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Connecting With Our Ancestors

As I write this, we're experiencing one of the most severe snowstorms in Colorado in more than a decade -- 16 in. of snow, 30 mph winds, and roads and businesses almost universally shut down. Our commercial female sale for our bull customers had to be postponed until after the first of the year. It's a pretty unique combination of beauty and severity.

We all derive a certain amount of pride in putting our animals first and seeing them safely through these types of storms. And there's something almost noble about standing up to Mother Nature and fighting her to a draw, if that's possible. Of course, we're also thankful for the moisture and can almost visualize the green grass it will bring in the spring.

But while we get an adrenaline rush from such battles, they also remind us of what a shared experience we all have. Roughly 1 billion people rely on the raising of livestock for at least a portion of their livelihood. It's hard in such times to not think about lucky we are -- how we have oiled roads within 4 miles of the house that likely will be plowed and opened within three days, how we have tractors, equipment, feed resources and shelters our ancestors could only dream of.

I've heard stories of how my great-grandparents homesteaded their land. To this day, I'm amazed at how they could have built the barns and houses they did, dug the wells, and completed the work they did with the resources of that day.

Don't get me wrong, I'm pretty comfortable with all the technology and luxuries we have, but I sometimes ponder whether we could have survived back them.
-- Troy Marshall