After five long years spent leasing and rebuilding farms that are owned by others, my husband and I purchased our dream ranch. The property is perfect for our operation but the house needed a lot of updating so we focused on the remodel first to make me happy. In a very short time we transformed the house but one of the projects that we put on the back-burner was the kitchen backsplash because it was going to be time-intensive and we had to start focusing on the land in order to bring our cattle home.
My parents are in their mid-seventies and like to stay busy so when they visit they like to have a project. This particular trip we decided it would be the kitchen backsplash. I am the only girl in the family and to the best of my knowledge don't recall ever doing a major project with my Dad so this would be a first. My brothers tell all sorts of stories about working on cars, motorbikes and the like with my father, but the central theme is always the same. My Dad is the worker and everyone else sits, watches and listens to his running commentary. We have all learned quite a bit over the years under his personal tutelage, we just didn't get very hands-on.
This project turned out to be entirely different. This time I was going to be doing the physical work because my father's hands shake too much for any type of fine detail work and he would be advising. It turned out to be a long day but we worked together perfectly. I learned a lot and now every time I look at my beautiful backsplash I think of my father. I see him every day.
As we age we all have to embrace change. How we embrace it has a lot to do with our happiness. If we accept it and make the best of our situation we will thrive. If we look at change as a negative force that drags us down we will go down with it. Our quality of life depends on our attitude. Ranching is the same way, in order to be successful we have to embrace change. As we age we cannot become set in our ways. Success depends on keeping an open mind, exploring new techniques, tools and technology. Older adults running businesses have to keep up, a ranch operation is no exception.
The average age of a typical rancher in our country today is roughly 55 years of age, but the majority of the ranchers are 65 or older. This is an astonishing statistic if you consider the ramifications of age as related to the future of the beef industry. The aging of this industry is a cause for concern for everyone in the beef production chain. How we deal with this change will have a huge impact on our industry as a whole. I will talk more in depth on this subject next week. For now, consider your attitudes regarding change, are they positive or negative? How will you handle your own personal challenges ahead? I am proud that my father was able to stand back and finally let someone else be his hands. I am equally proud that they were mine.
Food has been at the core of my life for thirty years. My travels have taken me all over the world creating a rich tapestry of experiences that have shaped my philosophies on cooking. My life now as a cattle rancher combines that experience with the knowledge of what it actually takes to get food from the ranch to the table.
Cowboys's aren't just boys!