Over the years it’s always amazed me at how every once in a while a long string of events line up to make a great run. I am starting one now, and with my new job responsibilities it will be last “big run”.
It’s going to be great as I have a very diverse set of demonstrations in front of me and pretty much covers everything I’ve done for the past twenty years.
First stop, Tulare California today and tomorrow for a dairy based NCBA stockmanship and stewardship program. Next, fly to Springfield, Missouri tomorrow night late(very late) to Ozark Spring Roundup to do colt starting and cattlehandling demos for three days. Wife Tammy joins me Sunday afternoon and we head to Agape Boarding School in Stockton, Missouri (I had a couple days to fill, and this is a great place to spend time).
We are meeting with Eric Grant and company on Tuesday to visit about a new project he is working on that I hope we get to be a part of. I’ve worked with Eric on lots of great projects and always have had good experiences and created something of value for people.
I have to be in Salina, Kansas on Wednesday for the Mid-American farm show to do horsemanship and cattlehandling demos for the day. Then we head back south to Mcalester, Oklahoma for a cattle meeting on Thursday morning, and then on to the next one that evening in Fort Worth, Texas for the Texas and Southwest Cattle Raisers Convention.
I fly back home Sunday night and Tammy flys to Yuma, Arizona to help my Mother drive home to Montana.
Now, how could you plan a run like that? It just kind of lined up and I’ve had it happen lots of times over the years. The nice thing about this run is that it includes everything all the different disciplines of livestock handling I do. Colt starting to dairy handling is a pretty big range, and I’m glad I have the opportunity and ability to do them all.
Last week when I was on my plane I sat with a guy that was going to interview an old highschool buddy and former business partner, Dean Folkvord. I told him a few things about Dean that he could use that not everyone new about, and I’m pretty sure Dean might of just as soon nobody new about. It got me to thinking.
Dean and his wife Hope have really done great in business and life. I remember several years ago Dean and Hope invited Tammy and Myself out to Dinner. It had to be a restaurant that served “Wheat Montana Bread” as that was the company the Folkvord family was so successful in starting.
The conversation got around to the what I was doing, and I was just starting to do some local horse clinics. At that time I was trying to talk myself out of doing them and was coming up with lots of excuses. I told Dean that I thought there were way to many people doing horse clinics and it would be hard to make a living. He never even hesitated and said there were lots of people making bread, but he didn’t let that stop him.
[Back when I was getting started and learning so much from horses like this great one we called “Major”.]
I’m really glad that I sat with the fellow and he sparked some memories. Thinking of all the great things that have happened since that supper and now I’m sure glad I went on and did what I have done. I’ve never talked to Tammy about it and don’t know if she even remembers, but she was the one that really got it started with putting together clinics and demos. I would still be riding colts for the public and trying to pay for a ranch if it wasn’t for her.
So this trip ends the big travel chapter of my life. It has been a great trip. Now I get the best of all of it for me. I get to manage a great ranch, I get to help folks enjoy the ranch, I get to spend more time with my animals, and I still get to do a limited number of days doing what I have been doing. It couldn’t get any better.
[Our new ranch setting]
If had lots of people ask me over the years how to get started doing demos and clinics. I don’t really know what to tell them. I’ve seen lots of folks come onto the scene and over sell there abilities and they never last very long.
Just like Deans Wheat Montana Bread. If you are trying to sell yourself or a product you have got to get someone to try it and give them a reason to keep using it. If you don’t keep improving your product someone else will create a more desirable one. That’s why we get better, to stay ahead of the competition, and I have found the best person to compete with is yourself.
The funny thing is I never really understood or cared about any of this, is just kind of happened. As I look back I can see how it shaped up. I had a real good work ethic, was never satisfied or thought I couldn’t be much better than I was(still feel that way)and always had the freedom to do what I needed and wanted to do, and gave the people that hired me what they and their customers wanted.
So a little reminiscing or reflection never hurts. Hopefully the bread story will inspire you to go for what you want to do in life.
I don’t know how many motel rooms and restaurants meals I’ve eaten or how many miles I have flown or driven in the past twenty years, and I don’t even care. What I do remember is all the great people and animals I’ve gotten to work with And that is what really has made the trip special.
Looking back I realize I’ve been on a twenty year paid vacation!