The last day of the year is a good time to do a little reflecting on the past twelve months and doing a little reality check.
It’s really good to do today as it’s cold out. I was horseback at first light and moved my livestock to feed and shelter so they will be the most content and productive, have plenty of wood stacked up to keep the fire going in our cozy little cabin, and my wife had a great breakfast of hamburger steak and eggs(I added Hatch green chili) prepared for us when I got back to the house.
The first thing I checked was water. When it’s cold like this there is nothing worse than frozen water, and it always starts the day right when the waterer is working. I chop ice on the Musselshell River when livestock are in that pasture, and it’s not near as fun. By pre feeding for a week it allows me to get my horses rode with a real job to do, and I only have to operate equipment once a week, and it distributes manure and urine equally on my pastures. I also am getting the most of my feed as the steers/ bulls get the first chance at the feed and the cow/horses clean it up. This way they all get plenty to eat and I don’t waste any feed. The exercise and handling are good for me, my horses and dogs as well as the cattle.
That’s my little world when I’m home, and it is just a great way to finish a good year and start a new one.
As I look back on 2018 it was very good. The first day of paid work was in a feedlot in Nebraska, and the last day of paid work was at a feedyard in Canada, with demonstrations and consulting all over the United States, Canada, and Mexico in between. I stayed in lots of nice motels, ate lots of good meals, flew on lots of airplanes (over 110 flights) and worked with a whole bunch of great people and livestock. I will say it one more time-I have the best job in the world.
At the start of the year I committed to reading a daily bible. I chose a chronological, easy reading version and read the last day today. It was a good way to start each day.
I also committed to learning more of the Spanish language. I have an app that I study on every day and am getting better. I have a difficult time learning and remembering but I am getting better at Spanish and learning.
I started the year working out (my wife calls it Yoga) and about three months in I had trouble with my sciatic nerve and had to quit and never started again, so that was somewhat of a failure.
All in all it was a good year, work and health wise. I am very content at home and on the road making a living. The best part of both are the animals, and most of all the great people I get to interact with.
I’ll share an experience we just had on how great the people in the livestock world are. I watch a lot of rodeos on the “Wrangler “ network. I’ve become a big fan of J.R. Vervain for his try and great attitude as a world class bareback rider. He married one of the Newman girls, and they don’t live to far from us, and I have always admired the horses they rode and the bucking horses they made. He became a favorite bareback rider to watch.
Well he had a horse flip over on him and he broke his back and has lots of medical bills. They had a benefit for him that we went to and seeing all the ranch, rodeo, and business people that went all out to help anyway they could was very inspirational, just as his try and attitude are.
It was so great to be a part of the crowd that are people that can live this tough western life, yet be so giving and caring. We were surrounded by people caring and sharing and having fun all at the same time. It just reminded us of how great the western folks that live the life of cowboys are, and how fortunate I am to be in the livestock business.
I want to do better. 2018 was great but I want to get better in 2019. I am going to try to figure out ways to become more valuable in my job. That’s my goal.
I did this interview a while back. It was something real different for me as I had to think about my business model. There might be some things in this that get you to thinking about some things in your business, or it could be a good way to get a nap. Either way it would be beneficial.
I really encourage you to shut everything down and spending a little time reflecting and planning in the next day or two. Maybe it should be something we do all the time not just at the end of the year.
Do your best in 2019!