Merry Christmas, cattlemen! One more week and then 2019 will be behind us. If we take a minute to look back and reflect on this last year, it was utter hell. Winter was brutal with an unprecedented amount of snow and very low temperatures, then spring came with heavy rains and flooding, next came the market swing surrounding the Tyson fire, and lastly this fall's never-ending run of heavy feeder cattle sales and herd dispersals.
There's no doubt that this year has been tough on producers, and the sight of a new year full of opportunity and prosperity looks like Christmas itself. But as you have the time over the next couple of days to reflect upon this past year, I hope you take the time to embrace one another and thank the people within this industry that make it worth being a part of. Thank the sale barn crew that gives you a viable place to market your stock; thank the truckers that drive on icy roads to deliver hay or carefully haul your calves across state lines, and thank your family and business partners, they feel the struggles you do and choose to support you anyway. There's no denying that this industry leads to personal sacrifices at times, but it also delivers the biggest rewards through life itself.
With that being said, I want to thank you all for what you do, day in and day out, to keep the cattle industry alive. We all know that a steady paycheck has its perks, but there's no better feeling than kicking out a first calf heifer that successfully had her first calf and is tending to it like a good mother should, or weaning your calves in the fall and seeing the trucks pull out of the driveway. The cattle business is tough, it breaks and makes people, but many would argue that there's no better life out there. Thank you for keeping this way of life alive -- it truly is the heart and soul of our great nation.
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ShayLe Stewart can be reached at email@example.com
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