Jones Column: Hope for the ag industry
It’s a four-letter word usually defined by Webster as “to want something to happen or be true.”
For the ranching community it seems so much bigger. Hope is that first calf born in spring that, after its mother has licked it off and with wobbly legs, it gets up on its own.
Then by the miracle of nature it knows to nuzzle out its mother’s bag for the necessary colostrum in that first milk. It’s that first calf heifer that automatically knows how to mother her new calf.
It’s that same calf two weeks later running and bucking along the feed line so full of life.
It’s planting the seeds not even knowing for sure if the water will come. It’s those spring rains that come spattering in with only a little lightening.
It’s that first drop of irrigation water running out the end of a ditch in a nicely fertilized field. It’s seeing that “green up” happen as the water is moved across a field in that first week.
It’s that fresh filly on the ground after it took two years for the mare to take, knowing it took a year more than that to even pick that perfect stud for the truest mare the ranch has seen. It’s seeing the new pup creep up on the herd of sheep with the same style and ease that the old dog buried over on the hill had.
It’s seeing the kids come back home to help brand and realizing they can do it without you now. It’s seeing the grandkids trying to hop in and help where they see a need but aren’t quite big enough to flank a calf yet.
It’s seeing nearly an entire community show up for the agriculture industry when society seems to be throwing every curve ball it can at ranchers just trying to make a living.
The second definition of hope is “a feeling of trust,” which seems more fitting to what ranchers do. They just trust that their breeding program will work out and trust that if it doesn’t that it’ll somehow work out too.
They just trust that what needs to grow will simply grow and what is part of nature will still happen naturally. I think spring time in Colorado, especially in the hard times is what keeps ranchers in the game because everywhere I look I see the evidence of hope resting in the agriculture industry.
Loy Aisling Jones is a columnist for the Craig Press. Her column will appear on the last Friday of each month.
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