Sick Thoughts


We just completed our first of five Regional Stockmanship and Stewardship events with NCBA in California. I am on a plane to Bismarck, North Dakota for a couple days, then on to Lincoln, Nebraska for stop number two of NCBA’s S and S tour.

A tip of the Greeley Hat to NCBA, California Beef Council, and the folks at Davis for a good event.

The weather was real hot. Ron Gill and I presented live cattle handling on horseback and afoot. Bill Dale brought us horses, and I really enjoyed working with mine, and got along pretty good. The cattle were good to work and we had to be real careful not to overheat them.

After we were done they had a great prime rib dinner and good music. I was hot and didn’t feel real good but I figured it was just the heat. We hung around and visited with the real good mix of students and cow people, and I was so impressed with the young folks conversation and good manners. (Edith, last time I saw Jacob he was eating a big piece of prime and surrounded by pretty girls so he is doing very well acquiring his higher education).

By the time we got back to the room I was not feeling good at all. A terrible headache and by morning I was speaking to the toilet Gods in a loud voice. Ron brought me some pain killer and Bill dropped off some stuff for me. They both kept checking on me. Friends.

We didn’t have to present, but we’re supposed to hang around an answer questions and visit with attendees. I couldn’t do it. We had visited with Adam Cline the day before about looking at a feedlot he was involved with, and I made myself get up and go. At some point you have to just take control and make yourself better by doing something.

Adam had his kids with him and they were fun, outgoing ranch kids that act like ranch kids should. The feedyard was great and they were putting in a Danials alley and Ron and I gave our opinions on how to set it up.

We talked about lots of things. The cattle they were dealing with were Hawaiian calves they were buying and shipping over. I asked if I could step in and work them a little. They responded like Hawaii calves and I worked with them as I have learned to work them. It was hot and I was getting light headed but I got a little handle on them and hoped I had demonstrated to the guys what I felt they could do to help settle these calves. I’m glad I went and saw the operation and got to know Adam and his kids better. He will help our world become a better place with his desire to produce food and kids that are top quality.

When I get sick I have some strange dreams and some strange thinking moments. When I had just really thrown up and was laying in bed shivering kind of delirious,
I was wondering what the heck I did this for. All the traveling and packing around my saddle and trying to eat right and missing home.

After we got back from the feedlot and I was laying there thinking, and I thought out that same question when I could think better.

My honest answer to myself and to you is because of the animals. I love working with them, and I love taking care of them and making their lives better. I don’t know if you can understand what this means to me, but it is very important that I try to learn for myself to make life better for the animals I am in contact with, and all the animals.

We all have opinions and ideas on how animals should be cared for and handled. I am really trying to understand how to truly look at things from the animals point of view, and how to fit that to our human needs to make it best for everyone.

So it is worth it to me to get criticized by other people that don’t think what I am doing is as good as what they do. It is worth it to me to fly and stay in motel rooms. I get to do what I really love, and that is interact with, and help people and animals. That’s why I do what I do and I will never do anything else, if it does not involve improving life for animals.

It’s good to get a little delirious once in a while to get some answers for yourself.

I love animals. That’s all I’ve got to say about that.


3 thoughts on “Sick Thoughts

  1. Kevin Devine

    Sorry to hear you were in the sick pen and hope you’re better now. I was glad to hear you say that folks who criticize you aren’t going to keep you from doing what you think is right. That’s an important and valuable lesson to have learned. I’ve learned it but unfortunately I have to keep re-learning it.

  2. George Kahrl

    Nicely said for sure. The animals are such a good part of the ranching and livestock industry. It is important for people to know we who raise livestock are also people who deeply care.

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