This evening, I will speak virtually to a Canadian cattle women’s group. During my session, I’ll be addressing ways that producers have adapted to the changing landscape of the beef cattle business during this COVID-19 pandemic and coinciding economic crisis.
It’s been a difficult year, no doubt. But I’ve been inspired by the many creative ways that beef producers, retailers and other entrepreneurs have innovated their businesses, pivoted their products and changed their marketing strategies to better connect and serve their customers.
That’s the theme of my session, and I’m excited to share stories about 4-H and FFA kids who have hosted fundraisers to buy beef and dairy for food pantries, of volunteers who have sewn masks and made face shields for hospital workers, of breweries and distilleries that have shifted to making hand sanitizer, of car companies that now make ventilators, of ranchers who sell beef to local customers in Walmart parking lots, of teachers and parents sharing agriculturally accurate children’s books online, and the list goes on.
This is a topic I’ve shared many times in the last several months, but I feel it’s worth repeating.
When life gets tough, and it feels like our backs are against the wall, we can respond with the same negativity that we are facing. Or we can switch the narrative and do something positive to make the world a better place, and in turn, attract loyal customers and more business as we do so.
In my travels, I’ve had the great fortune to meet many salt-of-the-earth ranching families from across the country. And after a long hiatus since this pandemic started, I’m finally going to be hitting the road once again later this week as I travel to speak at the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association Annual Convention and Trade Show.
I’m looking forward presenting on a stage again, interacting with my fellow producers and being reminded that although the ranching business can be isolating at times, we truly are all in this together and are likely going through the same challenges.
There are so many of you with powerful stories of making lemonade out of lemons, of helping others in your community, of turning a really hard year into something special, and I want to hear every one of them. I would love if you would share them with me in the comments section or by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You see, whether it’s mentoring a young 4-H kid, volunteering for a community service project, raising money to support a cause near and dear to your heart or simply focusing on navigating these tumultuous times and finding creative ways to get ahead, we all have stories to share. And when we do good, we feel good.
So let’s spread some positivity in this world, and flip the ugly narrative that dominates the conversations on social media on its head. I’m confident the people in the beef cattle industry can be leaders in this charge, and what an incredible reminder to our customers it would be to show them that we aren’t just in this to make a living, but we are working hard to make this country a wonderful place to live!
The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of beefmagazine.com or Farm Progress.