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Cattleman’s Advice To Youth Should Be Passed On To Our Newly Elected Officials

John Boddicker, American Maine Anjou Association executive vice president, recently spoke at the 2014 American Royal National 4-H Meat Judging & Identification Contest. He encouraged the youth participants to use the meat judging experience as a building block to their futures in the agricultural industry. As a former collegiate meat judger myself, I appreciate what he had to say to these young people, and I thought his message was one worth passing on, as it has value for kids and adults alike.

READ: A Middle-Aged Perspective On Youthful Exuberance

After years of working with his breed association members, Boddicker has observed what makes seedstock owners, junior exhibitors, and commercial cattlemen so successful.


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Here are Boddicker’s “3 C’s” to being successful in life:

1. Calling

“Each of us has a calling in life -- some find it early, while, for some, it takes time to develop,” says Boddicker. “Whatever your calling is in life, get after it right away.”

READ: Youth Needed In Agriculture

2. Commitment

“Commitment to your calling is an everyday proposition, not just when you feel like it,” says Boddicker. “What have I observed over the years in people who are successful? They do things right away, and they usually go about their business quietly. They have a plan, enjoy a challenge, and they can find solutions to problems.”

READ: The Trust Equation: Reaching Today's Youth

3. Cost

“At what lengths do you go to attain your goals? What is the cost? Be careful with this one -- make sure the ones closest to you and around you are not hurt in the process,” advises Boddicker.

The “3 C’s” may seem basic, but they certainly can be applied to most situations in life -- whether it’s in the pursuit of better genetics in your cattle, improving beef quality, paying off ranch debt, or raising children on the farm.

More than that, if this season’s nasty political campaigns were any indication, our newly elected officials across America could certainly use Boddicker’s suggestions to use their passions to serve others, to follow-up with their campaign promises, and to make wise choices that don’t needlessly cost taxpayers. Perhaps Congress could learn a thing or two from a cattleman’s musings on how to live a successful, honest life.

I’m a bit of a pessimist when it comes to how successful Congress is in making effective change, and I’m not sure last night’s election results will help or hurt those of us in the cattle business. However, I’m curious how satisfied you are with America’s picks? What are you most concerned about now with new leadership in place? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of or the Penton Farm Progress Group.


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