We are two weeks away from a highly contentious U.S. presidential election. From my vantage point, we aren’t just voting on two distinctly different men — we are voting for two distinctly different ideas of what America should be.
If the stress and anxiety is getting to be too much, take a breather, enjoy some fresh air, stay off social media and think about the freedoms and liberties we are fortunate enough to have in this country.
And if you’re looking for something to distract you from the noise, shut off the television and listen to this great feel-good interview instead.
Amanda Stephan is a kindergarten teacher from Nebraska, who experienced the trials and tribulations of teaching her young pupils, virtually during a global pandemic. Imagine teaching kids how to write their names, hold their scissors, learn the alphabet and develop social skills over zoom calls. My prayers are with the educational professionals and their students who are navigating through this difficult time.
Needing a change of pace, this kindergarten teacher found peace and solace as a professional meat cutter. Yes, you read that right.
Stephan had no previous experience and now leads her days processing and fabricating beef ups while advocating in her community about where our food comes from.
In the story, which was reported by the Rural Radio Network, they describe Stephan as “one of taking chances and seizing opportunity when it presents itself.”
To me, that seems to be the theme of 2020. Of course, we are seeing so much loss and suffering in this country and around the world. The physical, emotional and economic damage of the COVID-19 crisis is hard to even comprehend, and whether it’s the loss of life, a job, financial security, loved ones, familial relationships or a sense of peace and well-being, I think we have all had our fair share of difficulties this year.
However, I continue to be so inspired by the grit and tenacity of folks in our agricultural community. Whether it’s helping the food insecure, sewing masks for nursing homes, hospitals or schools, donating to wildfire or hurricane victims or helping finish the harvest after a local farmer passes away, there is so much GOOD all around us, if we just take the time to look around.
And beyond that, we also see so many creative and hard-working entrepreneurs finding ways to innovate, pivot, connect, serve and lead during this difficult time, and I think it’s just incredible to see how many businesses are discovering pathways to not just survive, but to thrive in these uncertain times.
Stephan is certainly one of these inspiring individuals, and even in her new role as a meat processor, she is still putting her education background to work as an advocate for the beef industry.
The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of beefmagazine.com or Farm Progress.