I’m writing this week’s snippet sitting in a ballroom at our state cattlemen’s association annual convention. An earlier speaker discussed the opportunity of exports to the Pacific Rim. The speaker traveled to Japan and Korea with a group of cattlemen, and their timing was unique as there was a presidential turnover in the country, North Korea launching missiles over their head, and the opening of the Chinese market.
Wednesday morning, we had a domestic terror attack with a violent act from a member of the radical left. Of course, the news is being dominated by the political attack being waged through the Russian involvement in the election.
All week, we have been exposed to a litany of attacks being waged against our industry. So much of it is not based around facts, science and common sense, but rather some distorted view of warring political ideologies.
The word that describes it is insanity. In many ways, it seems like nothing more than a rejection of the very values, morals and world view that made our country great.
Being surrounded by cattlemen is a very comforting thing in an increasingly insane world—the ethic of hard work, honesty, open debate, the willingness to sacrifice for a higher cause, a bigger calling. Most importantly, cattlemen have the common bond of hope and optimism.
From an outside perspective, the tone of this convention may seem pessimistic – lots of discussion about threats, problems, the market and a host of difficulties that Mother Nature provides from fire to blizzards to drought. But it isn’t pessimism, it’s about making positive change, it’s about stepping forward, taking responsibility and making progress and ensuring sustainability for the next generation.
It makes me so thankful and appreciative to be part of this industry. I’m looking at the headlines of USA Today, and looking at the headlines on my home page, and it is sad. It is insanity.
Two of the stories on the front page are about Dennis Rodman landing in North Korea and soldiers getting transgender troop training. None of the headlines or big stories have any hint of hope or optimism or even honest differences in opinion; they are driven by pessimism, division, and destruction.
So sitting here now, listening to Benghazi hero Kris “Tanto” Paranto tell his story, I realize that hope, optimism and the willingness to sacrifice for the greater good may not always be the popular position, but that doesn’t mean it is a minority position either. As long as there are heroes, whether they be in the military, public service or the cattle industry, the insanity of our world will not prevail.