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Ready for a Fresh Start

As you all know, I will be graduating this May. As this is the last week of April, I only have a few classes and a couple of final exams before I walk across the stage as a college graduate. Over the past year, I have done some serious soul searching trying to figure out which path I should choose in order to reach my future goals. With that being said, my priorities danced between my career, my passion for production agriculture and my love of family. I'm sure some of you are wondering what my plans are post-graduation, but you will have to tune in next week to get the scoop. Looking back over the past few months, I really wasn't sure where I wanted to end up. I was a mess as I listed the pros and cons of every job opportunity and every career path I could potentially pursue. There is a quote that I hung above my desk to help me out during those times when I questioned myself and my abilities, and I think it might help you, too!

"God helps those that help themselves. Act as if everything depended on you, and pray as if everything depended on God."

I know that agriculture has had its ups and downs in the last year, and I'm saddened by the growing number of farmers and ranchers that exit the business. It seems that at every turn, there is a new piece of legislation, a different media article or another consumer report that hinders our ability to do our jobs as food producers. While it's hard to stay positive in tough times, I think it's more important now than ever before to stay optimistic and keep our heads held high. Don't give up and don't give in. With time, things will start to look up again. In the meantime, pray to God for strength and look within for action. Don't stand on the sidelines while the world changes around you; make the time to change it for yourself. I may be an optimistic college student with an idealistic outlook on life, but I think with faith, optimism and enthusiasm, anything is possible.

Stay tuned next week for a full disclosure of my plans after graduation. This was a huge decision for me, and I'm excited to share it with all of you! It's definitely a risky move on my part, and I hope you will approve and send your words of support! I'm ready for my fresh start! I hope you all have a productive, positive remainder of the week and weekend! -Amanda

Quick BEEF Daily Fact: Two-thirds of family-owned agricultural businesses never make it past the second generation. Is that destiny or a choice? (BEEF Magazine, January 2009, You Replacing You By: Wes Ishmael)