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A Day Of Action

img_1524.JPG I’m sure many of you are keeping busy winterizing the ranch for the first snow — prepping windbreaks and waterers, lining up feed and hay, filling up the generators with gas, bringing the cows close to home and washing up the coveralls, face masks and wool socks. Here in South Dakota, we have had a beautiful fall; it’s hard to believe December is here, and our cows are still grazing corn stalks! Needless to say, winter is on its way and, with fewer hours to be outside, I have a few calls to action you can take part in online today!

It's time to warm up your laptops and take a few minutes to make a difference online! Warm up a cup of hot chocolate or coffee, cozy up with your computer and get to work. Here are two important reminders you should know about:

1. Today is the final day to send in comments for the Department of Labor's proposed changes to child labor laws. These changes would significantly impact agriculture, taking away opportunities for young people to work on ranches, developing key skills for later in life -- responsibility, a hard work ethic and an in-depth understanding of the land, animals and U.S. food system.

Referencing RIN 1235-AA06 and docket ID WHD-2011-0001, submit your comments electronically at or by mail at: Wage and Hour Division, U.S. Department of Labor, Room S- 3502, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210.

2. Of course, the first call to action takes top priority, but if you have a spare minute, I would be honored to earn your vote in the 2011 Best of the Barns Contest. Today is the final day to vote, and I have been nominated in two categories — Best Cattle Blog (#5 on the survey) and Agriculture Advocate of the Year (#55 on the survey).

I’m so deeply humbled to be included on this list among talented individuals like Temple Grandin, Cari Rickner, Crystal Young, Jesse Bussard, Brad Hook and Matt Lautner. This program was created in 2010 to recognize businesses and individuals that portray excellence in the livestock industry, and I can’t thank Ranch House Designs enough for hosting this contest.

You can vote for your favorites in every category here. Thank you for your time.

With only one month remaining in 2011, it’s hard to believe another year has almost come and gone. What are you most proud of this year? What will keep you busy through December?