about the weather. This week’s poll on beefmagazine.com asks, “Has winter arrived in your part of cattle country?”

With 84 votes so far, 64% of readers say, “No, not even a hint of winter weather.” Another 29% say, “Just a little colder, but not much.” The remaining 7% say it’s getting colder and winter isn’t too far away.

In our neck of the woods, we’ve been enjoying unseasonably warm temperatures with very little moisture. The sunny days have been nice for cattle grazing cover crops, and we haven’t had to dip into our hay supplies yet. We’re hoping to see a delay in snow cover so we can get the most out of our crop residues this fall and early winter. Although a nice shot of rain would be welcome.

Vote in the poll here and let me know what the weather forecast is looking like this week in your area. And don’t forget to vote tomorrow in the big election!

The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of beefmagazine.com or Penton Agriculture.

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