“Work is work, no matter what it is. Technology tries to save mankind the trouble of physical labor, and for the most part, it has helped a lot. But when performing the tasks required to run a ranch efficiently- especially a ranch of substantial size- work must still be done.”- Cheyenne Landry (makingahand.com)
With each new year the ranching world continues to be bombarded with new ideas, theories, and technologies. So how are we to balance this with our longstanding culture and tradition? Can the new truly find a cohesive way of blending the new with the old?
The truth is we must do our best to stay current with the times and technology; while never losing the culture that so sets us apart. We need business minded ranchers, just as we need true traditional cowboys, horsemen, and stockmen. Without either one we will fail and be just another page of history.
While industrializing ag production has become necessary, it jeopardizes the traditions at the heart of our culture. We fall into the quantity versus quality debate- not just in animal numbers but also in overall animal care. As we strive to be progressive and diversify our operations to meet current markets it’s important that we don’t lose our focus and our history.
Animal stewardship is, after all, one of the primary foundations our culture is built upon- hence the careful balancing act we must play.
In order to maximise our quality, quantity, and efficiency we need a healthy mix of both progressive views with traditional values. So while mechanization and modern methods come along to improve ranching operations, in the end, the bottom line of ranching isn’t a number. It’s a mama cow and the dirt she stands on. We live, work, and raise our kids in the tension between industrial methods and traditional methods; and we, with the wind in our faces and the sun in our eyes, know we can’t forget what’s really important.
Regardless of where you stand on this traditional to modern scale, we must remember we are all in this together. And for our industry to be truly successful we must not work in competition to one another; but rather in unison and support- striving for the same end goal of seeing this way of life continued for the generations to come.
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