I just spent a real good week way north of the 49th parallel in Northern Alberta and British Columbia. I had lots of fun working with a great young lady named Megan Clifton, territory manager for Zoetis Canada.
Megan put together a full week of working with clients that use Zoetis products or she is trying to get them sold on her line of products, and I really enjoy how ambitious she is, how she gets along so well with livestock people, and to see how her skills in sales have improved in a year. The thing I enjoy most is how much of an airhead and how gullible she is, so it is very entertaining messing with her the whole week. She is as honest and as pure as they get and I really like her and feel the world will get better because of young people like Megan.
Last week I watched the PBR on Ridepass. They had a young bull rider that is injured and wasn’t competing by the name of Derek Kolbaba helping commentate. He was so positive and enjoyable to listen to. I didn’t hear one negative thing come out of his mouth.
These two young people that I have gotten to observe were so positive about everything in life. Living and loving life. I think we sometimes don’t see how good some of the young people around us really are.j
We went to several different types of operations and it was interesting to see the different crews and attitudes. We went to an auction market and they all had a good attitudes and got along, but not much leadership as far as good stockmanship skills and beef quality assurance or verified beef practices. Good attitudes but not much direction.
We went up North to a real big cow calf operation, and they were having a hard time making the transaction of a new manager with a different style than the previous manager. I see this on some big outfits sometimes, the crew wants to do things their way and the leadership wants to do things their way, and it creates a real tension and a miserable work environment for everyone. I hope they can figure out how to understand each other’s methods and make it work,
or make some changes as it will not work when everyone is not a team.
We went to several Hutterite colony’s. I really like going and visiting and working with these good people. The Hutterites are very progressive. They use all the latest technology, and watch and learn and want to be the best at what they do. In Canada they have a real strong desire to be good stockman and horseman. Each colony we visited had specific things they wanted to work on.
HOOKING HORSE AND HUTTERITES ON WITH THE DRAW!
And we started colts, sorted pairs, roped small calves to be doctored, worked on roping and doctoring big cattle alone and as a team, trailer loaded a bull in the pasture, and had lots of discussion on just good livestock practices from feedlot management to proper pharmaceutical use.
THEY HAD A PET MOOSE ON THE COLONY
WE TOOK A DRIVE THROUGH THE COWHERD WITH TEAM.
MEGAN AND I BOTH RECIEVED A GOOD LUCK NUT SACK FROM A REAL NICE HUTTERITE GIRL THAT ALSO PROVIDED ME WITH A REAL NICE HORSE TO RIDE.
I find the attitudes to be very good and they seem to really enjoy life, and the work they do is the pride and enjoyment they get out of life. Because of the way the colony life is set up, they don’t have the ability to purchase things that are supposed to improve quality of life, like fancy vehicles and boats, or expensive trips, so they must get enjoyment and pride out of the skills they use in their work, and how well they help and get along in the community they live within. I find them to be very skilled and content with work and the lifestyle they live. Might be something to be learned there, like find ways to create pleasure and contentment instead buying it.
We went to one of the Schmidt feedyards. Greg had asked Megan if I could visit with them about a new processing barn design. I had visited the yard last year, and as we got there I started to remember the facility and the crew. This seems to be a place that the attitudes are great. The boss really cares about the crew and the cattle, and has this gleam and excitement in his eyes when he talks about doing things. The crew are not afraid to give their opinions on things and are encouraged to do so. Even though the conditions are tough and the work is hard and long, these guys have a great attitude and are always trying to do better. Enjoyed the visit very much.
It is so important to understand attitude makes all the difference between success and failure in profit and quality of life. Skill is important, but skills that don’t match management goals can actually be a negative. If the management can’t see or utilize the skills of the crew, it is very difficult for the worker to give his all for the boss, and that is a negative. From what I have seen, if the crew and management are not on the same path, it is very difficult to have success.
This does not mean that there shouldn’t be differences of opinion and debate on jobs within the job, but overall everyone needs to be on the same road to success.
I see operations that should be paradise to work at (some are in paradise)and everyone is miserable because of attitudes, and other operations (feedlots might be paradise for cattle, but not for humans)that are just the opposite of what we would call paradise but everyone is trying to do better and make the most of the work they must do.
It’s all about attitude. Winners create positives, and the + sign adds to things. Negatives create loss as the – sign takes away from things.
We finished up doing a horse/cattle clinic at a team penning place. It was a real nice mix of horse and cattle folks with all different disciplines in attendance.
I talked a lot about attitudes and enjoyment and quality of life for people and horses. Really good people, I got to ride a real nice horse, and work some real fun cattle. Great way to finish a very busy week.
Meagan hauled me to the Edmonton airport. She was as cheery and happy as ever. We discussed life and success over our favorite snack, pepperoni sticks. She and her boyfriend have purchased a house, and both work very hard, but seem to really enjoy each other. I hear all this talk about this “new generation ” and how they are so much different.
I hope they are. I hope they look at all the mistakes we have made, and learn from them and make a better world for themselves and others. Megan is the kind of person that sees things and learns from them. She is a positive in this world, as so many of the other young people I see. The world is going to be OK.