It's no secret that I'm passionate about the beef cattle industry. After all, I've made the business the major focus of my career. In addition, there is nothing I enjoy better than to spend my free time at cattle shows with my family and my calves. That's exactly how I spent my afternoon yesterday at the 2009 Davison County Winter Calf Show in Mitchell, S.D. It was a great evening of socializing with friends, hanging out with my two sisters (pictured to the right) and helping out as the ring man in the show ring during the showmanship contest. Today, the show starts at 10:00 a.m., and I'll be busy fitting the calves and getting them ready for presentation in the ring.
Every time I interview fellow cattle producers, they always say the same thing: cattle people are some of the best people in the world. I couldn't agree more. Some of my best friends, industry colleagues and mentors are in the beef cattle business, and they are the same ones who would give you the shirt off their backs if you needed it. As is the case with all of you. I appreciate each and every one of you for tuning in to this blog each morning, and your emails and comments truly make my day.
What do you like about being in the beef cattle business? What are some of your fondest memories of raising cattle? What are you looking forward to most in 2010 and beyond? Your thoughts definitely make this blog what it is, and I'm so thankful for all that you do. Now, to continue on with our countdown of the top 10 most viewed blog posts of 2009. Here are numbers five and six...
(#5) April 15, 2009: Where Are The Cameras To Capture Real Cattlemen in Action? 
Today, I wanted to share a story that will certainly pull on your heart strings. It’s a powerful piece that everyone in agriculture can relate to. My new friend Cyndi Young Puyear, Farm Director for Brownfield Ag News, is a seventh generation livestock producer at Rocking P Ranch Simmentals near Jamestown, Missouri. Take the time to read her story this morning. It should be in every major newspaper across the United States. After reading, I think you’ll agree. Take it away, Cindi! -Amanda
(#6) March 31, 2009: HSUS Pushing McDonald's For Cage-Free Eggs, PETA's Euthanasia Policy 
It’s not a secret that PETA and HSUS are no friends to farmers and ranchers. Instead of supporting food producers that dedicate their lives to feeding the world, they are driven to make our jobs as difficult as possible in order to eventually push us all out of business. While they continue to make gains in their efforts, I feel there are ways we can slow them down. By keeping in close communication with our representatives and senators, educating the media and keeping in close contact with our consumers, we can work together to tell our side of the story. However, we first have to know what these animal rights activists are up to. I have included a few articles today worth discussing, and I’m anxious to hear your thoughts on our best course of action.